Archive for June 2008
“Meaningful design experience”. I had a good one the other day.
Do you ever have those? You’re going about your business and bam!–you encounter something (product or service) that you find works so well for you and you instantly feel happy? Maybe you even think to yourself, ‘Wow, why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago?’
The other day I decided to use one of the many bar soaps I have stocked in my linen closet. (Sometimes I use body wash, as bar soaps tend to dry my skin out. And as a side-note, I’m not necessarily a hoarder; I just like having options. Who doesn’t?) As I peered into my closet, I decided to break open the organic (and a bit expensive) Pangea Organics soap I had purchased a few months ago from World Market. (If you haven’t been to World Market yet, I recommend a visit. It is one of the best places in Minneapolis to explore ethnic snacks, furniture, homeware, jewelry, body care goodies, and more.)
The soap I chose, Malagasy Cinnamon Cassia with Cloves, is meant to ‘invigorate the mind and warm the body’. The packaging also told me that cinnamon acts as an astringent & antioxidant, and aphrodisiac. Cloves are supposedly antimicrobial & detoxifying and stimulating. Not automatically impressive as so many soaps claim to be these things. One of the main reasons I bought the soap was due to its aesthetics (simple, egg-carton-like packaging) and scent. The small circle cut-out on the top of the carton allows you to get a good whiff of the soap. The Malagasy must have yanked me out of my Sunday-shopping reverie because I recall it was fairly strong smelling and uplifting…
For some reason I did not read the label thoroughly before or immediately after purchasing. Usually I do this. So, it was only until the other day that I sat down and read the whole label. Now getting to the design ‘aha! moment’: The label told me that I can actually plant it.
Is this a fairly new packaging effort by sustainable-minded companies? I’d never heard of this and was delighted — This company encourages consumers to be mindful of waste and actually gives us a small tool with which to take action versus giving us a top 10 ways to save the earth. Pangea Organics says “All of our product boxes are made using a new Zero Waste process with 100% post-consumer paper and organic seeds like sweet basil and amaranth. Simply slip off the label, soak the box in water for a minute and plant it in the earth. Ecocentric Bodycare: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial.”
I’m not sure what the general ecological benefits are associated with herbs or planting them, but it can’t be a bad thing. Maybe this would be trickier to produce and get consumers to act upon, but what if Pangea Organics (or others) made product packaging with vegetable seeds? Growing your own food is a small way to reduce your carbon footprint (think less driving time to buy veggies = less harmful emissions).
Yesterday I told my parents about the soap and handed the package to my mom. Hopefully I’ll see some amaranth soon…
Not usually one to post a single rant such as the one that follows, but a helpful warning to anyone looking to park downtown:
Do not park at 501 Marquette (on Marquette Ave. between 6th & 5th streets). For 1 hour I paid $14! I could hardly believe it. Just one more reason (aside from reducing your carbon footprint, stress-level, and helping lessen traffic) to NOT drive in the city and use alternative transportation.
Here’s a map of parking facilities in downtown Minneapolis.