Will 3D printing reduce our products eco-footprint?

Staples will be offering in store 3D printing in Europe early next year.

You’ll be able to upload your 3D design to the Staples server and pop into the store later on to pick up your 3D object.

It will cut out the need for distribution, logistics, storage, and lots of middle men. But it will mean that you will be likely driving on your own to Staples to pick up one item, rather than a big truck picking up many thousand items.

It also opens all all sorts of ideas around individuals buying designs for products rather than buying products themselves. Which again completely changes the logistics and distribution process, as well as the challenges of patents and intellectual property.

Maybe, it could also help in the reduction of waste. Maybe we could work out how a kids toy has broken, take a 3D photograph of the bit that has broken, convert that 3D photo into a 3D design that gets uploaded and printed at Staples. We can then repair the toy or radio or mouse that has broken rather than chucking it away and buying a new one.

So if we see a similar rapid acceleration in 3D printing as we have with smart phones and tablets, this bold first step by Staples could be game changing for our manufacturing and associated industries.

bag it

I love cool infographics, especially ones with a message this important. It’s also easy to say no bag thanks when you are only buying a few items.

Early morning vege run

vege_runIts a lot of veggies to get through every week but being part of a buyers group gets you

1. thinking about the inflated costs we pay for food at the big conglomerates

2. a far greater awareness of what vegetables are in season

3. an ability to ask “where was this lettuce grown?” and know that you can get an answer

4. save yourself a lot of money

5. and know that you are reducing the footprint of what you eat.

Is there one near you, if not start one.

Sustainable is an adjective not a noun

At some point sustainability moved from being used as a adjective to a noun, from a word used to describe a state – a sustainable future; to a word used to define a person or thing – a sustainability consultant or a sustainable building.

In this shift from adjective to noun it has diluted the inherent meaning of the word – able to be maintained at a certain rate or level; Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.

There are signs that society is shifting back to the adjective, a complacency or distrust of the noun is gaining ground – maybe a total move away from sustainability as a noun to a shift back to sustainable as an adjective will generate the sustainable action we need.

Thank you to my seven year old daughter who is teaching me about verbs, nouns and adjectives!

%d bloggers like this: