We started our humble blog – Whole Mood – 18 months ago with the mission to spread the word about sustainability in design: that, far from being a necessary evil, it was, in fact, at the root of true and total beauty in every design. As we head into 2020, this trend is set to become a full-blown movement, and what’s becoming increasingly important is how to incorporate greater sustainability into everyday!
How did we do?
Well, we didn’t do so well on sleep, but our little blog has grown; we met and spoke to a host of readers and designers; we attended design festivals, talks, exhibitions and parties. 2019 was a big year for us in so many ways, and 2020 is only going to be bigger.
And the most important change is that Sustainability in design is only going to become more mainstream.
Thanks to the powerful environmental voices such as Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough and the youth-led Extinction Rebellion movement, awareness of the scale of the environmental crisis facing us all is only increasing. Some of the methods that these people and groups go to in order to convey the seriousness of their message may put some of us at odds from time-to-time, but the message is no less important for that.
The way that each of us responds to this global crisis is only going to become more meaningful. And not just in donating to causes or attending marches, but in even the smallest of our daily activities and choices. It is in our everyday choices that we can make the biggest contributions.
So what can we do?
As far as resolutions go, we believe that New Year’s intentions are a whole lot more important. So if, like us, your intention is to be more environmentally aware in 2020 (and every year), then these are all the simple steps we’ll be keeping in mind everyday to increase our sustainability in the new decade – not just in design, but for life!
Simple Steps for Everyday Sustainability
Walk or cycle whenever possible. Even mass transit options like 100% electric busses carry a carbon price, albeit significantly lower than driving your own car. By making sure we only use what we have to, we can be sure our impact doesn’t outweigh what we can put back.
Packaging that recycles itself
Wherever possible, rely on biodegradable packaging. We can reduce our waste and even our reliance on recycling. Let’s face it, recycling is better than landfill, but still requires energy (and often pollution) to collect, sort and process. Imagine if all that packaging simply…rotted harmlessly and quickly away when we were done with it?
Let “them” know you care
Seek out and reward brands that prioritise sustainability. Whether it’s in small ways, like encouraging re-use of containers (such as Lush), or at the very heart of their product (such as Sofa ForLife); if we, as consumers, make sustainability attractive commercially – and unsustainable practices less pardonable – we’ll all benefit.
Replace your unsustainable practices. Do you buy bottled water? Why not buy a nice glass or PVC-free bottle instead? If you live in an area where it’s safe to drink the water from the tap, then simply refill and go. Keep a chilled bottle in the fridge.
Turn down the heat.
Wear more clothes inside. Turning down the thermostat by even just a few degrees in winter can make a big difference your energy consumption. If we all do it, the change is enormous.
Let it rot!
Do you compost? If you have a garden, there’s no reason not to already. It’s easy, it benefits your plants and the environment. If you don’t have a garden, then ask your local council how you can safely contribute your domestic bio-waste to the public spaces. If they don’t already offer a compostable waste collection (alongside garbage and recycling collection), then think about rallying your community to lobby for it!
Buy and eat local produce wherever possible. Having whatever fresh fruits and vegetables our hearts desire all year around is one of the great modern luxuries that we take most for granted. But it is a luxury, and a needlessly polluting one at that. Rather than encouraging the international transportation of fruit and vegetables, support your local farmers.