Our unhealthy practices and way of living are truly harmful to the environment and have been slowly leading to its deterioration. And the world has been changing (for the worse) because of this. Hence, it is extremely important to live sustainably and consciously and to take care of the environment. Integrating sustainability into our day-to-day lives has become crucial! And we can do this in various ways. Designers and creators are coming up with sustainable alternatives for almost everything! Every product that is necessary and utilized by us in our everyday routine has an eco-friendly alternative to it. Replacing our usual mass-produced designs with these greener options will make a huge difference to the environment and Mother Earth! And they would also make awesome Christmas presents, and encourage others to lead a more sustainable life as well! From a DIY wooden bicycle to sustainable mushroom lamps – we’ve curated a whole collection of sustainable product designs to help you and your loved ones go green!
This bicycle made of plywood was created with an intent to get more people to focus on sustainability. The open-source design is called ‘Openbike’ and despite the obvious problems that come with a bike made from plywood, it is still an affordable and lightweight alternative to those who want to live on a budget but are also eco-conscious. You can download the files to build your own bike here! To fabricate the bike, you have to download the drawings from their website. Then you can take the drawings to a local digital fabrication workshop where the CNC machine cuts the body of the bicycle from plywood and uses 3D printing for elements such as the saddle, front hub, and hand grips which could also be recycled from old bikes depending on the resources available.
2. Mycelium + Timber
Teaming up with researcher Ninela Ivanova, British designer Sebastian Cox’s “Mycelium + Timber” examines the viability of mycelium as a potential material in commercial furniture design. The mycelium fibers are bound to scrap strips of willow wood, which provides the base and fodder for the fungus to grow. The result is the absolute antithesis of mass production. Designed in part by nature, each lamp is unique, has its own aesthetic, and is beautiful in its imperfections. The lamps take anywhere between 4-12 weeks to ‘grow’. The scrap willow wood is first sourced from Cox’s own woodland and cut into fine strips before being woven into shape and placed inside a mold. The mold is then filled with a fungus called fomes fomentarius, which was cultivated using more scrap strips of wood. Inside the mold, the mycelium and wood fuse together, creating a unique type of composite material.
Calzone is a reusable folding plate, inspired by (you guessed it), the Italian crescent-shaped turnovers that are so loved by everyone. The colorful product is perfect for picnics and hikes, because not only can it store food, but it also functions as a plate! When folded, and closed in half, Calzone functions as a nifty little container, but when opened, it takes on a flat form and can be used as tableware to serve food. It’s the perfect replacement for one-time use zipper bags and plates! Created from medical-grade silicone, Calzone is safe enough to be placed in the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and oven.
4. The Hana Sneakers
Sneaker culture is technically a part of fast fashion which contributes largely to the mounting waste problem. But if you can find a cool pair that is sustainably designed right down to its packaging, like the Hana sneakers then we’re all here for it! Designed by Italian sneaker brand ID.EIGHT, not only is this paid unisex and cruelty-free but it is made from materials that are by-products of the food industry and are counted as waste – apple skin and hearts, grape skin, seeds, and pineapple leaves! Inspired by the 90s with references to the navy look, the sustainable shoes express the ironic and dynamic style of ID.EIGHT. The contrast between the upper in white recycled polyester and the AppleSkin details in shades of red and blue create a mix of contemporary and light colors.
5. Boundary Supply Rennen Recycled Pouch
The Boundary Supply Rennen Recycled Pouch is an everyday bag created from 70% recycled materials, eco-fabrics, and yarns crafted from four recycled plastic bottles. As eco-friendly as the bag is, it is also extremely functional. It features a business card sleeve, a pocket sleeve, as well as a pen loop to store all your everyday necessities! It measures 8.5 inches wide, and 2 inches deep, providing sufficient space to store all your knick-knacks. The recycled pouch is available in three colors, so you can pick one according to your personal taste!
6. The Kawamboo Bamboo Coffee Press
The Kawamboo Bamboo Coffee Press is crafted from authentic bamboo wood, and each coffee press comes with its own unique natural pattern. Featuring a 12 fluid ounce capacity, the bamboo coffee maker can make enough coffee for one person at one ago. The outer bamboo body protects the glass, ensuring it lasts longer than the usual coffee makers. It’s also very easy to take apart and clean! The Kawamboo Bamboo Coffee Press is a sustainable and eco-friendly gift, with an interesting appearance, that would be much appreciated by whoever is lucky enough to receive it!
7. The Coarse Pottery Air-Humidifier
Led by Haibo Hou, the team of student designers produced the Coarse Pottery Air-Humidifier as a sustainable alternative to electric air humidifiers. Designed to moisten dry interior spaces, the Coarse Pottery Air-Humidifier almost appears like a radiator made from clay. The air humidifier is made from a type of pottery that contains just the right amount of porosity and moisture absorption qualities. By adding water to the Coarse Pottery Air-Humidifier’s basin, the droplets will gradually rise and evaporate through tiny cavities located near the Coarse Pottery Air-Humidifier’s top. As the water rises, the interior space’s air is moistened with small water droplets.
8. The Seventh Generation Beam
Seventh Generation’s goal is to limit harmful chemicals and they use plant-based ingredients, scents made from real ingredients, and no synthetic fragrances/dyes in their products. It encourages the importance of wellness is in our personal care, household products, and generally in our everyday lifestyle. The concept demands we expand our understanding of what nourishes us without harming the planet through beautiful and innovative design. The aim is to create 100% plastic-free packaging. The challenge is to rebrand a traditional product line and redesign the packaging system to be fully sustainable while utilizing no plastic or bioplastic. Biomaterials like tin, wood pulp, plant cellulose, food waste, grass, algae, and mushrooms are being considered.
9. The Lucca Bozzi Solar Charging Wallet
The Lucca Bozzi Solar Charging Wallet is an advanced wallet with a built-in battery that recharges your device on the go! It can provide almost ten hours of battery life to your iPhone, Android, and other gadgets. It comes with an integrated charging cable such as Lightning, micro-USB, USB Type-C, and more. Though at the end of the day, it’s still a wallet. It boasts a bi-fold style and is perfect for holding your bills, cards, and coins. Crafted from beautiful Italian leather, it has a sleek and stylish aesthetic.
Inspired by his desire “to reinvent the ways we use and produce energy,” on small-scale levels, Vento is not merely a bicycle light, as Bestenheider describes, but “a power plant, a way to question energy consumption, and an object to connect like-minded individuals. Vento is a mindset.” Composed of four main components, Vento is like a miniature wind turbine. Constructed from recycled plexiglass and aluminum, Vento’s microturbine harvests wind energy while the bicycle is in motion. Then, the energy is converted into electricity through electromagnetic induction that takes place in the turbine’s generator. The bicycle light’s battery then stores this energy and the LED bulb generates light. While moving in your bike, the wind is always whipping past you, so the light will always work when needed. Positioned conveniently right between the handlebars, Vento also features on/off and blinking switches for day use.