5 of tomorrow’s best sustainable innovations
In this list, the innovations of tomorrow are reaping the sun’s power, reusing raw materials and reinventing new technology. The innovative minds behind all of these sustainable solutions have spent years trying find ways to make things a little bit better.
Here is our series of “Tomorrow you will…”
- …get electricity from a balloon
Not just an “inflated” idea, a group of French designers have potentially found a way to supply green electricity to the most remote and disadvantaged populations of the globe with no more than a big white balloon. Able to capture solar energy, the photovoltaic balloon is easily deployable, self-contained and maintenance-free. Once in the air, Zéphyr works with both direct and indirect light, its shape eliminating any problem of orientation of the photovoltaic surface or shadow cast. One balloon alone can cover the needs of about 50 people and replace the harming diesel generators used by the poorest populations of the world.
2. …party thanks to the sun’s energy
Festivals across the world are pedaling to the party with this sound system that runs completely on the energy of the sun (and of keen party-goers!) Imagine hundreds of people at a festival pedaling to the rhythm of the bass, continuing the music from dusk until dawn. The system is set up with solar panels and bikes, and encourages a participative and eco-friendly experience that has already been seen at 500 events, and is also as part of a solidarity project in Haiti, Brazil, India, Taiwan and Cameroon.
3. …map the air pollution in your city
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are all around us and not only prove harmful to our wellbeing, but are also very difficult to detect. Thanks to the biosensor of the Quantifly drone, we will soon be able to map the air pollution on the scale of a street, or even a block of house. Quantifly is a student project that was created by combining a bacterial biosensor, and an innovative drone that will quantify the amount of VOCs in the air and give a precise analysis of the atmospheric pollution.
4. …drink out of a bottle that doesn’t harm the environment
The Veganbottle is the result of patented technologies in the field of processing sugar extraction from sugar cane. Biodegradable, compostable, and made without oil, the Veganbottle has no environmental toxicity and can either be industrially composted to become a renewable raw material or depolymerized at infinity to form a starting monomer (lactic acid). The latter can be reused to make new environmentally friendly packaging. We’re going to adopt it for sure.
5. …wear clothes made out of recycled coffee grounds
Where this is coffee, there are coffee grounds. Acknowledging this, Jason Chen and Amy Lai researched and put together a new fibre that uses recycled coffee grounds to create clothing. S.Cafe’s sustainable technology is already being used by North Face, Puma and Timberland, while coffee sellers like Starbucks and 7–11 are said to be some of the suppliers. If you’re worried that your clothes will smell like your morning brew, don’t worry, coffee grounds apparently have natural odor-masking properties.