What a surprise to discover a little show called "Socially Responsible Design" at the Toronto airport. Each one of the 20 small kiosks in the departure lounge was filled with an eco-design item that was new, interesting and well-designed. What's going on here?
It turns out that the airport had run a competition for students and designers, looking for Canadian examples of socially responsible design. And they struck gold, um, green. The winners include recycled paint, organic hankies and maple syrup (of course). And the stories behind the products are eco-inspirational.
Image from Ninutik
Starting with the maple syrup, the company, Ninutik, is a family production whose kitchen is "powered in part by photovoltaic solar panels installed on our building, the waste water is chemical-free and occasionally diverted into a neighbouring community garden and they make every effort to reuse, recycle and reduce our solid waste in our products and processes." The syrup itself comes in reusable containers and there is no packaging waste. Maple syrup never sounded this good before.
Image from ukoonto
Ukoonto wooden toys are wooden building blocks, made in Canada from native Canadian Hard Maple. All wood used is 100% recycled (but never used) wood from local sources. They only use energy from alternative sources and try to choose the most eco-friendly practices in the production of its toys.
Aspenware recyclable wood cutlery from northern British Columbia is disposable cutlery that could bring manufacturing and forestry jobs to the area. Using wood from undervalued tree species, the founders have invented and patented a process for laminating and molding aspen and birch veneer into attractive spoons, forks and knives.
boomerang paints are reclaimed products made from unused portions of recovered domestic paint and stain remains. The paint comes in a lovely range of colours and works just like regular paint. In order to guarantee the quality, they carefully sort and separate the leftovers that they receive. About 1% of new material is added to the remains, providing adequate and consistent luster levels, viscosity and drying time.
Other display items included a carrier for diabetics which combines the blood glucose monitor, and insulin pen into a compact and portable device.
Flat Bags are a good looking carrier bag, made out of reused bike inner tubes and rediscovered fabrics in great colours. Waterproof and good for the beach,they have already reused over 15,000 feet of inner tubes!
All in all, an instructive way to pass your time whilst waiting for that delayed flight.