Top 10 Eco & Sustainability Innovations 2017

Top 10 Eco & Sustainability Innovations 2017

We’ve picked out our top ten Eco & Sustainability articles from the last 12 months on Springwise, designed to provide entrepreneurs with plenty of fresh inspiration for the future.

Note: in order to read some of these articles, a Springwise Access account is required.

1 Disaster shelters for refugees mix traditional nomadic design with sustainable technology

Over the past 12 months we have seen a number of temporary shelter designs that respond to the need for disaster housing, including this flatpack shelter that collects rainwater and natural light, and can collapse down to a height of just 31 cm.

One of our favourite ideas came from a Jordanian architect, who has designed a disaster shelter for refugees that is based on temporary huts of nomadic tribes. Shortlisted for the LEXUS design award, ‘Weaving a Home’ is a tent-like shelter that provides easily transportable, temporary shelters, allowing migrants to be self sufficient.

Read more about 'Weaving a Home' »

2 Sand from recycled beer bottles helps to save local beaches

Two-thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating due to the many industries, from construction and electronic components to pharmaceuticals, that depend on sand for their products. In New Zealand, 60,000 tons of glass are sent to landfill every year. Now, DB Breweries is using its DB Export beer bottle sand machines to create a viable substitute for naturally occurring sand.

Read more about the DB Breweries project »

3 Dutch shoppers pick own herbs in supermarket garden

The Netherlands’ award-winning Albert Heijn supermarket chain recently introduced a new service for its customers – pick-your-own herb gardens. Developed with design agency studiomfd, the Help Yourself Herb Garden lets customers pick exactly what they need, from a full plant to a few sprigs.

Read more about Albert Heijn »

4 Automated pollination robots support bees

Honey bees — wild and domestic — are responsible for an estimated 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. Indeed seventy out of the top 100 human food crops, supplying about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees. But bees are in danger.

We have written about a number of innovations focusing on decline of bee populations, one example being this downloadable and printable beehive that can be equipped with smart tech to help crowdsource data about the insects living inside. Now, scientists at Warsaw University of Technology have created the B-Droid.

Read more about B-Droid »

5 Smog vacuum cleaner turns pollution into jewelry

Designed by Dutch company Studio Roosegaarde, the Smog Free Project is intended to clean the air and and decrease pollution levels within the surrounding environment. It functions similarly to the air-purifying architectural panels we covered a number of years ago...but with a fashionable twist.

Read more about Studio Roosegaarde »

6 Tomatoes grown with mirrors in the desert

A number of projects are using technology to expand the sustainable capabilities of farming. A floating eco farm that uses cow manure to power production and a vertical farm that facilitates low water and low energy food production are just a few that we have recently covered. In Australia, Sundrop Farm is using mirrors to harness the sun’s energy and grow tomatoes more sustainably.

Read more about Sundrop Farms »

7 UK supermarket debuts delivery trucks fueled by food waste

Finding ways to make transport work harder by introducing dual functionality is one way to improve sustainability. Waitrose’s 10 new delivery trucks are fueled by biomethane, a renewable fuel made from food waste. Supplied by CNG Fuels, the trucks are able to cover 500 miles without refueling, which is 200 miles more than previous capacity allowed.

Read more about Waitrose food waste lorries »

8 Communities in arid regions gather potable water from fog

Water scarcity is becoming increasingly disruptive, as communities and families fracture in the fight to survive. Hardworking solutions are necessary to make the most of extremely limited resources.

A partnership between Morocco’s Dar Si Hmad non-profit and Germany’s The Water Foundation and Aqualonis, CloudFisher nets gather water from the frequent heavy fogs and funnel it into storage tanks and pipelines that provide clean drinking water directly to homes.

Read more about Cloud Fisher »

9 In Colombia, recycled plastic exchanged for public transport credit

Across the world, over 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year, and Springwise has already covered a number of innovative solutions to try and reduce the amount headed to landfill. Now Colombian enterprise Ciclo works by offering the opportunity for people to exchange recyclable materials for top ups on their public transport travelcards.

Read more about Ciclo »

10 The world’s first self charging electric folding bike

Over the past 12 months we have seen a rapid global expansion in bike sharing schemes and electric bikes. Last year we wrote about this Japanese bike that charges wirelessly. Now, Austrian design duo Valentin Vodev and Valerie Wolff have created the first completely self charging electric bike.

Read more about VELLO BIKE+ »