Sustainability practice in everything, everyday

Our Environmental Commitment

If you know anything about Design for Good you know we are not your average creative studio. Everything we do here is centered around positive change.

Being green is a lifestyle choice – not a marketing gimmick or a phase of business. Here are a few samples below of the role we play.

Work

  • we work with clients who are socially and/or environmentally responsible – clients who work to make the world a better place and support ethical and sustainable business practices
  • most of what we do is online – websites, microsites, donation systems – so there are few resources needed and practically no paper required
  • when we do print we recommend:
    – professionally offset waterless printing
    – low impact vegetable inks
    – uncoated FSC-certified stock
    – 100% Post Consumer Waste recycled paper (means no new trees harvested)
    – Paper manufactured in Canada (small carbon footprint)

Mark in Chennai, India 2014 working and learning with other designers

Studio

While our studio isn’t an off the grid strawbale building (yet) we’re doing our best to keep our environmental impact low.

  • we are (almost) paperless including our billing (pdf invoicing, email transfer payments to suppliers), paperless receipts and on the rare occasion we print anything its on the most eco paper we can find
  • we produce very little waste (about one small bag a year – yes a year!) and reuse (ie for kids crafts) what we can and recycle or compost everything else
  • we use very little energy – our studio has large windows so its bright and we don’t need lights on, we use energy star products, we don’t use air conditioning but open the windows and use a ceiling fan
  • we buy quality equipment that lasts a long time, donate old equipment so others can use and if we can’t find a home for it we donate it to Reboot (they tune them up and provide them to charity)
  • we don’t drink from plastic bottles, go to fast food take out or (insert overpriced disposable packaging coffee shop name here) but drink from the tap, make our own meals (from our land as much as possible) and drink tea from potters mugs
  • we use natural cleaners in our studio – and by natural I don’t mean some branded cleaning supplies we actually make our own (mostly using lemons and baking soda)
  • almost all of our furnishings are antiques – they have already paid their debt to the earth, are quality built to last long, have no formaldehyde or off gassing to worry about and have character too!
  • we do most of our shopping on kijiji or craigslist to buy used and local when we do need to buy anything

Kelly and Mark in our restored 1800's studio space

Getting Involved First-Hand

  • we like to roll up our sleeves and get involved first-hand locally and internationally
  • we have been to Ethiopia and Uganda and spent time at AIDS hospitals, water projects and helped build schools
  • we have filmed documentaries for housing/water/aid projects in Jamaica
  • we have initiated our own fundraisers that have provided jobs for HIV patients in Africa and successfully built 10 water projects at schools in Uganda with the proceeds.

Kelly, Mark and Joseph in 2010 in front of one of our finished water catchment projects at a school in Uganda

Lifestyle

  • we also run a community garden where we grow our own food in our large organic veggie gardens and greenhouse using rain water catchment and enjoy eggs from our free range chickens
  • we spend time teaching and learning – we take educational design courses around the world, or mentor design students, or teach yoga in the evenings or homeschool our kids
  • we spend our free time outback canoeing, volunteering, practicing yoga and enjoying nature

And more. We are always learning and striving to be stewards of the earth.

The community gardens outside our studio space