It's not enough merely to make a product that helps the planet by being less wasteful. A really green design has to be propaganda for the whole idea of greenness itself. Consumers need to be sold on a future of more cautious consumption and that's where daring design comes in: an object that draws attention to itself as new and exciting also draws attention to the fabulous green principles behind it. It's what all the objects in this gallery can do.
Will the world be saved by an iPhone case made from rice-harvest byproducts? Probably not—our brightest future almost certainly lies in buying way fewer phones and their cases. But until that low-consumption future comes along, designers can remind us that our planet needs saving. In an ideal world, today's best green objects might even help us bring our object population down by changing the ecology of every home and office. A few precious designs, screaming their green credentials, could push a mass of trivial goods to extinction.
The Green Rankings were created in 2009 with ASAP Media, a New York City media development firm founded by editors Peter W. Bernstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Annalyn Swan (email@example.com). It specializes in creating magazine, book, and online content.