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Swiffer Designer Speaks Up Over Greenwashing Criticism

There’s an interesting interview over at Inhabitat with Gianfranco Zaccai, president and CEO of Continuum, the company that designed Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer. In a recent Business Week article, Zaccai pointed to the Swiffer as an example of product design that’s profitable and sustainable.

Inhabitat had written a previous article, Greenwash your floors with the Swiffer, and the interview was a chance to let the designer speak on the topic.

Zaccai says that the concept of sustainability cannot be limited to environmental issues and that finding the “right thing to do” won’t help much if most people won’t do it. “We need to find the best thing to do that many people will doA?AA¢AA¢aAA¬AA¢a?A¬?because it’s enjoyable, beneficial, and engaging for themA?AA¢AA¢aAA¬AA¢a?A¬?and that is economically viable. Unfortunately, human beings have a difficult time seeing the relationship between their behavior and its effects if those effects are too distant in time or space. So people may pay lip service to more eco-friendly behaviorA?AA¢AA¢aAA¬AA¢a?A¬?public transportation, for exampleA?AA¢AA¢aAA¬AA¢a?A¬?but unless that behavior provides short-term gratification, it is not likely to be sustainable.”

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