During Design Indaba 2008, Nat Hunter from Airside told us about her side project, Three Trees Don't Make A Forest. Launched with Sophie Thomas and Caroline Clark, this not-for-profit social enterprise aims to provide tools and inspiration to designers and related businesses in re-thinking their work culture to produce sustainable design that really works.
Small, practical choices such as the type of ink and paper to use, as well as behavioural changes including recycling and creatively rethinking the object of design, are all covered. Ultimately the organisation hopes to catalyse a zero-carbon design industry. A tall call? The trio don't deny that they are ambitious but, judging by their chilling stats concerning the environmental impact of the design industry, someone needs to start the reforestation.
- The paper manufacturing industry is the world's third largest consumer of fossil fuels and accounts for 42% of the commercial timber cut worldwide.
- A medium-sized computer server has roughly the same annual carbon footprint as an SUV.
- A Second-Life Avatar consumes about as much electricity as your average Brazilian in a year and emits as much CO2 as driving a SUV 3 700 km.
- The internet is responsible for almost half a billion kilograms of CO2 emissions every year.
- Recycling one ton of paper can save 26 500 litres of water, 17 trees, 1 400 litres of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4 000 kw of energy.