Future Thinking: New ideas on sustainability that will change our reality

August 2021 _ New ideas on sustainability that will change our reality
Main illustration by Cami Dobrin

New and brilliant ideas are what makes the world go round. But innovative thinking, well that’s really where ideas can change our reality and do so for good.

Look at being in business for example, the push for creating a generation of purpose-driven companies is well and truly underway. Successful businesses will need to have a well formulated answer to justify their existence. And the days where multinationals shamelessly invest, commercial industries pollute without a second thought or global fashion brands fabricate in sweatshops and underpays their workers are gone.

Transparency is the new black.

And understanding where we can be better, how to waste less, be kinder to the environment and work smarter not harder is high on the new generation’s list of things we need to care about.

We look at future thinking, what new, fresh ideas are being created when it comes to sustainability in industries like farming, fashion, transport, building, environmental protection and how they along with their creators will change our current reality.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”.

Buckminster Fuller

ENVIRONMENT

Who are they?

The Seabin

What do they do?

The seabin project is close to our hearts, we are big lovers of the sea and it pains us to know that we aren’t treating her as the powerful queen she is. Seabin was created by Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, two surfer dudes who wanted to find a way to clean up the world's oceans. Their creation came to life in the way of a bin that works like a catchment bag, trapping any floating, harmful objects like plastic. It can also filter out detergents and oils, allowing clean water to flow out again. The seabin requires emptying once a month.

What could this mean?

This incredible sustainable engineering by Andrew and Pete (a match made in heaven we think!) could make a big impact on water pollution in ports and harbors worldwide. Having a positive effect on water quality, the experience for sea creatures and the environment as a whole. Get ready for CLEAR and CLEAN waters worldwide.

Who are they?

The Groasis Waterboxx

What do they do?

The Groasis is a planting device that allows the growth of crops in the desert possible and resource-efficient. Created by Dutch founder and innovator Pieter Hoff, the waterboxx consists of an "intelligent bucket" which is made from recycled paper, and can germinate seeds, incubate saplings, and water plants in extreme areas ravaged by heat, drought and erosion – with a chance of survival greater than 90% and using 90% less water

What could this mean?

By the year 2050, Groassis states that the world population is expected to exceed 9 billion. All of these people will require food. At the same time, the United Nations predicts that by then, over 48 countries will suffer from water scarcity. Something needs to be done so that future generations, especially in extreme and harsh weather locations on earth, have access to water and food.

The trees and plants in the Growboxxes will also bring jobs and prosperity to impoverished regions and are all made with recycled egg cartons, therefore using what we already have and not adding to landfills or waste.

Who are they?

Blue River Technology

What do they do?

Blue River, a team of innovators, are striving to radically change agriculture by creating intelligent machinery. They also aim to create ​​a space where environment and economic sustainability intersect. This is our idea of a solid vision!

Their computer vision machine identifies and sprays only the weeds in a field (not healthy plants) and claims to continuously improve accuracy rate and reduce herbicide use by up to 90%.

What could this mean?

This agriculture technology saves hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for large-scale farms, not to mention reducing the use of broadcast-spray chemicals fuels. Fighting weeds hurts farmers’ crops and their profitability, but Blue River is creating technology to make the 21st century farmer more productive and sustainable.

Materials & Resources

Who are they?

Ecovative

What do they do?

Ecovative are so super talented and create a wide range of incredibly innovative designs, like plant-based meat, biodegradable packaging, and leather-like textiles.

They have also discovered a way to grow a sustainable replacement to Styrofoam and other plastics by using mushroom “roots” called mycelium to bond together into strong bio-composite materials.

What could this mean?

Today, plastics and animal agriculture are two of the biggest challenges we face and Ecovactive’s purpose is to replace plastics entirely and reduce animal suffering. With a growing global population, their plant-based “meat” is being billed as the future of food. Their packaging alternatives means plastics will be a thing of the past, positively affecting our environment, health of animals and that of human beings. What’s not to love about Ecovative! Get on board.

Who are they?

Fruit Leather | Desserto | Coronet

What do they do?

These three companies are changing the very landscape of the fashion industry. Being huge advocates of sustainability and lovers of all things innovative, SAYE has already teamed up with each of these companies to take discarded waste (whether it be fruit, bio materials or cactus) to make leather. 

What could this mean?

Making a leather alternative out of food waste offers a number of incredible outcomes for the environment. Generally speaking the use of dangerous chemicals is heavily reduced, and deforestation, animal suffering and vegetable tanning are avoided altogether. This is a win-win for the future of the fashion industry and an alternative that all brands, fabricators and production lines should be shifting and investing into immediately.

Who are they?

Solidia Technologies

What do they do?

These guys are turning waste carbon dioxide (ie. the stuff we're trying to get rid of to prevent further global warming) to make building materials!

This technology consumes less limestone, ​has a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions and less energy use at the cement production stage.

What could this mean?

Cement and the cement industry is one of the main producers of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and is responsible for between 5-7% of the total global carbon emissions. Solidia’s new technology has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry, which is pretty important considering that we'll always need to build places to live, learn, work and interact. Helping our planet one building at a time!

Energy & Power

Who are they?

Zéphyr Solar by EONEF.

What do they do?

An autonomous solar balloon bringing electricity to disaster zones, scientific missions or isolated sites.

Zéphyr is a photovoltaic balloon, it has an eco-friendly generator and is the creation of Karen Assaraf, Julie Dautel, and Cédric Tomissi. EONEF balloons fly from several days to several weeks allowing long missions in the field. The solar-powered balloons can be deployed in under an hour and are capable of withstanding winds of 43 mph (70 kph), while also being able to fly at great altitudes.

What could this mean?

The vision at EONEF’s is to create a more resilient world thanks to isolated areas that are better connected. They are committed to being the action needed for change and this could save lives, aid emergency situations and the opportunities that could stem from this technology are endless!

Transportation

Who are they?

Edison2

What do they do?

The team at Edison2 combine sound physics with innovative design to produce workable and sustainable transportation solutions.

Their day is dedicated to rethinking every element of vehicle design, which has led the team to developing the Very Light Car (VLC), an ultra-efficient, light vehicle with low aerodynamic drag, which was been turning heads in the transportation industry.

What could this mean?

The transportation industry has a long way to go when it comes to improving their sustainable practices. Companies like Edison2, offer consumers sustainable alternatives to getting from A to B. They may be a long way off from commercial use, but they are on the right track and could potentially be the change we wish to see in the world.

FOOD

Who are they?

Demetra

What do they do?

Demetra creates novel solutions to decrease waste, optimize productive processes, and reduce consumption of natural resources. Demetra is made from 100% plant extracts and can improve the shelf life of natural produce. Inspired by nature the product allows control of produce, the same natural way that plants do. All its ingredients are safe for humans and the environment, and are also compatible with organic agriculture.

What could this mean?

Half of the world’s harvest is wasted every year, as plants and fruits are highly susceptible to pathogens and difficult to store. This innovative technology would mean there would be no need for produce to be kept at cold temperatures while in transit, saving a lot of energy. The product also helps produce to stay fresh and ripe longer, effectively reducing food waste in supermarkets and groceries.

“We do not
inherit the
Earth from our
Ancestors, we
borrow it from
our children”

Pre-loader