(re) is a digital green guide that provides environmental information, consumer resources, product alternatives, and sustainable tips as a way to navigate the start of an eco-friendly lifestyle.

(re) the green guide

Introduction 

The intersection between sustainability and design has always fascinated me for as long as I knew they could be intersected. At this point in time there is almost no one exempt from the effects of the current state of the climate (it's unfortunate, but all too true). My curiosity drove me to explore ways that I could combine design and sustainability to alleviate some of the pressures we might experience with climate change.

The solution became a digital "green" guide that makes eco-friendly living a fun, inviting experience that anyone can start. By making conscious consumption decisions with this guide, people make an impact on the planet's life while changing their own.

When was this: 

Jan - May 2021

What I did:

Researched, prototyped and designed the end-to-end experience

Tools I used:

Figma
Adobe Suite (AI, AE, PS)
HTML & CSS
Webflow

Editor X

Research

Sustainability has come a long way since its initial boom during the past few decades. Initially, recycling, reusing and diy projects were staples in eco-friendly homes. Fast forward to current times and we have an extended collection of sustainable alternatives for many common products. Everything from shampoo and toothbrushes to kitchenware and fashion can be found being made with sustainable practices and/or materials. These eco-friendly advancements paved the way for waste-free living, so what else can be done to promote this lifestyle?

Tackling the three R's

The U.S. generated an estimated 14.5 million tons of plastic containers and packaging in 2018 (according to the EPA), and an estimated 41.9 million tons of paper and paperboard containers and packaging. Note the difference in their post-life treatments below:

Majority of plastic is sent to landfill, which could be due to a lack of understanding which plastics can be recycled, lack of recyclable plastics, lack of motivation to recycle, accessibility to a recycling center, and so on. Paper proved to be easily recyclable, but the vast difference between these materials' stats suggests recycling alone doesn't outweigh the other two R's when it comes to reducing waste. 

Plastic 

Paper

13.6% recycled
16.9% combusted
69.5% to landfill
80.9% recycled
3.7% combusted
15.4% to landfill

Prevention and Recovery

To account for all waste from a consumer perspective, we can either target it before or after we consume a product. Two models that show the benefits of prevention and recovery are the waste hierarchy and the circular economy, shown below.

Waste Hierarchy 

Prevention oriented, prioritizes reduction and reusing over recycling 

Trickle-down approach to waste management; if it can't be reused, then it can be recycled, used for energy recovery, and so on

Aims to maximize the benefits of each product and treats disposal as a last resort option

Circular Economy

Restoration and regenerative intentions with a renewable industrial system

Cyclical approach to waste management; products are designed for a cycle of reuse and waste does not exist

 

Aims to replace a linear product life cycle and the end-of-life concept with a self-circulating system

Based off of my research, both preventative and restorative actions are needed to create a positive environmental impact. Prevention helps people let go of old overconsumption habits, and recovery helps them contribute in the building of a regenerative industrial system. For these reasons, the green guide highlights both as being necessary to start and maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle. 

No place for waste

Ideation

The current digital age and pandemic state of the world have manifested a preference for online services, thus a digital guide would be more accessible and have a wider reach to people. 

Initial sketches and branding ideation for (re) the green guide, focused on preventing overconsumption and promoting regenerative actions:

Navigating the experience

When the user loads the website, they are greeted with a long-scrolling home page with a short introduction to (re), and three steps to start their eco-friendly journey:

  1. (re)learn - users start off with a breakdown of the three R's (reducing, reusing, recycling) and their role in preventing overconsumption and managing waste.
     

  2. (re)evaluate - here users evaluate whether or not they need a product, how to shop sustainably and how to differentiate between brands that do and don't value sustainability.
     

  3. (re)place - on this page users are presented with various sustainable product options, each which explains why it is eco-friendly, how the end-of-life works, and where to buy it

Finding the right balance between visuals, ease of use and displayed information meant blending imagery-based and text-heavy themes together to create a minimal, user friendly guide that is easy to navigate.

Theme transitions 

© 2023 by Brandi Chang