Just What We Needed Dept.: A Cardboard Radio
A few years ago TreeHugger was full of things like this silly overpriced cardboard radio. It looks particularly odd with an iPhone plugged into it in this day and age. Even the people at SUCK UK who sell it acknowledge the contradictions:
Some people would say we've already missed the boat on this, and some will say it's never too late to miss a boat, in many ways it doesn't matter, since this article is nothing to do with boats… but in the midst of man-made Armageddon, it's time we all started to design, manufacture, and consume more responsibly. With this in mind we've teamed up with designer Christopher McNicholl and produced our first cardboard radio. The internals are housed in a simple card structure which can be recycled at the end of the product's life.
Really. No comment about recycling the electronics inside, or why one would need this in the first place if you have an iPhone. Or whether anyone listens to radio anymore. But they are right about missing the boat.
A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Steven Kurutz the New York Times about, among other things, how green design and writing about it has changed:
The shift in focus is evident on other environmental blogs. Mr. Alter said he sees it playing out daily on Treehugger. “Had you come on the site four years ago, before the recession, you would have seen a post every day for a new bamboo shirt ...We do almost none of that stuff anymore, because people don’t have the money to buy it.”.....Gone, too, is the avid coverage of $1,000 laptops with cases made of recycled plastic, the furniture built out of sustainably harvested wood and the solar-panel hats. Instead, Mr. Alter said, “We’re writing a lot more about cooking, politics, riding bikes.” Jill Fehrenbacher, 34, the founder and editor in chief of Inhabitat, a popular green design blog, said she has cut back on product articles as well, a shift her readers all but demanded. “In the last few years,” she said, “we’ve seen a real anti-consumer pushback.”
The world has changed, the economy has changed, the definition of green has changed. Even our website has changed. I wonder how many of these things they will sell.
Get yours at SUCK UK.