A ‘thing’ to do

Part of my course is a Design Enterprise module, which encourages students to think with a business-orientated mind to compliment their creative side. Within this module we need to come up with a business idea, and this post is my go at it. Or at least me defining the need I think my product can fill.

THE PROBLEM:

You’ve been hearing about how we’re all destroying the planet forever right? Well, as for most people, it had become background noise for me instead of the very serious problem it is. A younger me never took an interest in it; always nodding along, not that I didn’t care, it’s just that I never did anything about it. Always thinking that I didn’t have enough money to donate to charities, and anything I did on a regular basis surely wouldn’t make a difference to how a whole planet functions. However recently I’ve started stumbling onto some things that are making me think twice about everything I do.

Discovering Lauren Singer, a girl that lives with tiny to no waste, sparked my interest (you can check out what she’s all about on her blog), as well as watching short documentaries and reading the odd article or two over the last year has made me re-evaluate my ‘helpless’ attitude towards our environment. Most shocking to me is how our every day activates and shopping habits are creating a bigger problem then we care to think about.

e.g. how our lives revolve around plastic:

There are obviously a lot of problems surrounding environmental damage, some that I can’t even begin to comprehend, but I chose to tackle the problem I and many others suffer; not realising that there can be small changes we can make in our everyday lives that can make a difference. I noticed the attitude and education on the subject needs to be approached with fresh eyes. Ultimately it’s time for the next step, a sustainable step.

But before I go on further, I know I’m starting to sound like every other eco-warrior preaching to the converted or the uninterested. But that’s my exact point. We’ve become so used to hearing these same phrases, we tend to block it out, or just shrug it off. Information needs to be delivered in a different format to make us actually pay attention.

THE IDEA

I’m sure most people have seen the numerous ‘essential life hacks’ floating about the internet that get you excited to DIY your whole house with a packet of gum and some match sticks. However you ultimately save them in a ‘things to do’ folder that gets forgotten about, well my idea stemmed from that. What if you received everything you needed to do such ‘things’ every month or two, with simple instructions, leaving you with no excuse but to make something amazing and have a bit of crafty fun with it.

How does this have anything to do with what I was rambling on about earlier? Well what if these ‘things’ used items most people tend to have and hastily dispose of? So you’re making something new out of something old. Reusing, recycling and revamping what you would previously label as rubbish (to use the words that make us zone-out). Getting them to look at the objects they would discard and give them new life instead of letting them rot in a landfill. The ultimate aim being to encourage, and maybe even excite people to reduce their waste and live more sustainably.

However, the point would be lost if people didn’t know why they were doing this. So a small publication, explaining in digestible chunks, where their waste normally goes, what damage it does and other small things they can do to change their lives might get more people to make big differences to our environment.

THE PRODUCT

I toyed with a lot of ideas in naming such a product, but soon discovered that they all started with ‘Re-’. After looking up the definition it seemed like the simple name I was looking for.

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The direct aim of my product is to get people to reuse and therefore reduce their waste, and the bigger goal would be to (if you can bear another one) rethink their everyday lives to better our planet.

‘re’ would create parcels with one crafty ‘thing’ (or ‘project’) and one small publication with the extra digestible knowledge they need per box. Available for subscription, with a new project every month or two, or available for single purchase to try out or give as a gift.

I’m still developing this business idea so it’s bound to adapt and evolve, but to help me out you can send me feedback on what you think about ‘re’ so far. And if you’re feeling very generous, and have a few minutes to spare, you can fill out a short survey here so I can get a better idea of any potential customers!

Thanks for reading through this raw idea!