Exam that you will be sitting in January • 20% of your overall Resistant Materials GCSE • Mock exam to take place Monday 21st November Unit A562: Sustainable Design
Moral, cultural, economic, environmental and sustainability issues are an important part of design and technology. By the end of this unit you will be able to answer the following: • What is meant by a product life cycle? • Why were certain materials chosen and used? • What is meant by planned obsolescence? • What do we mean by the six Rs? Unit A562: Sustainable Design
What can we do to ensure that the eventual disposal of products/materials is as eco friendly as possible? • Useful websites for revision • http://www.technologystudent.com/designpro/envir1.htm • http://www.mr-dt.com/manufacturing/environmentaliisues.htm • http://practicalaction.org/docs/education/engineering_6Rs.pdf Unit A562: Sustainable Design
Lesson objectives/aims • Understand how the choice of materials for a product affects the environment, and the product lifecycle. • Understand the sustainability and environmental issues associated with the designing and making of products. • Have an understanding of the 6Rs: Repair, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Rethink, Refuse.
Introduction • In this lesson we shall be looking at many aspects of sustainability and environmental issues. • The way we design products is important. No product will be used for ever. • A good designer thinks about what will happen to the product, and the materials it is made from, after it has finished being used.
Starter • How many things did you throw away yesterday? • Try to think of how many things you threw in the bin. List them if you can. • Now think about each one. • Could you have reused it? • Could it have been made smaller or less wasteful? • Work out how much the material weighs. • Now multiply it by 365 – this is the amount you throw away per year. • Could you reduce it somehow?
What is sustainability? • Sustainability is using materials in the present without exhausting them for future generations. • It also means using resources without adversely affecting the environment. • The Centre for Sustainable Design has lots more information on Sustainability: www.cfsd.org.uk • You could also visit the Practical Action website, which has examples of sustainable projects in developing countries: www.practicalaction.org
What are environmental issues? • Waste disposal and recycling. • Global warming and pollution. • Modern designers have to take these factors into consideration when designing a new product. • An example of good sustainable design is a DVD/video hire shop. • The DVDs and DVD cases are made from plastic, and are used over and over – probably ten times more than a DVD that is bought and kept at home. • How could this be improved upon?
Waste disposal and recycling (1) • Waste disposal has a direct effect on our lives. • It is probably the most visible aspect of environmental issues, as we have to physically put our rubbish into bins. • Depending on where you live, different bins are issued by your local council. • For example, in the borough of Harrow in London households are issued with a rubbish bin, a green waste bin, and a card recycling bin. • This means three big bins per household!
Waste disposal and recycling (2) • It could be worse though. • Imagine if we had to split our rubbish up into this many different bins for recycling!
Global warming and pollution • There is a growing concern over the way our ice caps are melting, and how this affects the planet’s ecosystem. This effect is known as global warming, caused by the greenhouse effect. • As designers, the products we make can contribute directly towards the greenhouse effect if we choose the wrong materials. • We also have to think of what will happen to the product when it’s no longer required. Can it be reused? Or will it damage the planet once disposed of?
The 6Rs Can you name the 6Rs? Reduce Repair Recycle Refuse Reuse Rethink
6Rs: Repair • We often throw things away because they are broken. Would it be better or cheaper if we could repair them? • Washing machines used to last a lifetime. Not any more. When you buy a new washing machine it will come with a one-year guarantee – this used to be five years! • There is now a big industry based on the repair of these machines rather than the disposal of them. • The washing machine will also come with suggested insurance. When the machine breaks down the insurance will cover the cost of repairs. This is how the company makes more money and keeps its costs down.
6Rs: Reduce • When we design products we have to think about the effect they will have in the future. • Plastic bags are made from oil, which is a finite resource, and are thrown away after use. Unfortunately they don’t rot away (i.e. biodegrade), and badly affect the planet. • Plastic bags have been dramatically reduced in thickness. • Now the government is saying we must reduce even more to save our local and global environment. • Other methods are being used, and companies are finding other ways of producing carrier bags. • Biodegradable bags can be thrown away, and disintegrate back into the earth.
6Rs: Recycle • Recycling is now very much a part of all our lives. It is only in the last 15 years we have been making the effort to recycle. Now we have to recycle most of our rubbish. • For example, bottle banks for used glass are now commonplace in our society. A visit to the bottle bank can be a regular trip for many households. What other recycling symbols can you find?
6Rs: Reuse • Many of us reuse plastic bags, but eventually they get thrown away. • Not many of us want to reuse. We live in a throwaway society where products are cheaper but last for less time, and fashion controls our spending patterns. • Take the iPod. Now there are many versions, with different sizes and memory capacities. What has happened to the original designs? Have they been thrown away? • Task: Research the history of iPods to find out how their design has changed over time.
6Rs: Rethink (1) • We need to rethink the way we use our planet, what energy we are using, and how. • For example, many companies are now producing energy-saving light bulbs. • The government also advises us on how to use the energy in our house. • How can you reduce energy consumption? You could: • switch lights off when you are out of the room. • switch your TV off; don’t leave it on standby. • insulate your loft with a thicker layer of lagging.
6Rs: Rethink (2) • Biotechnology helps produce trees that grow quickly, and improves the quantity of high-quality trees. • Through biotechnology, scientists introduce additional desirable traits to trees to produce even more benefits, such as insect protection, disease resistance, faster growth and more stability. • Forest and tree biotechnology research provides promising tools that can benefit forest growth and promote sustainable development, growing more wood on less land.
6Rs: Refuse • Rubbish sites are changing to accommodate our waste. • If you go to your local tip, you will find they will have different sections, according to the waste you take in. • For example: – computers – fridges and freezers – household waste – card – bottles. What other sections can you think of?
Natural resources • Our natural resources are said to be running out. • We need to be careful how we use them, and be aware of how long we have left before they run out. • Natural resources can be conserved, and the amount of pollution we emit into the atmosphere reduced, by using renewable forms of energy such as wind, solar, tidal and geothermal. • If you can show consideration of the 6Rs in your controlled assessment, and the potential impact of your product on the environment then you will gain high marks. • Every product uses resources of some sort - you need to show understanding of the wider consequences of your choice or materials in your products.
Task • Look at your carbon footprint in terms of your use of materials and energy. • Go to http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx • This will help to calculate your carbon footprint. • You will probably need some details from whoever pays the household bills. • How can you reduce your footprint?
Summary • We have looked at many issues surrounding the environmental and sustainability debate. And that is what it is – a debate. • No one truly knows whether global warming is caused by us, or whether it is the planet in a natural cycle. • However, the evidence seems to suggest we are contributing. • Do your own research, and make up your own mind – where do you stand? • You can do further research on this by using the Internet, magazines, newspapers and other resources.
Plenary • What are the 6Rs? Now explain what each one means: • Repair • Reduce • Recycle • Reuse • Rethink • Refuse • Why is it important for designers to use the 6Rs?