Five eco-friendly ideas that will help change the world
Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past decade, you will be more than well aware that climate change is one of the biggest threats our planet and global society is facing right now.
So can we look to the future with optimism? If the daily news headlines are anything to go by, it’s hard to see how. Not only are climate disasters becoming more frequent and more severe around the world, the political appetite for taking firm, collective action to slow the impact is lacking at every turn.
However, it could be there is some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of innovative new technologies and inventions. Here are a few to get excited about:
AIR-INK is the world’s first ink to be made out of air pollution. It was created as a response to the worsening air pollution in Asia and uses cutting-edge technology – we are in the bitcoin era after all – to capture toxic pollutants, such as waste carbon and soot, from the air and turn them into non-toxic art and design tools. And it doesn’t take long – just 30 to 50 minutes of car pollution provides enough carbon to create a pen. The company behind the idea, Graviky Labs, also make oil-based paints and spray paints. It’s a world-changing idea because it can remove particles from the air that poison us into products we can use. Neat, right?
If you’ve watched a bit too much Black Mirror you might not be a fan of this one – but this could be genuinely revolutionary. Intensive farming methods, particularly the use of pesticides, have meant that the population of the common bumblebee has been sharply declining, an insect crucial in the ecosystem for its pollinating capabilities. But now Dutch scientists are suggesting they can create tiny robo-bees that can mimic the actions of the insect to order to pollinate crops in greenhouses if the real thing finally dies off. A great idea, but fingers crossed we never need it!
The Ocean Cleanup
Another exciting idea to emanate from the Netherlands is “The Ocean Cleanup” technology – essentially a giant floating pipe that collects up rubbish from the sea to rid our oceans of the devastating impact of plastic on our ecosystems. Specifically, they are targeting the millions of tons of plastic that collect in ocean garbage patches when caught in a vortex of circulating currents. They are also working to intercept plastics in rivers before they even enter the ocean. The non-profit has the ambitious aim of cleaning up 90% of floating ocean plastic pollution, and even eventually putting themselves out of business!
Organic burial pod
Perhaps not the most cheerful of topics but have you ever considered the impact on the environment of both creating coffins from wood and burying them underground when our loved ones pass on? Millions of acres of forests are cut down to construct wood caskets every year. But there are alternatives. The Capsule Mundi, conceived by two Italian artists, is a biodegradable burial pod that allows the body to become the seed of a new tree, which is not only better for the environment but also creates a rather beautiful memorial.
Is there anything more incredibly useful but equally so terrible for the planet than the plastic bag? Despite knowing they are most likely to end up in the belly of a sea creature, society is still stubbornly addicted to using them. Well, one scientist is determined to help us wean ourselves off, not by going cold turkey, but by providing a viable replacement that is far less terrible for the environment. The Bali-hailing Kevin Kumala has created a biodegradable bag made from cassava roots and starch, which is even safe for animal consumption. Plus, you can carry his bags with pride, with the words “I AM NOT PLASTIC” emblazoned across the side.
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