Global warming, air pollution, a lack of natural resources — the demand for solving ecological problems keeps drastically increasing with every new decade. The good news is that scientists and various product manufacturers from all over the world are constantly trying to think up new methods to save our planet.
More Shout has studied some new projects that are capable of preventing ecological catastrophes and is eager to tell you about them. Don’t miss our interesting bonus at the end of the article!
1. Edible plastic
Plastic is the source of many ecological problems. It harms the World Ocean, animals, and humans. Recent studies have even shown that 90% of edible sea salt contains particles of microplastic, which means that humans consume plastic while eating on a daily basis.
© Ello Jello / EvoWare / Youtube
In order to prevent various diseases and the ongoing environmental pollution, scientists have figured out how to shift to the manufacturing of edible plastic made of seaweed. It is safe both for humans and animals. There are 2 big Indonesian companies that are currently manufacturing this type of plastic. They make everything from cups and straws to plastic bags for supermarkets.
2. Lighting for remote areas of the planet
© Litter of Light / Build Academy / YouTube
Here’s another great idea — to provide affordable street lighting in places where there is no systematic power supply. The light tubes of the “Liter of Light” project are made from putting a small solar panel and a light-emitting diode inside used plastic bottles. They are already used in Bangladesh, China, the Dominican Republic, and other countries.
3. Toothpaste and shampoo without packaging
© Nohbo Drops / Ben Stern / YouTube
Plastic is everywhere around us and your bathroom contains a lot of this material too because most self-care products are often packaged using plastic. However, nowadays there are some eco-friendly alternatives available on the market. For example, ’Nohbo Drops’ are shampoo drops without the plastic packaging. One capsule, that’s about 2 inches long, is enough to wash hair of any length.
© Design Insider / YouTube
You can also buy toothpaste in the shape of tablets — Bite Toothpaste Bits which doesn’t have plastic packaging. This kind of toothpaste is also produced by the ’Lush’ company. According to calculations, more than one billion used toothpaste tubes are thrown out in the USA annually.
4. Coal made of poop
© Sanivation / Instagram
Many houses in Kenya lack a sewer system. People have to use street toilets, dig a hole in the ground for their poop, or dispose of it in ponds and water reservoirs. This causes anti-sanitary conditions to grow stronger. Diarrhea is one of the main reasons for death among kids younger than 5 in Kenya. The problem of cutting down trees is also one of the biggest issues in this country because 8 out of 10 households use charcoal for cooking.
The Sanivation company unexpectedly came up with a solution for both problems simultaneously — they install special toilets in houses and then recycle human excrement into charcoal. Therefore, they manage to fight against the spread of bacteria and preserve their natural resources. Moreover, heating the excrement to 700°C helps to eliminate the bad smell.
5. A device that creates bio-gas from organic waste
Another piece of good news for those who like the idea of self-sufficient households is a new portable device has been created that gets installed right in the yard and transforms organic waste into natural gas.
After the transformation, the gas travels along a pipe to a burner that is then used for cooking. Within 24 hours, this device produces enough gas for 2 hours of non-stop cooking.
6. Smokeless stoves and barbecues: BioLite
According to the World Health Organization, about 4 million deaths per year are connected with illnesses that are caused by using smoke and kerosene stoves and barbecues. This issue can now be solved with the help of a new wood firepit that significantly reduces smoke emissions.
7. Devices for pumping carbon dioxide from the air
© Turn Your Tap
It is obvious that the need to reduce plastic worldwide exists. Mankind is being urged to use water filters instead of buying water in plastic bottles, to cut down on the excessive number of bottles, etc.
© Climeworks / Youtube
Meanwhile, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to rise. Today several companies are dealing with developing facilities that will pump and recycle carbon dioxide. Bill Gates has made investments in one of these companies. In order to avoid the threat of global warming, it is necessary to pump out about 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually.
8. A toilet that helps use tap water twice
© Jang Woo-seok
This “Eco bath” concept was created by the Korean designer Jang Woo-Seok. It lets us use the water from a washbasin twice. The construction allows the used tap water to get stored in one of 2 toilet tanks (one with used water and one with fresh water). Each tank has a separate lever and a LED light on it that indicates when the tank is full. So people can use the water coming from the washbasin whenever it’s full.
Bonus: “Great Green Wall” in Africa
© Wikimedia Commons
“The Great Green Wall” is a project headed by the African Union. The desertification of the Sahara desert continues to increase with every decade and the artificial planting of trees can slow down the further dehydration of the soil. The total length of the “wall’ will be about 5,000 miles and its width will be about 10 miles. About 15% of all planned trees were already planted last year.
Which ecological problem scares you most of all? Or do you prefer to not think about it? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
Preview photo credit Jang Woo-seok