Nespresso coffee clock

11/08/2010

While cool in theory, it’s fitting that Nespresso is reusing its aluminum capsules and coffee grounds to power a clock. This way we can accurately count down how much time we have left before we completely destroy our planet for stupid conveniences like Nespresso capsules and their unsexy cousin, the K-Cup.

Designed by Mischer’Traxler for Vienna Design Week, the installation—in Nespresso Austria’s storefront—shows how the contents of six used capsules can be wired together to power a small clock. The whole exhibit (96 capsules) could power a small radio. How neat! But, I can’t help but wonder how many clocks could be powered by the energy used to manufacture, ship, and dispose of the Nespresso capsules in the first place. I doubt Nespresso user’s will be turning all their old capsules into batteries anytime soon.

While I usually herald such clever reuse in design, the fact that this was funded by a company whose entire business model revolves around disposability, it makes this nothing more than an creative green washing of their image. There’s nothing sustainable about a product that has a 30 second life span before it’s thrown away. Yet, it was still named one of three winners in a competition titled, “Sustain.Ability.Design.”

Photos via Dezeen

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3 Comments

  • Reply Rich Binell 11/09/2010 at 4:08 pm

    Well, if “funded by a company whose entire business model revolves around disposability” is your beef, what do you say about Anheuser Busch, Coors, Coca Cola, Miller, Heineken, Sam Adams, etc? Nespresso’s aluminum is no less, or more, recyclable than the cans and bottles and plastic crapola that any of these companies are vomiting in vast quantities daily, is it?

    • Reply bwj 11/09/2010 at 5:12 pm

      Rich, my beef is more about the unnecessary disposability of them, coupled with the obvious green washing by the company. There are many ways to make coffee, none of which need disposable cups, which make inferior coffee anyway. Also, the amount of coffee consumption is much greater than that of beer. 50% of the population drinks it daily, not so with the other beverages. I have just as many issues with the disposable nature of other products too, and when they win Sustainability design competitions like this one, I will call them out as well.

      Also, since this is a coffee blog, I tend to only focus on related issues.

  • Reply The Grand Crus Cup Parade « Dear Coffee, I Love You. | Caffeinated Inspiration. 11/12/2010 at 7:01 am

    […] Monday, I wrote about clocks powered by used coffee grounds and recycled Nespresso capsules from the […]

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