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Hello, I'm Mr. Donnelly.

And this is the last lesson in a unit of four.

And this one is all about what we can do with a product at the end of its life.

The unit was all about technology of the future and if we're going to have any future at all, it is really important to make sure that what we design is environmentally sound, well thought through, and great for the environment.

So I will join you in a minute to crack on with the lesson.

Make sure you've got some paper and a pencil and ready are to go and I'll see you in a minute.

In this lesson there are three things that we're going to do.

The first thing is, I'd like you to try to understand what is meant by a linear economy.

We'll work out how we can develop a more circular economy.

And through doing that, and hopefully throughout the whole duration of the lesson, we will question your own impact on the environment with a view to trying to improve the way that we go about our day-to-day life so that we are more environmentally friendly.

As I mentioned in my introduction at the start, you'll need some paper and something to write with.

If you've not got those things, pause the video, go and get them now and then return, and we'll crack on.

The key words for this lesson, some of them may seem familiar but they're slightly different because they're in the context of a design and technology lesson.

The term linear economy.

I'll read.

Is when resources are used to create a product and once that product is no longer needed or used, it is discarded.

So if we take resources from the earth, such as a tree, you might make something out of timber.

And then at the end of it's life, it's discarded but not dealt with properly, then that would be part of the linear economy about taking, making and wasting.

A circular economy, that plans to stop things going back into landfill.

So it's all about trying to plan for an end of life plan for a product that we've designed.

So if you can design something that doesn't end up going into landfill, could either be repaired or reused or put to another use, that would be parts of a circular economy.

And then the last term is cradle to grave.

Now, you might've heard this before.

I've mentioned it in one of my previous lessons and it's the term used to describe the birth of a product right from getting the raw materials, right the way through to the products being discarded.

As you can guess, cradle to grave is part of a linear economy rather than a circular economy.

I've gotten here some pictures that should hopefully explain the term cradle to grave a little clearer.

So I've got two pictures to start with, picture of cradle and a grave.

And you know that this will start with birth and death.

But when we're talking about a material, if we get a raw material such as some timber, the material would then be processed.

Being processed into a stock fall, there's transport that's involved.

And then eventually, something would be sold in a shop.

And then it would be discarded at the end.

So whatever materials are sourced from the earth, they would have to then be processed into a stock form and likely turned into a product that would then need to be transported, go to retail or a warehouse, then discarded at the end of life after it's been bought and no longer needed.

This term is also known as a life cycle assessment.

And it's assessing an environmental impact on the life of a particular product.

So raw materials are extracted , manufacturing and processing takes place, transport of goods and materials, retail and usage, and then discarded at the end.

And if you could remember those five key points, whenever you hear the term at school life cycle assessments you could always break down your response and answer into five points with some examples.

And that would be the making of a great response if a teacher asks about a life cycle assessments.

There is another term that's really quite popular and that is the term over the six Rs.

So I'm going to put these on the screen and then you be able to pause the video just to see how we can apply these six Rs to our day-to-day life and see how they could help.

So rethink.

I think that as a designer, you should always be rethinking how you go about your job, how you go about your design practise, because the products that you make they're the products of the future.

And to rethink the way that things are done to try to become part of a circular economy that is much better than a linear, maybe a more traditional way of working.


I think that's absolutely crucial.

If you can design for repair and maintenance, that is much better than designing for planned obsolescence where you know that something is going to be discarded.


There are many things that you buy that you reuse.

I'll take a supermarket carrier bag for instance.

If you were to buy one of the more expensive ones, maybe 35 to 50 pounds and you reuse it over and over again, that's so much better than when people used to just get carrier bags for free, use them once and then throw them away.

So to reuse things that's far better than having to throw away society.


The thing that springs to mind here is a reduction in packaging and materials.

So if you can design something which has got less packaging, less plastic, at least maybe less ocean pollution, is surely a great thing.


Well, a lot of people think that recycling is good, which it's better than some alternative.

But if you recycle it, then in a way you've already discarded the product.

If we could stop having to recycle and get to a point where products last for longer so that they're not discarded, they're repaired, that's better.

So recycling is not a worst case scenario because a product could be discarded and not be recycled but it's still not the best.

There are better alternatives that people are working on now due to the rethinking those part of this six Rs.

The last term is refuse.

You could refuse to buy oranges that are in plastic packets.

I've seen some that have got foam around the outside, under them within a plastic bag.

You might decide to think I'm going to buy my fruits and vegetables from a market where they come in a paper bag and that would reduce the amounts of plastic.

If everybody did that, plastic would be reduced.

And I'm sure supermarkets would get on board in questioning why they're not selling much fruits and veg.

And they'd think people don't want the plastic that the products come in.

So pause the video now and see how you could apply these six Rs to your day-to-day life to make a huge environmental impact.

This picture is quite unusual because depending on where you live, you might not have seen these before.

This is a photograph of a series of bikes from London and they're just near a tube station.

And what I'd like to pose as a question is, do we need to own much stuff? Now I've got some friends that live in London and they use these bikes.

They live in flats, which is quite popular for people in London and they don't have room in their flat to be able to store the bike.

So what they do is when they get off the London underground, pop up at one end, and they've got a key, which they pay for to be able to use a bike.

In doing that they can cycle from one tube stop to another, leave the bike where they don't need it anymore, and return it.

If you use the bike every day, you can pay an annual fee and it works out as really cheap.

I think is less than 50 pounds a day to be able to get on a bike and cycle from one place to another.

You can borrow the bike for up to two hours or 24 hours and there are different fees.

You don't need to pay for maintenance.

You return the bike.

The only issue is that I believe in some parts of the world, the bikes are not returned correctly.

This boils down to just poor human error, lack of judgement , and a lack of respect of the system.

What really should happen is if you can borrow a bike, results less emissions, less traffic, it's a much cleaner and healthier way to travel around.

And I think potentially it could be a really good thing to have in more cities.

So a bike that you can bow rather than owning, maintenance is taken care of, the bikes are repaired, and they're moved around the city to make sure that there's equal distribution at one tube stop to the other.

So if you ever see these and you're able to have a go, you know that you'll play in a part in reducing emissions and keeping fit and healthy at the same time.

So pause the video now and just try and have a think of do you think there are other things that you could borrow rather than own? So if you could borrow something rather than own it, maybe just write a little list of some things that you use everyday at home, but you think it would be good maybe like a washing machine, do you need to own a washing machine? Could it be something that you hire, or that you pay an annual subscription and then every so often it gets swapped over for a new model? Quite often, if a washing machine is broken then people replaced the whole thing.

When really it might just be a small part that needs to be repaired.

So have a think, what things do you think you could borrow rather than actually buy? So here I've chosen five different products.

All of them have got something in common besides being DIY tools.

The first one was a sander, angle grinder, circular saw ,jigsaw, and then cordless drill.

What do you think they have in common though besides being pro tools normally used by DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople? So if you can think that we're doing a lesson all about trying to be more environmentally friendly, when you look at all those tools what's one thing that they have in common? So pause the video, have a think.

Did you get it right? It's a motor.

So all of those, all contained a motor.

Now do you think it would be possible to maybe design a power tool that had an interchangeable battery so you could charge it up rather than having to be run on the mains? Do you think we could have one unit that had a motor and then different attachments clip to the main body so that you do not need to buy as many plastic parts? It could be more compact.

I think there's lots of benefits of this way of thinking.

And I think with power tools, it's something that some companies have started to develop.

And I think it's definitely the way forward to try to think of reduction in materials, strive to make a more environmentally friendly line of products.

The next thing to talk about, still back to tools.

So we've got a screwdriver set and under my picture we've got some screwdriver bits.

So do you think it's possible to argue that the screwdriver bits are better for the environment than the range of screwdrivers? So pause the video and try to think of an answer.

If you thought that the range of screwdriver bits are more environmentally friendly because they use less materials, you would be correct.

If you look at the picture of the screwdrivers, they've got plastic and metal joined as one part.

So one tool but lots of material.

It would be possible to have one screwdriver handle and then interchangeable bits at the end.

Therefore we've got less plastic and less different materials.

It's also more compact, easier to transport, so there are benefits to the consumer as well.

But as far as the environment goes, there are less different parts needed.

A simple solution which has been around for awhile.

I've gathered these pictures because they're all related to food and sometimes different types of food processes.

For a long time now, food processes have had one unit with a motor than interchangeable parts.

So you can chop, great, I've got one that's got a dough hook all as well for making bread and pizza bases, it's got a whisk for making melange, that's why I use it for anyway.

And I've known some that have got mincers all as well so you could buy steak or any type of meat and actually make your own mince so you know what meats has gone into them into that you're going to eat.

So food processes, I've used the same technology and thought for awhile where they've got one machine, one motor and multiple attachments to offer a variety of different things that you could do in a kitchen.

So for the first task, I want you to look around your house and try to find ways to reduce materials.

I've put two examples on here for you to read.

The first one is if you had a pencil and a rubber, whoever decided to take a rubber and put it on top of the pencil, it's a great idea because you've got rid of the need of having to have two different things.

You're not going to lose the rubber is fastened to the pencil.

And the other example that I've got is a pen that you can write with with one end and then flip it over and there's a highlighter on the other end.

So spend five minutes, look around your house, and try to find some examples of things that you might use together in combination like a pencil and an eraser and trying to think of a way to combine them so that less materials are used.

So there's a term, a linear economy and there'll be a pause button in a minute for you just to have a think and mull over what that actually means to you.

If you take something from the environment, make something with it, and then it's discarded at the end, you know that there's been waste created.

And if not dealt with properly, it could end up in landfill.

So if we have a clear piece of land that eventually gets filled full of rubbish, it might be there for hundreds of years before it breaks down.

That's not good for the environment.

So to take something, make something with it, and then it ended up going straight to waste, that's not good.

Some products are made with laminated materials and they're very difficult to recycle.

And there's a term planned obsolescence where you know that if you buy that product, you know that you're going to throw it away at the end.

So if anything that you can do to try to minimise the purchase of those types of products, the better.

So pause the video now and have a think what things you could do or changes you could make to not be parts of the linear economy.

The alternative to a linear economy is a circular economy.

And I've used nature as an analogy.

I Imagined that we've got a plant that's eaten by a worm of a group, that would be eaten by a bird, and unfortunately at sometime, the bird will die.

Afterwards, the body would decompose to compost and that would go back into the earth with no waste end it with nutrients into the ground.

And this will be part of a circular economy where nothing is wasted and it goes back to something which is usable for another plant to be born in the ground, which is enhanced by the compose from the bird.

There's no waste.

And if followed then delicate equilibrium is maintained then it works for living things.

Is a circular economy possible at home? If your washing machine breaks, normally a new one is bought.

What else could be done simply than buying a new one? So pause the video and have a think.

I've hinted at this earlier on in the video but what do you think you could do rather than going to spend in a few hundred pounds on a new washing machine? Is there an alternative that could be part of a circular economy rather than a linear economy? So as an example, for two famous companies that are involved in a circular economy, one of them is G-Star Raw.

And what they've started to do is collect plastic off the ocean and from the beach and they're turning it into clothing.

Another company, Timberland, they've decided to start collecting tyres that are no longer fit for purpose.

So when you change the tyres on your car, you often see them stacked up at the side of a garage.

When they go somewhere, people don't often know what happens to them but recycling them and turning them back into the sole of a shoe is surely a great thing.

So those two companies, there are others as well, they're doing their bit to try to be part of a circular economy.

Rather than knowing that waste is being created and thrown away, they're collecting it and actually using it to make something which is highly desirable.

I've made up the name of a company, the Domestic Lending Company.

And I imagined that me and you are going to start working together in this company.

And this is part of our business plan.

So what were you going to do is buy some products that people want but they don't need all the time and we're going to lend them out for a fee.

So the drill that's shown on here will be really expensive, rarely used unless you're a professional trades person, and some people might just want to borrow one for a weekend.

So we would buy them, maintain them, lend them.

And it would mean that people wouldn't need that huge outlay.

The same with a suit.

You might not wear a tuxedo very much of a wedding suits.

So you might choose to hire one for a weekend rather than buy it.

There're some questions that we're going to have to come up with.

How are we going to tackle the initial costs, storage, hygiene, transportation, repair, and service and upgrades because people will always want to hire the best? So all we've got to do is think of some of the tricky questions that people might ask us to see if there are any flaws in our business model.

So the main task.

We've got to plan a pitch to a bank or a team of investors and think of all the things that they'd want to ask us.

And then we're going to plan answers to give to them.

The way you plan your presentation is entirely up to you.

It would be awesome if you could make a video and then send the video to your teacher to be able to see.

So you've got to come up with a good sound model of how we could start the Domestic Lending Company together.

Think of all the things that we'd need to find out, pitfalls and problems, but make sure that you've got some solutions, come up with a presentation, and that will be fantastic.

To visit the keywords at the end, you should know now that our linear economy is what we want to try to move away from.

So we do not want to take, make and waste.

We want to try to move on to a circular economy where things are used over and over and things are not made to go back into landfill.

The last term was cradle to grave and you know that this fit in with the linear economy.

So cradle to grave is all about taking and then eventually a product dying.

So the term cradle to grave represents from birth to death.

So raw materials, right the way through to being discarded at the end.

And if we can try to eliminate that and live with a circular economy in mind, that will be far better.

I hope you've enjoyed the lesson.

I really have.

It's been a great one.

And I'll see you in another lesson that I do.