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Paper or Plastic? Debunking an Evironmental Myth.

Traci Allen, Leyla Acaroglu, Director and Founder of Eco Innovators

We all know sustainability is essential to our future, in vague terms. But what does that mean for the choices we make every day? In other words: paper or plastic? For one thing, design consultant Leyla Acaroglu wants you to think beyond choosing a material for your grocery tote. Instead, she encourages us to think about the entire life of a finished product, to think hard about the net impact a product has on the environment. This is life-cycle thinking, not just whether a product can be recycled, but all the parts of its existence: material extraction, manufacturing, packaging and transportation, product use, and end of life. Every step of the way, there’s a way to do something smart to make the most out of the product for net environmental gain. Leyla will introduce and debunk myths on several topics from “biodegradability” to how to use your electric tea kettle. In this eye-opening keynote attendees will learn new sustainability trends that affect their business and what they can do to make a difference.
design and engineering, life cycle thinking, opportunity generation, problem solving, strategy, sustainability innovation

Leyla Acaroglu is the founder and director of Eco Innovators, a multidisciplinary creative practice focused on pioneering social and environmental sustainability through design. Her work spans a variety of locations, fields and mediums, and is driven by a strong desire to effect, create, and see positive pro-sustainability change. Leyla is a leading sustainability strategist and an expert on life cycle and systems thinking in design, production and consumption. She is a designer, social scientist, educator and passionate proponent of sustainability in and through design. Her work challenges people to see the secret life of everyday things and the underlying systems that make up the world. Leyla is a well respected international speaker having been invited to present on the mainstage at TED2013 in Longbeach, she has also given 2 other TED talks (TEDx Sydney and TEDx Melbourne), along with a host of other keynotes. She is a highly skilled communicator and passionate presenter with her writing being published in a host of design magazines and the New York Times. She is currently the creative director of the award winning sustainability education project ‘The Secret Life of Things’, she created the ‘Design Play Cards‘ and in 2012 was an Artist in Residence with Autodesk. In the past Leyla was involved in the development of one of the first online life cycle assessment tools for designers - ‘Greenfly’. She lectures at RMIT University where she is also undertaking her PhD in change-centric design. In 2010 Leyla was named one of Melbourne’s Top 100 People of Influence. She was a regular judge on the ABC TV show The New Inventors, presents on radio, is an op-ed writer for the New York Times and has won several awards for her work. Leyla’s innovative and forward thinking approaches to communicating sustainability has seen her creative work be featured in a permanent exhibition in the Leonardo di Vinci museum in Milan, and her animations are part of Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria.
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