Design can save the earth

I don’t drink Coke, or anything else with bubbles. It’s not a moral decision, I just hate the way bubbles make my nose feel. I make an exception for tonic water which, when properly diluted with gin and lime, doesn’t bother me at all. I also buck up and order water con gas when I travel. Usually I try to let it go flat before I drink it.

The moral bit comes into the picture in the shape of bottles and cans and the mess of them that floats around the ocean. I periodically go on tonic water strike, refusing to buy it until the manufacturers resume the use of glass bottles. These boycotts are short lived and I haven’t yet found the strength to start a “reinstate the bottle return fee” petition drive. I’ll join in though if someone starts it in earnest. Tim Eyman, are you listening?

There are a couple of technological solutions to the bottle and can mess. There’s a counter top gizmo that adds co2 (! Wait, wasn’t that the whole problem? And we’re blaming burping cows?) to packaged syrup. It’s just a seltzer bottle redesigned to appeal to the suburban gotta-have-the-latest-thing family.

And now there’s the paintless Coke can.

The Coke can redesign is actually quite visually appealing and at the same time it obviously saves material, chemicals, water and energy just leaving out one step in the production process – the coat of paint that uses all of these products.

This is an example of the kind of thinking that actually could go a long way toward saving the earth. There are a lot of products and processes out there that were designed a century ago when the common thinking was we’ll never run out of air, or water, or land, or forests, or stuff, to make stuff out of. Time to redesign with conservation in mind.

I might start buying Coke if it came in cans like these, just to support those who rethink and redesign everything to use less material and still do the job.

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