Why do designers need to be sustainable?

Sustainability. We hear it all the time. It has become a trend to be “green.” But why is it important to stay green as an interior designer and what does that look like? I am here to give you a few tips to help out along the journey to saving the planet. (Well trying at least)

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Why do we care?

  1. The climate of the world is changing. The climate of the world is always changing but the amount of CO2 as a world we are releasing is at an all time high and it speeding up the process. And we are especially bad in the U.S. The average temperature of the world has increased by 1.4 degrees fahrenheit since 1880.
  2. U.S. buildings account for 65 percent of electricity consumption, 36 percent of energy use and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from around the world.
  3. The US makes up less than 5% of the global population,yet we use 25% of the world’s fossil fuel resources.
  4.  House sizes have been going up since 1970. The average size of a household used to be 1,500 square feet and not it is an average of 2,185 square feet. The number of people per household has gone down as well, from 3.1 to 2.6 persons. 

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What can we do try and help?

  1. Sustainable design! What is sustainable design? Thomas Jefferson sustainability council said,  “Our responsibility to proceed in a way that will sustain life that will allow our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live comfortably in a friendly, clean, and healthy world.”
  2. Lighting – using ENERGY STAR approved lighting will save money in the long run and energy. CFL lightbulbs are important. They are florescent bulbs designed to replace incandescent lights and use significantly less energy than regular light bulbs.
  3. Use recycled material – U.S. buildings account for 30 percent of raw material use. There is plenty of material that is able to be recycled into new products, maybe not to build a new building but maybe to build a table.
  4. Don’t be too trendy – It is important to not be too trendy to where a new design will be out of style in a few years. Trend pieces are great accents that can be switched out more easily than an integrated structural design.

We can all do our part in making the world a healthier place. Let’s start with design.

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2 thoughts on “Why do designers need to be sustainable?

  1. yunshu says:

    This is one of the most popular topics in China these days because of the smog in Beijing and Shanghai. The smog reaches the peak level and people have to wear masks to go out. As China is still a developing country, the number of industries has not been reduced and the air pollution is getting worse this year. The government and citizens have taken some actions actually but they are not that effective. So the sustainable design can be a good way to improve for China. For me, the use of recycle material and the inventions of lighting in America are efficient. And China should take those sustainable designs as examples to adopt. For the country, citizens and the world.

    Like

  2. yunshu says:

    This is one of the most popular topics in China these days because of the smog in Beijing and Shanghai. The smog reaches the peak level and people have to wear masks to go out or it will be hard to breath. That is terrible. China is still a developing country although media claim that it develops fastly. As the country that has the most population, the government and citizens have taken actions to protect environment in different ways but those actions are not that efficient. The number of industries is not be reduced and the air pollution is getting worse this year. So the sustainable design would be definitely a good way. For me, the use of recycled material and the inventions of lighting in America are effective. It is necessary for China to think how to create or adopt these sustainable designs for the country, citizens and the world. I appreciate you for offering this topic.

    Like

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