A great way to brainstorm fresh eco-friendly ideas is the sustainability strategies brainstorming
Supplies: 4 sheets of paper, sticky notes (not necessarily), pen
For that activity, take four sheets of paper and some sticky notes if you have any. Otherwise, you can write directly on the paper. (Always use recycled paper and sticky notes if available;)).
Write the name of each strategy on one piece of paper; you will have one empty sheet of paper remaining.
Write all ideas that come to your mind regarding the three strategies on the sticky notes and paste them on the corresponding sheets of paper. Try to be as free and creative in that process as you can. Do not overthink; just write down every idea you have. There might also be ideas that fit two or more strategies, but do not worry; simply choose one paper sheet, and you can sort your thoughts later. Allow yourself some time for that; experience has shown that more innovative and unusual ideas come to mind after a while. Do not censor your thoughts.
In the example you see here, we did the exercise for brainstorming sustainable ideas for transporting groceries from the shop to one`s home. The aim was to avoid single-use plastics by designing another kind of transportation help like a bag or backpack. Some consistency ideas were detachable connections and using recycled materials. Ideas regarding the efficiency strategy included energy-efficient production, material-efficient cutting patterns, or the use of a self-cleaning material. For implementing sufficiency, ideas might be a shared bag, a ”bag for life,” or a multifunctional bag.
3. Selecting and combining ideas
Now we are going to combine your ideas. Choose the ideas you like best, and combine them on the fourth empty paper. Take at least two sticky notes from different strategy sheets; the more ideas you can connect, the better. Describe your thoughts and roughly sketch them on paper or sticky notes. Go with the flow; during this process, even more new ideas often arise.
4. Voilà, you did it!
Here is your result:
A bunch of great sustainable design ideas for your project to get started. Congratulations!
If you want to know more about sustainable strategies or want to try more innovation exercises, please have a look at other articles on the blog.
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So now let us take action by starting your eco-design brainstorming activity.
Try the Eco-innovation strategy brainstorming. This brainstorming exercise uses these strategies to develop sustainable ideas and solutions.
You can download the exercise below or read more about the strategies here>