Shawn Gehle: A Huge Opportunity for the Taking in Consumer Byproducts

Posted on 23. Sep, 2010 by in Design & Culture

Shawn Gehle, design director at Gensler, shared an interesting notion: Consumers aren’t just consumers; we’re also producers. We buy and use all of this stuff, and we’re ultimately responsible—the owners—of all of this collective stuff.

Gehle’s assertion is that there’s a business opportunity and a market for the by-product of everything we use: energy, clothing, food, electronics, plastic, glass and aluminum, etc.

With this notion, he offered up several interesting questions, such as: Could my old clothing help build a building? Can last night’s dinner help grow tomorrow’s? Is it possible to get a deposit back from recycling my old [fill in the blank]? He pointed to the possibility of creating systems and incentives for consumer behavior to address all of the other stuff we use, much like bottle return programs.

But the best question Gehle posed was a gauge for making a new purchase: If your backyard was the landfill, would you buy this?

Food for thought, indeed.

Written by AHA! for Opportunity Green.

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Shawn Gehle: A Huge Opportunity for the Taking in Consumer Byproducts”

  1. Liz Davis

    25. Sep, 2010

    Food for thought, Shawn. Good ideas for now and in the future.

  2. Rachel Hughey

    07. Nov, 2010

    Awesome article. We consumers vote for the planet every time we purchase something, one way or another.

Leave a Reply