Sustainable Technological Innovations that will change the World
There's never been a greater need for sustainable technologies than there is today. We've reached a critical point with regards to climate change, and many entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses are stepping up to the plate to build a greener future.
There are some amazing visionaries out there with the view to create awesome examples of sustainable innovation that are trying to change the world as we know it and pave the way for a more sustainable way of living.
- Ocean Cleanup Garbage collector system, the collector of ocean waste.
When 24-year-old Boyan Slat was just a teenager, he had an ambitious idea to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Now, a few years later, he is CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, an environmental organisation that has raised well over $31 million dollars to develop a drifting V-shaped system designed to collect waste collection from the oceans. By 2021, it is expected that the organisation will launch a total of 60 drifting V-shaped systems in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Moreover, it is predicted that these systems will clean up 50% of the waste in the patch in 5 years’ time.
In 2019, a 600-metre-long crescent-shaped boom was deployed in the Pacific Ocean to scoop up plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Built by The Ocean Cleanup, this boom was one in a line of prototypes designed to remove some of the several million tonnes of plastic that have made their fateful path into the ocean, and which mostly circulate in those gyres. The Ocean Cleanup has essentially created an artificial “coastline” in the middle of the Pacific, against which floating plastic gathers, and is later collected by boats that service the area.
- The SeaVax
The SeaVax is a robotic ship which can suck up to 22 million kgs of plastic on an annual basis. The SeaVax is a self-driving ship that runs on solar power and wind. It has special sensors to spot rubbish, as well as sonar to protect ocean life and birds hovering above the water’s surface.
- The Smog Free Project: Air pollution can now be transformed into jewelry
The Smog Free Tower is a 7 meters smog vacuum cleaner that sucks in polluted air, cleaning it through a process of ionization before releasing it again. At its peak performance, the tower cleans 30,000 m3 of air per hour.
With the compressed smog particles collected from the tower jewelry is made, and, by buying and wearing a Smog Free Ring, you're contributing to clean over 1000 m2 of air.
- Solar Glass could cover your home in the future
Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing solar glass, a material that would be able to capture and store solar energy which could change the way we create buildings.
- Transparent Solar Spray Transforms Windows Into Watts
EnSol AS, a Norwegian company, has developed a remarkable new spray-on solar film consisting of metal nanoparticles embedded in a transparent composite matrix that allows you to turn ordinary windows into solar panels. This spray is also clear so you can still see right through the windows.
- AirCarbon: A sustainable plastic for the future
AirCarbon was developed by Newlight Technologies and is a sustainable material made from carbon emissions that would otherwise be released into the air and can have a multitude of uses. It's a verified carbon-negative material, meaning every step of its production and use is fully green and sustainable. Because it is not made from oil like other plastics, it is also a cost-effective alternative to other synthetic materials.
- Pavegen Transforms Foot Steps into Energy!
Pavegen has created a piezoelectric floor tiling system that converts the energy from human foot traffic into electricity that could be applied to train stations, sidewalks or even inside homes to harness the wasted energy from our footsteps into power for the grid.
- Automatic Water Drones
Dutch company RanMarine has created the WasteShark, an autonomous water drone, about the size of a canoe, that skims the calm waters of ports, harbours and marinas and gulps up any floating trash and polluting oils in its path. The device can collect half a tonne of waste a day, which is returned to land to be repurposed.
Hoola One is a Canadian hoover-like contraption to tackle the huge problem of microplastics embedded in beach sand. This device sucks up sand, then uses a tank of water to separate floating microplastics from sinking natural material, which is returned to the beach. Meanwhile, the microplastics (the machine can capture fragments as small as 0.05 millimetres) are siphoned off and contained. Trials showed it could clean three gallons of sand a minute, and gobble up 48 kilograms of microplastics in just a few hours.
- The Seabin
The Seabin was created by passionate surfers Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski and is a bucket with a pump and water filtration system that is designed to suck waste and rubbish floating on the water’s surface.
The water filtration system absorbs oil right out from the ocean and then releases cleaner water through the other side of the pump.
- The Green Building Initiative
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is an international effort towards creating sustainable, resource-efficient buildings. They offer a certification program for commercial buildings that adhere to their environmentally-friendly vision. Their goal is to establish a standard of best practices for green buildings globally, as well as providing third-party assessment tools for sustainability requirements.
But is not all about high technological innovations, everyone can do something to make a difference – even if it is just a small act. Here are some ways in which you can help heal our planet.
- Educate yourself
- Cut down on plastic usage
- Properly dispose rubbish
- Buy eco-friendly products
- Volunteer your time to help clean up
- Support organizations addressing ocean-related issues