#DesignStandsTogether: Earth Day Stories Bring Good News

#DesignStandsTogether: Earth Day Stories Bring Good News
Healthy materials for product design. Courtesy of Humanscale.

As we celebrate the 50th year of Earth Day next week on April 22, we find ourselves filled with gratitude for this beautiful planet. This week’s good news is skimmable in less than 1 minute and will take you 6 minutes to fully read.

Don’t forget to check out the BE WELL series on Novita’s IGTV and YouTube channels. This week Giona Maiarelli of Maiarelli Studio provided a 7-minute art therapy session on Collaging as a Creative Outlet, exploring how to use your own creativity to process change & document your day today.


This article was written by Chris Abbate (founder of Novita PR).

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Humanscale Curates Ideas for Net-Positive Impact & Offers Healthy Materials CEU: As a global manufacturer, Humanscale aims to have a net positive impact on the earth. In that spirit and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the company has curated a list of ways that all of us, as individuals, can achieve a positive impact. Their list touches on categories including waste, diet, energy, technology and more. In addition to this list, Humanscale is offering a CEU during Earth Week and beyond with a focus on healthy and sustainable materials in the built environment.

Room & Board’s Urban Wood Project Positively Impacts Environment & Community: In collaboration with the USDA Forest Service, the city of Baltimore and manufacturing partner, Open Works, Room & Board created the Urban Wood Project – salvaging more than 60-row homes (the equivalent of five miles of lumber that would have otherwise found its way to a landfill) and helped create 30 jobs for those under-served in Baltimore. With the Urban Wood Project, Room & Board affirms its commitment to positively impact the environment and to give back to the community, one modern piece at a time, with stunning one-of-a-kind products like the McKean Media Cabinet, Hanneman Stools, and Henson Lamps

ASID Provides Design Industry With Free CEUs on Sustainability & Wellness: The ASID Academy, a state-of-the-art, continuing education experience that offers designers IDCEC and AIA-approved CEUs in a variety of topics – is now offering free access to its catalog of resources for ASID members and non-members alike. Sustainable courses include Demystifying Furniture’s Role in Sustainability, Health + Wellness Protocols, Biophilic Design: Improving Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment, and many others.

Humanscale Partners with EcoRise to Provide Students with Sustainability Mentorship: Humanscale joins forces with EcoRise, the school-based nonprofit organization inspiring a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all. This partnership will provide 60 K–12 teachers across Boston, Dallas, New Jersey and New York with professional development, curriculum and resources focused on sustainability, innovation and social entrepreneurship at no cost. Humanscale will advance its community engagement efforts by working with EcoRise to connect its robust team of Sustainability Ambassadors with EcoRise students to provide career exposure through mentorship.

Sustainable Design

Improving Indoor Air Quality & Energy Efficiency with Passive House Living: Architect Wayne Turett of Turett Collaborative shares the benefits of living in and building a Passive House. Recognized as one of the “best paths to net zero,” Passive House (or Passive Haus) refers to a set of standards for indoor air quality and energy efficiency. A passive house consumes about 90% less heating energy than existing buildings and 75% less energy than average new construction and added air filtration allows all air in the home to be clean — free of pollens and particulates.

Read our article Are Smart Homes Eco-Friendly? in which we interview Wayne Turett, Principal of The Turett Collaborative.

Duravit Champions Water Conservation with 12-Year WaterSense Partnership: As a WaterSense partner for 12 years and counting, Duravit has been able to save over 2.1 trillion gallons of water and over $40 billion in water + energy bills. All Duravit wall- and floor-mounted toilets are WaterSense approved, meeting the EPA’s rigorous performance mandate for High-Efficiency Toilets (HET) – which is 1.28 fewer gallons per flush (gpf); a number of Duravit toilets utilize fewer gallons per flush than the HET standard of 1.28, including Duravit Dual Flush toilets with 1.6/0.8 gallons per flush and additional models that flush at 1.32/0.92. Barrel vanity by Starck for Duravit in the images below; the second image shows one of Duravit’s floor-mounted toilets.

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Considered Cleaning: Fisher & Paykel’s Sustainable Appliances: Fisher & Paykel is committed to sustainably produced, ethically manufactured and efficiently designed laundry and kitchen appliances that reduce our impact on the environment.  With Energy Star certification, Fisher & Paykel’s new Front Load Washer uses >16 gal/cycle and Fisher & Paykel’s iconic DishDrawer uses 1.64 gal/cycle. In both appliances, approximately 25% less energy is used per year in comparison to non-energy star certified appliances (in both Laundry + Kitchen categories) and approximately 33% less water per year.

HBF Textiles Advocates for Eco-Conscious Fabrics: From prioritizing natural, recyclable fibers to partnering with local mills, HBF Textiles has long advocated for a more sustainable future for the industry. HBF Textiles has debuted a number of collections that honor renewable materials (including their Lost & Found collection) and developed fabrics that meet diligent environmental standards. With Earth Day approaching, the brand has provided an outline on how to source textile materials sustainably and responsibly with individual and environmental health in mind.

Earth Day Reads – Sheri Koones’ “Downsize: Living Large in a Small House”: As we’ve entered April, the semi-centennial of Earth Day has us thinking a lot about climate action, sustainability, water-saving and generally how we can celebrate this beautiful planet we call home. A book we’d like to wholeheartedly recommend in general and particularly as we look to Earth Day 2020, is Sheri Koones’ new book titled Downsize: Living Large in a Small House which consciously looks at 33 homes as case studies for energy efficiency, beauty and the benefits of small scale living.

Helping Hands

HBF Transitions Factory to Make, Donate Masks + PPE in Local Communities: As part of HNI group efforts, Hickory, North Carolina-based HBF is engaging its factory and craftspeople to manufacture personal protective equipment to be donated to local first responders, healthcare systems, and hospitals. These activities include manufacturing washable masks to support the rapid increase in demand for cloth face coverings recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); manufacturing washable mask covers, which fit over and extend the useful life of scarce N95 respirators; manufacturing protective gowns (both washable and disposable), for use in hospitals.

AMEICO Donates KN95 Masks to Local Connecticut Hospital: AMEICO,  a distributor of contemporary designs in New Millford, CT has donated 450 KN95 masks to the New Milford branch of Danbury Hospital following a call for in-kind donations. AMEICO received these masks from their supplier in Japan and immediately chose to donate to the front line workers who need these the most within their community. Since inception in 1995, AMEICO has built strong relationships within the local community and in 2012 purchased and restored 29 Church Street in New Milford, CT, a two-story brick and limestone structure built by Dowling & Bottomley, Co. in 1917 for the Southern New England Telephone Company. The historic building is open to the public and to the trade.

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