People often say that going green and living sustainably has become the new fad. But at ConnecTable, we disagree. Fads come and go. Sustainability is here to stay. Here is a short list of some of our favorite sustainable innovations that have come out recently, as well as a few to look out for in the future:
These sneakers are cleaning the world’s oceans in a creative and stylish manner. The upper area of the shoe is made from recycled ocean plastic, and the midsole is 3D printed using recycled gillnets. In addition to newer, greener products, Adidas has also recently eliminated the use of plastic bags in all of their retail stores. Saving the world one sneaker at a time.
Most people probably don’t consider the greenhouse gas impact of water use, but the easiest way for the average person to reduce their carbon footprint is by cutting down on their daily water consumption. The Nebia Shower offers an innovative design that addresses this problem by reducing water waste from showering by 70% while also improving the shower experience. The shower atomizes water droplets to create a surface area that is 10x the size of the average shower—virtually enveloping you in water from the moment you step in.
Transparent glass is now being used to capture solar energy. This solar panel system from Onyx Solar operates the same way as any other solar system, but the material is transparent and allows for natural light to pass through. Onyx solar has recently installed an entire walkable floor of photovoltaic glass in the Apple Store in San Francisco. This state-of-the-art walkable solar glass floor will generate enough electricity to completely power the store.
Green Magic Homes or “Hobbit Holes” give a whole new meaning to green living. The homes are created with sustainable materials and designed to allow residents to be one with nature. Built directly into the landscape, Green Magic Homes are also extremely energy efficient; the thermal mass from the dirt that covers the homes is able to keep the house temperature consistent year-round. Furthermore, the homes are made to accommodate a variety of settings, with models available for the tundra, desert, forest, pasture, and mountains.
After they have become too small to write with, these writing utensils can be placed into soil where the will grow and blossom into a plant. The Sprout Pencils are made of cedar and come with a biodegradable capsule that contains seeds and peat. There are several plant seeds available; including, sage, rosemary, thyme, broccoli, mint, and cherry tomato.
By 2050, global water demand is expected to increase by 55 percent, and by 2025 nearly 2 billion people will live in areas affected by water scarcity. This is why a team from MIT has come up with a new solar powered way to turn salt water into clean drinking water. The system uses the process of reverse-osmosis, which removes particles from water through a polymer membrane. Desalination plants are not a new idea, but recent decreases in cost have made them a new viable option to mitigate the world’s fresh water problem. The technology would allow the use of brackish water to turn barren landscapes into agricultural oases.
The Seabin Project was created when two Australian surfers made a floating garbage can that filters out water and collects waste that has been tossed into the bay. The can works like a fish tank filter, but on a much larger scale. It is capable of filtering out floating garbage, fuel, oil, and even detergent from the water. This brilliant invention is helping to slowly but surely clean up the local ocean, and can hopefully be implemented on a broader scale in the near future.
Bike sharing has become a great form of eco-friendly transportation in large urban areas. It allows users to pick up a bike at any service point and return it to any other service point in the city. There are currently bike shares located in many cities across the U.S., including: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Seattle and Houston. Coming soon to LA!
Why waste the energy to heat or cool and entire building when you can heat or cool individuals directly? MIT engineers have developed a wristband that allows an individual to alter their body temperature without discomforting anyone else in the room. The wristband regulates the wearer’s body temperature by sending out hot or cold pulses to the wrist. Although this is only a prototype at the moment, look for them to be on sale in the not-so-distant future.
Do you have any sustainable innovations that you think could have made our list? Feel free to leave your comments below.