The market leaders are best placed to make a difference

Our Green and pleasant land, is it really going to happen? I agree with Jim Davies (Private View, DW 24 January), and fully support his view that it’s up to us as designers to find new ways of expressing Greenness; to keep it fresh, exciting and invigorating so people don’t feel tired, turn off and tune out. However, I’m beginning to question myself as my feelings of guilt, ‘could do better’ and the need to stop being so materialistic outweigh all the good work I’m doing as an individual.

During a cleaning frenzy I turned our toaster upside down to shake out the crumbs, after which it ceased to work. It didn’t even cross my mind to mend it, Time to get a new one, or should I persevere and mend it, take it to the charity shop, or dump it at the tip? I’m ashamed to say it was the latter.

Last Christmas I was given an eco-kettle that allows you to fill a large chamber with water, and then only release as much as you need to boil into a smaller chamber. Sounds like a good idea, but why not fill it with the amount you need in the first place? It’s now on the shelf gathering dust.

As Davies said, the momentum mustn’t be lost. I believe we need to teach our children how to be responsible and turn our culture around, but teaching them to recycle, walk to the shops and re-use is just the start. What will help beyond anything we as individuals can do is to support retailers in their work to be environmentally friendly.

Wyevale and B&Q are leading the way in the outdoor sector by ceasing to sell patio heaters, and, in Wyevale’s case, peat products. Here’s an opportunity to design a zero-carbon emitting heater – or should that be a heated umbrella for future summers?

B&Q also aims to have a substantial product range by 2010 that will give people the opportunity to buy sustainable home products. As it is market leader, let’s hope this venture is successful and that others follow in its Green footsteps.

Rachael Tapping, Design partner, Matter, by e-mail

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