Home Furnishings Designed to Be Ready to Rot

looolo cushions are designed to dizzolve photo

looolo cushions are designed to dizzolve

Penelope Green in The New York Times looks at "ready to rot" furniture, made of "wood frames from sustainably managed forests, uncoated nails, organic fabrics and stuffings, nontoxic dyes and, something extra: biodegradability. "At first the whole idea was to have as little impact on the environment as possible," said Tim Zyto, chief executive of Montauk. "And then I started to think, wouldn't it be great to have no impact? Then it was, hey, what if the sofa just disappears when you're done with it?"

The principles espoused by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in Cradle to Cradle are being applied to household goods, which can be either upcycled or composted. Even Umbra, home of so many Designs by Mr. Plastic Fantastic Karim Rashid, is now making them out of PLA (corn based plastic) so that they will biodegrade.

Others think that this is the wrong approach.

Bill Brown, chairman of the English department at the University of Chicago:"Their longevity, in the past, has always been part of the thing that gives them value."

Joel Mackower: "You also have to ask, Is it reasonable to assume that a product will go into a system that will allow it to degrade? Is there a snowball's chance it would be put on a compost pile?"

Franklin Getchell, an owner of Moss, the gallery-like design store: one trend in evidence [in Milan] "was the move toward use of more expensive materials and craftsmanship, made so with the expectation they'd be saved and passed on. For the business we're in, this seems to make much more sense than making something that will fall apart and return to the earth."

David Zucker: "I don't know the right answers. I guess at the end of the day I'm trying to buy less stuff." ::New York Times
More in TreeHugger on Cradle to Cradle
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The First Six Cradle to Cradle Certifications : TreeHugger
Cradle To Cradle Going Mainstream : TreeHugger