Must Have Guide for Any Aspiring Green Designer

Biodegradability . . . may lead to shorter life cycle and less durability. Dematerialization . . . may lead to fragility. Extending product life . . . may lead to future sales reduction.

One of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of ecodesign is variable-weighing. Now to help designers navigate through the options and make the least environmentally taxing and most beneficial decision is the Okala Design Guide, written by ecodesign professionals and educators Philip White, Louise St. Pierre, and Steve Belletire.

The Okala Design Guide is the only primer for the teaching and practice of green design. The handbook examines the basic principles of ecodesign while also providing detailed methods for life cycle and impact assessments. Especially useful are tools and tips on practical topics such as how to use biomimicry in design, plan for end-of-life disassembly, and recycling. Also included is a newly expanded set of life-cycle measurements, known as the Okala Impact Factors. These easy-to-use values calculate the ecological impact of 248 products and industrial processes ranging from materials such as ceramic, carbon fiber, tungsten and red cedar wood to a wide array of manufacturing methods. Manufactured in the millions, even seemingly benign products can have enormous downsides for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soils we cultivate. The Okala guide, says coauthor Philip White, helps "designers understand the implications of their decisions for the natural environment and, in doing so, the future of human society."

The Okala Design Guide can be ordered through the IDSA Ecodesign Section.