The environmental problems facing the world certainly weren’t created by one person, one company or even by one country. You know what they say: it takes a village to destroy the planet. Well, that’s close enough anyway. And it will take a collaborative effort to fix the environmental problems facing the world. That’s exactly what the Good Future of Design Alliance (GFDA) is all about.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
A colorful graphic illustrating how 2 times the Earth's capacity is consumed annually by Earth's population.

The GFDA is working toward helping design professionals cut down on waste by 50% over five years. For many years now, the design and building industry has cultivated a culture of waste. The GFDA wants to change that. The alliance just launched in 2020 and already includes nearly 200 firms committed to reducing their waste. With locations in San Francisco and Colorado and new ones launching in Minneapolis, Seattle and Nashville, the GFDA hopes to become a nationwide movement. With firms all over the country, the GFDA aims to make it easier than ever for Earth-conscious homeowners to find eco-friendly designers.

Related: Passive design keeps House Under Shadows cool and near net-zero

A colorful graphic illustrating the 500 million tons of construction debris generated in the U.S. annually.

Remodeling projects create a ton of waste. Often, all that old stuff gets ripped away, including tiles, building materials and furnishings, then ends up in landfills. Meanwhile, many new materials and furnishings arriving at the property are covered in heavy packaging materials, typically both toxic and non-recyclable. As a result, the design and building industry generates about 500 million tons of debris in the U.S. alone every single year. Additionally, 12.2 million tons of furniture and furnishings end up in landfills each year.

A colorful graphic illustrating the 12.2 million tons of furniture that ends up in landfills each year.

The GFDA takes a local approach to waste reduction and sustainability. Its members partner with local groups to achieve waste reduction goals. GFDA members also receive a toolkit full of sustainability information, including industry-specific guidelines for low waste, curated lists of waste reduction services and contact information for redistribution companies, such as salvage and consignment businesses.

With a commitment to transparency, the GFDA will also publish yearly industry data and use the results to see what should be changed to continue to improve upon the goal of waste reduction.


Images via GFDA