This paper presents views of award-winning inventor Saul Griffith on creating products that are environmental friendly. Griffith presents controlling carbon emissions as not so much a moral imperative, but as an active design choice. His start-up company, Makani Power, is working to tap the energy of strong, steady winds a half mile above the ground through use of high-tech kites. Another of Griffith’s projects, the web site Wattzon, was established to enable individuals to estimate their personal power consumption. According to Griffith, objects designed to endure over decades need to be not only functional, but also beautiful. Some of the conceptual framework that Griffith lays out as heirloom design is as much provocation as proposal. It is the increase in quality that Griffith said differentiates his concept of an heirloom-based economy from the idea that constraining carbon emissions is going to require undue sacrifice or even enforced poverty.

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