Sustainable Designs

This week of class’ focus was on design ideas that will work as a solution to sustainability problems that we see in our world everyday.

We started the week with a day of activities at the OSU Botanic Garden. I was excited for this because I love the Botanic Garden! Even though it was a super hot day, it was still a great learning experience outside of the everyday classroom. During the activity, we compared and contrasted the functions of trees and merchandising products. It was interesting to realize how many functions the two things share. We also brainstormed on sustainability issues that can be found in our own industry of focus. I found it interesting that there are so many issues within my major that need to be addressed by us as future merchandisers.

We ended this week with a design slam. My learning community was assigned with the problem of a girl who buys new clothing every week and throws out her old clothing every other week. It was our job to create a sustainable solution to this girl’s problem. Our solution was named Toss2Treasure. My group brainstormed and came up with two possible solution ideas: the girl takes her old clothes to a consignment store or the girl upcycles her old clothing and re wears it. Both of these solutions would be a whole lot better than the girl just tossing her old clothing in the trash. In both of these situations, the old clothing would get a new life and would close the loop without being thrown out as waste.

Our problem and solution was very basic, but some of the other learning communities had some very intriguing design ideas. One of my personal favorites was an idea named  Conserge. Conserge was an energy-saving solution. It was basically an at-home system that could be installed in any home to conserve energy. It is planted on the wall and has the ability to scan each room and save energy on electronic products, lighting, and air conditioning that isn’t being used. I found this idea interesting because it was very well thought out and it could actually be very useful. Consumers would benefit from this product because not only would they be prating sustainability, but they would also save money in the mean time.

The second design idea I liked was Not Your Average Baggage. This was a solution to increase local shopping in each city. The idea was to have a special tote bag at each local store in a town. Once you spend a certain amount in one of the stores, you receive the tote bag. The shopper can then bring the bag to each participating store and recieve a percentage off their total. I thought this was a great idea because even though it is very simple, it will have a great affect in reducing the use of plastic bags and waste. This idea is very realistic and I feel it could be implemented in many towns to increase local shopping.


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