There are hundreds of amazing products coming on the market that each do their part to allow the earth--and us--to breathe a little easier.
Turns out, there are a LOT of creative people out there. But some of these products stretch the imagination when you apply basic economics or even thinking about implementing them on a mass scale.
They range from eye-opening declarations of “how did they come up with that!” to the kooky sub-sub-sub niche variety to the products where you say “Seriously?” even though if nothing else, you know their inventors’ hearts are in the right place and mean well.
But which of all these products gets us the MOST excited? Which make us sit up and pay attention as a viable earth-saving product, technology or idea?
These are the ones that we can see making an IMMEDIATE impact on our world-- the ones that ebb and flow with the world as it is NOW and making it better because it “fits” how we actually live our lives-- as messy as that can be at times.
Here are our top 3 picks for winning the award for “Most Likely to Save the World Sooner Than Later”:
3. Edible Packaging to Save Sea Life
Nobody likes to see garbage in the ocean. We cringe--and even get angry at images of birds or other wildlife twisted up in a plastic 6-pack rings knot. Truth is, 3.1 billion cans of beer was consumed last year--just in America, and that’s JUST the beer, not to mention the soda that plastic ring holders are used to keep them together. But we might not feel so terrible if we knew that garbage--while shaped like things we know-- can actually be eaten and enjoyed by sea life.
Saltwater Brewery in south Florida has designed a non-plastic, edible 6-pack ring holder out of barley and other resources from the byproducts of their brewery.
The amazing part? It’s even less expensive to produce than plastic! Their hope is that the big guys in their industry will follow suit – hopefully, we can all start buying from companies like this that are making the earth a nicer place to live and helping our animals and sea life!
Makes you want to give them a million dollars, right? Even if we don’t drink their beer!
2. Solar Windows
Imagine solar panels that don’t *look* like solar panels. In fact, they look like normal windows. With solar panels being created as transparent as windows-- even some that provide opaque shading, this is one of those products we saw and thought, “Finally!”
These could be implemented immediately with new buildings and as replacement windows, providing the building or home with clean, pure energy from the sun. Every window that goes up is one more reason the atmosphere will thank us for not choosing fossil fuels. We especially like the solar panels that can be installed OVER existing windows.
SolarWindow Technologies, the company that invented it a few years ago sees a bright future with over half a billion (that’s with a B) square feet of commercial buildings with windows that get hit with sun all day or at least half the day in some cases, that’s a LOT of power. With the technology increasing the power generated year after year, its use is inevitable and exciting.
Talk about an immediate impact. See-through solar panels will do wonders for our energy choices, not to mention building aesthetics.
Honorable Mention: Air Ink
We had to add this to the list even though there’s one tiny issue-- every other item on this list is “open-ended”, meaning it not only is a great idea and product, we can put it to use right now or soon. The problem has been around for over a century now – just ask China and other nations how their air quality is.
Air Ink takes what would otherwise become air pollution from tailpipes and creates harmless ink.
The only question might be – “what does everyone do with the ink?” So, because of the need for a tiny ecosystem of people dropping off the “ink” from their cars or selling it online, this one is probably 4th on our list. But this is still one of THE most innovative products.
Makes us think, “why didn’t we come up with that when they invented the first car!” Can you imagine? Cars being as or more eco-friendly as horses?
1. Tencel: Guilt-Free Fabric
The problem – Even as clothing has gotten cheaper and more disposable, the cost to the earth is real:
Fashion is now one of the most polluting industries in the world.
It’s shocking for some to realize that the textile industry alone produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the aviation and shipping industries COMBINED. What’s worse is that textile production in the next 15 years will almost double, going from 62 million tons to over 100 million tons. At this rate, the textile industry would need to use 50% more water than it does today – this will have a crippling effect on the earth and her resources.
One answer to this problem is the use of Tencel in the clothes we buy. It is incredibly soft, strong, and durable and is completely biodegradable and compostable. Tencel Lyocell fibers are made in a closed loop production process. Wood pulp is transformed into cellulosic fibers from a highly abundant resource with a low environmental impact. The process recycles process water and reuses solvents at a recovery rate of more than 99%.
One company that has fully embraced this is Christopher J Apparel, using 70% of Tencel in its signature undershirt, The Manhattan, touted as “the most comfortable shirt you’ll ever own.” Read more about the future of clothing right now:The Manhattan Undershirt
Hopefully, we can get some laws passed to at least have law-abiding citizens everywhere buying products that will have the earth thanking us every day. In the meantime, let’s do our part to vote with our wallets with these companies that are out there doing some good in the world.