Sustainability is no longer a “trend” or “fad” but is a very real issue that is taking the forefront in political, social and economic spheres – and these projects are shining light on this development. In line with the rejection of fast fashion, the rise in vegan-ism and governmental legislation changing to help prevent global warming, sustainable initiatives are also expanding and gaining more traction.
And while sustainability may be a hot political issue, it also affects the personal. More and more people are deciding to buy cleaner, greener products. Individuals are educating themselves on the issue and how they can help save the planet (Netflix has a big part to play in this with documentaries such as “Blackfish” proving to be very popular). Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to find out where your clothes and food really come from and to find out about how to join some game-changing campaigns. Here, we look at six sustainable projects from across the globe that are changing the sustainable landscape for the best.
The brainchild of innovator and artist Daan Roosegard, this studio “creates landscapes of the future for a better world”. Projects such as this smog-free tower in Rotterdam helps purify the air by sucking in dirty air like a giant vacuum cleaner. The tower then filters the air and pumps back out healthier, smog free air, effectively helping to reduce air pollution. The studio has finished several other projects which are being implemented in various cities: internationally acclaimed works include WATERLICHT (a virtual flood which shows the power of water) and SMART HIGHWAY (roads that charge throughout the day and glow at night).
Their mission is simple: to help rid the planet’s oceans of pollution. Aiming to get rid of all the plastic pollution that accumulates in the oceans, Seabin created what is essentially a giant bin for underwater. The bins are placed in high debris areas where they suck in water and rubbish and then filter the water back out, leaving the rubbish safely inside the bin. The catch bag can hold up to 20 Kgs of debris and needs to be maintained and emptied around twice a day. The Seabin project also run a series of workshops especially for children to teach them how to dispose of rubbish in an environmentally friendly way.
Premiered at the Berlin Festival of Lights, this smart street pathway converts the kinetic energy of people’s footsteps into electrical energy and data. One footstep produces enough energy to light an LED lightbulb for approximately 20 seconds. The idea is that eventually footsteps could power whole cities, rendering outdated and energy consuming techniques obsolete.
As space becomes increasingly expensive, particularly in densely populated cities and towns, many people are turning to space saving furniture solutions. These kinds of furniture are usually modular, multi-purpose and very cost effective. Think IKEA but way savvier. Juust, the Austrian design studio have come up with a portable, lightweight box that combines a bed, table, bike, chair and storage shelving.
The Honeybee Conservancy is a non-profit organization that works to help the bees, while increasing access to organic, sustainable food in under-served communities. According to them, “bees are at the heart of our survival. One in three bites of food we eat depends entirely on bees – and they are dying out”. We recently partnered with the organisation to help bring honeybee hives to two thriving urban farms in New York City and to celebrate our commitment to using sustainable materials in products and packaging.
The second project on our list that aims to tackle air pollution is Green City Solutions. Founded in 2014, the company has worked to merge the innovations in Internet of Things (IoT) with plants and greenery. It is now common knowledge that city dwellers breathing in polluted air are more likely to suffer from asthma, heart disease and lung cancer because of the poor quality of the air where they live. Their city trees are a plant-based air filter which are as powerful as 275 normal trees but take up 99 per cent less space.
Header Image via Juust