GreenWave: Creating Jobs and Mitigating Climate Change with 3D Ocean Farms

Maker: GreenWave Challenge: Billions of people depend on the food and services the ocean provides for their livelihoods. However, current ocean and land-based human activities are contributing to over-fishing, ecosystem destruction, pollution, and eutrophication. According to UN Sustainable Development, “subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore …

Quantafuel: Transforming plastic waste into environmentally friendly fuel

Maker: Quantafuel Challenge: The growing problem of plastic waste Solution: Quantafuel transforms plastic waste into high-quality diesel that can be used by infrastructure and engines without modification. Results: A reduction of plastic waste, local pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. “A third-party, independent research firm has compared the environmental impact of Quantafuel’s process to that of producing conventional diesel, concluding that …

Bike Sharing for Better Health and Greener Cities

Maker: Urban Infrastructure Partner AS Challenge: Many cities around the world face the challenge of traffic congestion and crowded public transit systems, and have a general need for solutions that improve quality of life for residents. Solution:  Urban Infrastructure Partner cooperates with cities to design efficient bike sharing systems that are operated with help from user-friendly apps, data-driven operations tools, and digital …

How to Transform the Textiles Economy

It’s high time we shake up the destructive take-make-dispose textile model and transform it into a circular one that’s better for people and environment. This report tells us how. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, textile production contributes 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year—more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Add to that the leaching of …

The Net Zero Elementary School: Modeling Sustainability for Kids and Design Community

Maker: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Challenge: Compared to other municipal buildings within New York’s five boroughs, schools account for 40% of emissions—amounting to a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint. Solution: SOM architects designed an energy efficient school on Staten Island, The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability, which generates all of its own power from renewable on-site …

The Exhale Chandelier: Purifying Indoor Air with Living Microalgae

Maker: Julian Melchiorri Challenge:  Given all the time we spend indoors on a daily basis, maintaining good indoor air quality at home, work, and school is highly important. Solution: Exhale is the world’s first living Bionic Chandelier, containing living micro algae in each of its leaf modules. Results: When exposed to light, each of the microalgae-containing leaf modules is stimulated to grow …

The Untapped Value of Organic Waste in Construction

What if instead of sending our organic waste to the landfill, incinerator or compost pile, we could give it another life as bricks, panels, carpets or insulation? Arup, the design and engineer firm, says this is not only possible, it’s a very valuable opportunity. In their latest report, The Urban Bio Loop, Arup aims to demonstrate a different, circular paradigm for …

Deterra: The World’s First 100% Bio-Based Jacket

Maker: Tierra  Challenge: Even the fashion industry is dependent on planet harming fossil fuels, which are used for everything from  transportation and production process to the product materials themselves. Solution: To address the problem, Tierra has developed the Deterra® Jacket. The world’s first 100 % bio-based jacket, made from materials like castor beans, wool, corn, Tencel, cotton, and corozo nuts. …

Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

This book is a valuable resource for architects and designers who want to implement innovative and sustainable materials in their work. Written by architect Blaine Brownell,  Transmaterial Next  catalogs sustainable materials “that redefine our physical environment.” Materials which not only have low to no environmental impact, but also deliver when it comes to performance and applicability. The catalog also exists digitally, as a …

Tetra Rex: The World’s First 100% Renewable Carton

Maker: Tetra Pak in collaboration with Braskem Challenge: Conventional packaging is primarily made from fossil fuel derived plastic and unsustainably harvested wood fibers, Solution: “The Tetra Rex Bio-based package, which is manufactured solely from paperboard and plastics derived from plants. All the paperboard used comes from FSC-certified and controlled sources, and is traceable to its origins. The low-density polyethylene used to …