We are keeping our eyes firmly on LettUs Grow's environmental impact throughout product development, as this is core to our fundamental mission:
To reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce by empowering anyone to grow delicious food at its point of consumption.
To keep track of our impact we are constantly updating a flexible spreadsheet model that quantifies lifecycle emissions of our different product concepts. This utilises official government figures for embedded carbon to help us design-in materials with a low environmental impact. Our ambition is to also factor in water-use and pollution as key, quantifiable variables within the model, which we will incorporate over summer 2017.
This analysis extends beyond simply tracking our impact and focuses on how LettUs Grow products can promote long-term use, "paying back" the emissions expended in their production. This can be achieved by displacing the carbon/water cost of salad bought at the supermarket with that grown from seed in the kitchen!
"Circular" Design Principles
This leads us onto one of our favourite methodologies within the sustainability movement; the Circular Economy. Popularised by Cradle to Cradle and the Ellen MacArthur Institute, the core aim is to stop materials going "cradle to grave", where old products find their way to land-fill, the environment, or sea.
Designing in Circular principles involves ensuring products can be disassembled, updated, and improved, to extend their product life. Similarly, designing products that are easy to return, disassemble, and reuse or recycle, when you are finished with them. If you're interested in this methodology then we recommend checking out the Ellen MacArthur institute for more information.
But before you do that we'd like your help! We are always looking for materials, electronics, or companies to use within our supply chain that will help us achieve our environmental goals - of a low carbon, waste, and water footprint. So if you are interested in environmental impact, the circular economy, or sustainability, and have suggestions, then please drop us an email and we'd be really interested to chat!