How can we improve the sustainability of products?
First watch these two videos
Sustainability Masterclass 1
Sustainability masterclass 2
Now you can work through the activities below
Activity 1 (1:04) What is sustainability?
Have a look online at images that explain sustainability.
Make a copy of a few diagrams or images that help you to remember the three areas of sustainability.
Activity 2 (1:49) What influences my choices of what I buy?
Think about the last product you bought? What was it?
Make a list of the things you considered when buying it.
Activity 3 (5:45) View other video clips showing the impact of products
- Four reasons why our environment can't take so many Apple iPhones
- The life cycle of a T-shirt
- Here’s how plastic bags impact the environment
Activity 4 (8:40) Product life cycle analysis
Carry out a life cycle analysis on a pair of jeans or any other product that you want to explore. If there are gaps in your knowledge, then you can carry out some research to help you with you analyse your products. Use an A3 piece of paper or a sheet of newspaper to record your life cycle.
Use the headings: Raw materials, Manufacturing, Packaging, Distributing, Using, Disposing or end of life.
Activity 5 (8:40)
Look back at the lifecycle analysis, how can the product be made more sustainable?
Activity 6 (20:56)
Other inspirational designers
Match the 6Rs, rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair to their correct definition. Check your answers with the answer sheet. https://practicalaction.org/schools/6-rs/
Use the terms reduce, reuse and recycle to help you think how you can improve the sustainability of your product. Record your ideas on your life cycle analysis sheet.
Impact on people - Winners and losers
Revisit your product life cycle sheet and using post it notes or a different colour pen annotate the different people involved at the different stages of the life cycle.
Now think overall – are those people ‘winners or losers’. Therefore, do they benefit or lose out from the product?
Finally, make notes of the life cycle of what needs to happen for the people involved to become winners. For example, safe working condition and fair wages.
Carry out some research into a few companies and/or designers who claim to develop products sustainably. Record your findings about some of their products.
Associated Filesl Student activity sheets.docx
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