21 Sustainability Innovations Changing the World

1. The Smog Free Project: Air pollution can now be transformed into jewelry

21 Sustainability Innovations Changing the World

Source: Studio Roosegaarde

Daan Roosegaarde is the mastermind behind the world’s first smog vacuum cleaner. The Smog Free Tower measures almost 23 feet high (7 meters) and 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.

Thanks to Roosegaarde’s design, you can even wear rings from the compressed smog particles collected from the tower. By buying and wearing a Smog Free Ring, you’re contributing to over 10,700 square feet (1000 square meters) of clean air. The project has garnered a lot of attention since its inception, winning multiple awards. Recent tower campaigns have been launched in South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Poland.

Revolutionizing Sustainability: 21 Groundbreaking Innovations That Could Transform Our World

Source: Studio Roosegaarde

2. Zéphyr Solar: An autonomous solar balloon bringing electricity to disaster zones

Revolutionizing Sustainability: 21 Groundbreaking Innovations That Could Transform Our World

Source: EONEF

Zéphyr is a photovoltaic balloon and eco-friendly generator created by Karen Assaraf, Julie Dautel, and Cédric Tomissi and their France-based start-up EONEF.  The autonomous aerial platform takes the form of a helium balloon. Operating individually or as an aerial observation network, the solar-powered balloons can be deployed in under an hour, can fly to 30 days at a time, are capable of withstanding winds of 43 mph (70 kph), and can fly at great altitudes.

The EONEF balloons can be used for a wide range of sustainability initiatives. They are being incorporated into scientific missions like observing wildlife and measuring air quality and can be used to promote coordination during a disaster. It is easily one of our favorite sustainable innovation projects to come out of France in recent years. 

3. The Green Building Initiative

Revolutionizing Sustainability: 21 Groundbreaking Innovations That Could Transform Our World

Source: Construction Climate Challenge

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is an international effort toward 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 provide third-party assessment tools for sustainability requirements.

4. B-Droid: Robotic bees could help us build a brighter future

Revolutionizing Sustainability: 21 Groundbreaking Innovations That Could Transform Our World

Source: Dr. Eijiro Miyako/NPR

B-Droid is just one of several efforts to create robotic bees that can pollinate crops as effectively as their organic counterparts. B-Droid’s mission is to help boost the natural bee population by giving robotic bees low-nutritional and high-labor pollination tasks.

Created by researchers at the University of Warsaw, B-Droid’s vision consists of a managing platform and swarms of autonomous and semi-autonomous robots, which would have the ability to identify and pollinate crops effectively. Hopefully, this sustainable innovation does not turn into an episode of Black Mirror. 

5. Groasis Waterboxx: Growing trees in the desert is now possible

Revolutionizing Sustainability: 21 Groundbreaking Innovations That Could Transform Our World

Source: Groasis

The Groasis Waterboxx was created by Dutch flower exporter Pieter Hoff. The Groasis is a planting device that makes growing crops in the desert possible and resource-efficient. It consists of an “intelligent bucket” made from recycled paper, which can germinate seeds, incubate saplings, and water plants. It requires 90% less water than traditional growing methods and can be used in some of the most extreme climates on Earth.

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