Green business, green careers and job training
Solutions that build smart communities with green careers and sustainable businesses!

Save on Career Education through Lorman Education

Our readers are offered a discount on Lorman seminars and courses. Check out their business, management and legal offers at this link to qualify for our discounts. They also offer green business training opportunities. Please visit for a complete listing of courses. Register online or call Lorman at 866-352-9539.
Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Manufacturing > Product Development > Manufacturing Design & Engineering for Sustainable Business

Focus Groups Revealed the Pleasures and Responsibilities of...GREEN?

The cake mix design conundrum applies to green products, too.

Find green business solutions
I remember hearing about the classic "cake mix" design challenge many years ago. The same challenge faces us today as we make society ever easier, faster, slicker, and packaged. Too convenient.

"Cake-mix makers, for example, had ruined their product by engineering too much for convenience: they told housewives to just add water and turn on the oven. Only after female focus groups revealed the pleasures and responsibilities of cake-making did food makers reformulate their products to require the cook to add eggs and milk, so the activity felt like "baking."New York Times review of “The Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard.

Balancing the Design of Products for Convenience...and Sustainability

Do we have something to learn about "green" and "sustainability" from this history of too much convenience?

There's something satisfying about doing things the old-fashioned, manual way. Think about toys. A set of wood blocks can last longer than a video game because of the "doing" -- the variety of outcomes.

Designing green products might be more appealing if people can customize them themselves. For instance -- non-toxic paints that allow the amateur painter to mix in a color packet and stir and stir and stir. It reminds you of painting the fence in "Karate Kid"!

Recycling might have more appeal if people can separate their items into several bins rather than dump everything as though it were going to the trash dump.

Selecting organic foods might work better if the roots come attached so they can trim them off, knowing that freshness was lengthened and that the roots can be composted in their worm bin.

Design for Sensory Experiences

You get the picture -- involvement, interactivity, participation, enjoying the touch, the feel, the texture, the multitude of colors and sensory experiences that are so industrialized in our daily lives.

Green can be rough and tumble, half-baked, kits (think Ikea!), and modular to give work-obsessed people something to do and feel and enjoy other than work!

The added benefit of "adding the me" to a product is that production costs can be reduced -- and green can be more affordable. And that means we might actually get the world cleaned up a little faster!

...Add the ME!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
Green Solution Providers
Green companies directory
your green solutions - business, nonprofit, government program.
It's free.
| design | product development | green marketing |

Share in Social Media

Sign Up For News & Information
Subscribe to our free solutions newsletter
"Ten+ Tips for Greening Your Office"

Read prior issues: California GreenLines

Search For Green Solutions

Custom Search
Green Career Center
Green Job Wizard
Career Certifications Directory

green job training certifications
Green Biz Center
Solutions For Green
Directory of Green Companies

Solutions for Alternative Energy

rose in natural systems
Green Living Center
Solutions for Green: Consumers

Solutions for Remodeling

Backyard Nature Center


"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Goethe

Related Articles

Submit environmental products and reviews for review and rating

Algae Industry Update from Scripps

Customers Less Tolerant of Employee Rudeness Than Incompetence

Related Green Resources

Marcom Tips
Interactive & Video Tips

Career Resources

We encourage lifelong learning to support sustainable communities and provide these select resources to help you pursue green and sustainable self-development:

Lorman Business Training Directory of On-line Business and Compliance Classes

Green Job Wizard Job and Career Certifications Directory

Job & Career Resources

Sales & Marketing
Human Resources

Green Economy

Business Sectors
Natural Resources

Solutions For Green

About Us ~ Privacy Policy
Contact Us ~ Home

Text Link Ads

AD: Place your link here


We help you green your career, workplace and community by connecting you to quality green, sustainable and high performance resources. California Green Solutions focuses attention on effective solutions that sustain our natural systems. You can support our editorial work by supporting our advertisers and spreading the word about best practices and green solutions.
California Green Solutions is a publication of Carolyn Allen ~ Copyright ©2006-2030 Carolyn Allen

B2B | Job Certifications | Alternative Energy | Events | Green Directory | LED Lights | Remodeling |
CONSUMERS | Backyard Nature | Senior Health | MultiMedia Marketing | Marketing | Networking Events | Japan |