Blog Post Thursday 21 September 2017
Sustainable innovations come in all shapes and sizes, from handheld devices to eco-friendly houses and it never ceases to amaze us just how many great ideas there are out there, all exploring new areas of sustainability. In fact, there were so many great inventions announced this year alone, we thought we’d put them all together in a compendium of 10 sustainable inventions that are changing the world.
Known as Trinity, this handy gadget uses wind energy to power your electrical devices. It comes in four different sizes to cater for all charging needs, from a smaller model for powering devices such as smartphones to a larger version capable of charging an electric car. Designed by Icelandic innovation company Janulus, it’s ideal for camping and can be folded down to an easily transportable size.
The SALt Lamp is as simple as it is effective. Made using a glass of water and two tablespoons of salt, this lamp can provide a whole night’s worth of light. It has the potential to change lives in parts of the world where households don’t have access to electricity and its production is currently being aimed at non-profit organisations. And if salt isn't available, SALt Lamp can also run on seawater, which is a virtually limitless energy source.
Rather than just being carbon neutral (zero emissions), this house is carbon positive, meaning it produces more energy than it uses, which can then be fed back into the grid. Designed by Archiblox, it is the world’s first carbon positive prefabricated home and features inground tubes that help with cooling, solar panels, sliding edible garden walls, a green roof for extra thermal insulation and an airtight design to prevent energy escaping.
This is an amazing invention that can help save millions of lives in third world countries where disease is rife and water is often undrinkable. Designed by Vestergaard, LifeStraw is a device that filters water. When you suck through it like a straw, the water is forced through narrow fibres which trap contaminants, removing 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites, and preventing diseases caused by contaminated drinking water such as Hepatitis E, Dysentery, and Typhoid Fever.
Read more: 10 of Our Favourite Solar Powered Inventions
Two Australian surfers saw a need for a better way of removing debris from marinas than the manual method, so they invented the Seabin, an automated submersible rubbish bin that collects floating rubbish, debris and oil 24 hours a day. Fixed to a floating dock, its shore-based water pump creates a flow of water into the bin, catching the debris in a natural fibre bag before the water is then sucked out the bottom and pumped back into the marina.
Edible water bottle
80% of plastic water bottles are not recycled and many end up in our oceans, so this invention is a real breakthrough that could help to reduce environmental pollution. Ooho water gel packets contain servings of water encased in an edible algae-based gel, which can be made with a recipe influenced by molecular gastronomy and available for anyone to use. While the invention still has some teething problems to iron out, Ooho could in time become a replacement for those environmentally unfriendly plastics.
With growing populations and shrinking living spaces, a compact, energy saving invention like the Circo dishwasher is understandably making waves in the sustainability market. A compact countertop device, it uses no electricity and only a small amount of water to clean your dishes. You simply crank the handle to release a jet of water, which is heated by a sodium acetate tablet and a minute later, your dishes are sparkling clean. The Circo also doubles as a drying rack on your countertop to save space.
Another plastic pollutant in our landfill and waterways is plastic cutlery; billions of pieces of which are used and disposed of each year. To counter this environmental problem, Indian food company Bakeys has invented edible cutlery. Made from rice, wheat and sorghum (a grain that doesn’t go soggy when immersed in liquid), the cutlery comes in three different flavours (savoury, sweet and plain) and tastes something like eating dry crackers.
Another invention which could greatly benefit countries without electricity is the Free Electric person-powered bike. Not only can you get your exercise on this gym-style bicycle, but every hour of cycling produces 24 hours of free energy, which has enough power to run 24 light bulbs, a fan, and a smartphone charger all at the same time.
Finally, an invention that could revolutionise medicine; a handheld device that can analyse DNA samples and provide medical diagnoses on the spot. The size of a smartphone, the Q-Poc can diagnose everything from cancers to infectious diseases in minutes from biological samples submitted on a cartridge the size of a credit card. Once approved by the WHO, the inventors QuantuMDx plan to roll out the Q-Poc in South Africa, before expanding into other markets, particularly those where access to medical care is limited.
If inventions like these push your eco buttons and sustainability is something you aspire to, we’d like to help here at Click Energy. While we may not have invented anything quite as groundbreaking, we like to think we’re doing our bit with some energy-efficient innovations of our own.