Green Sky Thinking: Start with what’s there

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) I’ve recently wondered how many unused red pillar box phone booths line the streets of London and what’s to become of them as we increasingly centre our lives upon mobile devices. Then I discovered that two students from the London School of Economics have found a way to make them relevant again — as the green-painted solarbox.

Green Sky Thinking: I make therefore I innovate

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) Design-hungry patrons certainly got their fill at the end of February 2014 with Design Indaba’s signature lineup of creatively inspirational speakers, complemented by the prestigious GUILD exhibition, Africa’s first international design fair. In keeping with Cape Town’s WDC premise “Live Design, Transform Life”, sustainability was a key theme across both.

Green Sky Thinking: Innovation that matters — the business case for sustainability

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) Economic efficiency is environmental efficiency’s quick win when convincing hard-nosed business practitioners about the benefits of investing time and money in sustainability initiatives. What better case than a direct financial ROI that goes straight to the bottom line?

Green Sky Thinking: The need for thneed

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) In March last year The Lorax came to our big screen in all its 3D glory and with a star-studded cast of voices including: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito and Ed Helms. If you missed it, you can listen to the story here, a charming fable of corporate greed (represented by the Once-ler and his superfluous, but fast selling thneeds) and its consequent environmental damage.

Narrated by The Lorax who ‘speaks for the trees’, it’s a pertinent story and the cinematic release seemed timeous and considered, until you realise (or remember) that the original story was in fact written in 1971. That’s right, Dr. Seuss warned us against the dangers of not caring for our environment 40 years ago.

Green Sky Thinking: We are as we eat

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) Over recent years the sustainability movement has served to reconnect people with where their food comes from, what’s in it, how and where it’s grown and its nutritional content.

Green Sky Thinking: Slow moves from fast fashion

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) The recent Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh calls to question whether the sustainability movement has achieved anything at all. That such a tragedy can – and did – happen in these times of social audits and supply chain monitoring seems astounding.

Green Sky Thinking: Sustainable by design

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) Last month’s Design Indaba offered up the usual healthy dose of inspiration we have come to expect from what is now one of the world’s leading design events; not to mention a notable force behind putting South African design on the world map and Cape Town’s selection as World Design Capital 2014.

Let’s talk sustainability: ‘Enough. For All. Forever.’

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) Sustainability is one of those big, hairy, honking subjects that everyone is talking about but no-one really wants to talk about, because let’s face it – we’re all guilty! Especially if you work in advertising, in other words: you’re a cog in the wheel of the over-consumption-machine without which we wouldn’t be having this uncomfortable conversation in the first place.

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