Guides and Handbooks

A Collection of guides and handbooks for sustainability in different fields and practices.

Quick Guide to Sustainable Artifact Design Strategies

Sustainable design is the approach to creating products and services that have considered the environmental, social, and economic impacts from the initial phase through to the end of life. (Leyla Acaraglu, Medium Article)

Sustainability Literacy Crash Course

In this course we will start with a strong understanding of context; what are we working with here and lay out the major issues to move towards a system which is Good for the Earth, Good for the People. (Slow Factory Website)

Designer's Field Guide for Sustainability

Classic sustainable design guide focused on product life cycle. (McKinsey Design article)

EU Circular Design Guide

This database is an early attempt to collate as many of the Circular design resources as possible and present them in several, easy-to-navigate categories. (EU Circular Design Website)

EU Sustainability Methods Guide

Use Ecodesign tools and methods to minimize the environmental impacts of products and services over their life cycle. Maximize their benefit for the business, the user, the network-partners and society. (EU Sustainability Website)

Biomimicry Toolbox

This digital resource site from the Biomimicry Institute provides a quick start guide to biomimicry, introducing the core concepts and methods that are essential to successfully incorporate insights from nature into design.

14 Patterns of Biophilic Design

“14 Patterns of Biophilic Design” articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so that we may experience the human benefits of biophilia in our design applications.


Materiom provides open data on how to make materials that nourish local economies and ecologies. We support companies, cities, and communities in creating and selecting materials sourced from locally abundant biomass that are part of a regenerative circular economy. (

Material ConneXion

UC DAAP Students have access to UC's Materials Connexion Subscription, where you can find and sort materials by their properties, including sustainability properties. 

SIDI x Bolt Bioplastics

Bioplastics investigated by the 2020 Sustainable Industrial Design Initiative and Bolt Threads team. SIDIxBolt Team.

Material Order

Material Order is a shared database for design material collections managed by the Harvard GSD’s Frances Loeb Library, RISD’s Fleet Library, and Parsons Donghia Healthier Materials Library.

Mindful Materials

Mindful Materials is a free platform with aggregated information on human health and environmental impacts for products from leading manufacturers, vetted by experts passionate about making it easier to make informed product choices.

Material District

A database of innovative materials. (Material District website)

Green Cincinnati Plan

The 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan presents eight Focus Areas: Buildings and Energy, City Operations, Community Activation, Food, Mobility, Natural Environment, Resilience and Climate Adaptation, and Zero Waste, that include a comprehensive set of 30 goals, 40 strategies and 130 actions to advance the sustainability, equity, and resilience of our city.