While studying innovation, I had to research two products that were considered sustainable. The characteristics I looked for when searching for sustainable products were good quality, durability, acceptable cost and reduced environment impacts. In class, we learned that the product is sustainable when it’s “developed for today’s needs without compromising the ability of the future.”
The first product is FilterPave1. The material is a new type of porous pavement made from 100% post consumers’ glass and the major environmental benefit is that it reduces storm water runoff. Each year, storm water runoff is water that flows into lakes, streams and other gardens filled with the atmosphere’s containments of the Ozone layer. It is good quality since its flexible and architecturally aesthetic and the composition of the material can account for light-heavy loads, which make it durable. Since little maintenance is required because it doesn’t need resealing, crack filling, it makes up for some of the cost incurred up front. The FilterPave makes up for approximately 95% materials that are typically landfilled.
The second product is gDiaper2, a partially re-usable diaper with an insert that can be flushed down the sewer system where it belongs. It turns out that each year 20 billion diapers are disposed in the US landfills3. The inside gRefills are 100% disposable which is great for the environment. Some of the wet gRefills can be decomposed and used for agricultural composites. The material on the inside is durable and made from cellulose rayon & fluffed wood pulp which is a non-toxic water absorber. The cloth lining on the outside is a combination of polyester, hemp and cotton. As it may be slightly more expensive than traditional diapers, the outside cloth that can be re-used is a plus for most consumers and the ability to decompose in the sewage system is a major benefit to our environment.
1. FilterPave: http://www.prestogeo.com/downloads/NPBeqP8MZqS4SucY7mqnFJv9tDaTwigCjAtz87OoPI70lU7N8n/FilterPave%20Overview.pdf
2. gDiapers: http://www.gdiapers.com/environmentally-friendly-diapers/gdiapering
3. TriplePundt.com: #4 is gDiapers: http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/02/5-green-products-to-watch-in-2011-2012/