Wasteful Sustainability: Too Green to be True?
Some companies are taking green-product development to the extreme. Their too-green commodities seem more extravagant than eco-conscious. Here are two examples:
To cash in on some of the World Cup excitement, Greendix, a solar-panel company in Taiwan, designed a solar-powered soccer ball. Since when do soccer balls need to be powered by anything more than a foot? The company claims that the item demonstrates that solar power can be integrated into any object, pushing the limits of solar power and inspiring other product designers to do the same.
Another helpful-yet-wasteful gizmo is the Litter-Robot, a self-cleaning litter box (the design of which reminds us of Kenny from South Park) from Automated Pet Care Products that “frees you from the chore of litter box scooping.” But despite the company’s opulent, laissez-faire attitude toward pet cleanup, it did promise to donate a portion of its July sales revenue to the National Wildlife Federation to help protect animals affected by the BP disaster.
Though the movement toward green-product development is mostly heartening, it's best to remember that the most sustainable products are often the simplest.
--Sarah A. Henderson