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.”
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