You don’t have to look far to see plenty of examples of designs that are really stupid from an ecological point of view. Take the humble hand-drier, here are some incredibly inept installations I have come across in recent years:
1. The drier being so close to the toilet door that you couldn’t either enter or leave the room without setting it off, unless you were a contortionist. Result – the heater and fan motor kick in three times per visit. Good planning.
2. On a train, in one of these new-fangled all-in-one sink systems, I managed to get the tap and the drier to operate at the same time, so the latter was trying to dry a stream of water. Brilliant.
3. In a combined towel dispenser/drier/bin, you couldn’t put a used paper towel in the bin without triggering the drier, drying your already dry hands. Genius.
I’m sure you could think of many more examples in other applications (post them in the comments if you do). We sometimes get caught up in a muddle trying to develop breakthrough new green products, but I can’t help thinking there’s a lot to be gained by simply eliminating really stupid design.