Level 2: Product Development - Fundamentally Altering the Product
Tom struggled with this level of redesign in the discussions of his functional unit and system boundary. He wanted an “interactive toy”, but is a battery-operated speaker and lights the only way to achieve interactivity? What happens to the environmental impact if the parent replaces the rechargeable battery with disposables, is drawing power from batteries “dirtier” than drawing power from the grid? And what of the batteries’ impact at end of life?
Tom could fundamentally change his product to be one that wasn’t battery-operated, but still interactive. The only way to know if he should focus his efforts on the battery would be to include it in the environmental impact calculations. We’ll talk about ways to model this when we revisit Tom’s fire engine.
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