Breathe in the Air

In the society we live in here in Melbourne and around the world, contribution to smog is inevitable. We cannot escape it as it is caused by everything from transporting the goods we need to sustain ourselves to construction to put roofs over our heads. Although contribution to smog is inevitable, we can still make choices that will have a positive impact.

 Smog over LA. Image source: www.motherjones.com

Smog over LA. Image source: www.motherjones.com

One way the personal effects of smog can be addressed has been growing in popularity over the years it’s to wear a face mask. Face masks shield wearer from some of the harmful effects of the urban environment. While the production of the face mask itself contributes to the creation of smog the personal benefits can’t be dismissed as trivial especially considering outdoor pollution contributes to 3 million deaths a year.[1]

 

There are examples of large changes being made to products to combat pollution like the OFO-bike in Beijing developing air purifiers to be mounted onto bikes. The air purifiers use the energy generated by the rider to to power an ionic purifier. The purifier works by charging particles in the air and then magnetically attracting them to collection plates. Bike riders then end up working to clean up pollution when they aren’t contributing to the problem.

 Artisic impression of OFO bike purifier. Image source: www.designboom.com

Artisic impression of OFO bike purifier. Image source: www.designboom.com

A better example of a choice that can bring in a huge impact is in roofing, specifically a new type of roof tile designed by Boral Roofing in the US. The reinvented tiles have a titanium oxide coating that will convert nitrous dioxide a harmful contributor of smog into a fertilising salt that will wash away. Designing twists on existing products that will help combat pollution and reduce smog will always bet better than creating standalone anti pollution measures.

            

Not to simply have a go at the effects of consumerism and the creation of new products, that would be kind of shooting ourselves in the foot. As Industrial Designers here in Melbourne we continually evaluate how we design and use our unique position to positively influence the impact products have on the environment around us.  If you would like to know more about how we could help reduce your products impact please contact us at info@honepd.com or call us on 9939 8880.

[1]http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/en/

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