Tomorrow’s Best Sustainable Innovations

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In this story, the innovations of tomorrow are using bacteria to make cement, destroy harmful pollutants for better air quality, revolutionizing the fishing industry, and making our cities more sustainable and comfortable. The innovative minds behind all of these sustainable solutions have spent years finding unique ways to make things a little bit better. So here is our series of “Tomorrow you will…”

…build a house with bricks made out of bacteria

An estimated 1.23 trillion bricks are manufactured every year, resulting in approximately 800 million tons of carbon emissions, due to the fossil fuels required in the firing process. A biotechnology startup manufacturing company decided to revolutionize the building industry by employing natural microorganisms and chemical processes to manufacture biological cement-based masonry building materials. bioMASON uses bacteria to “grow” a durable cement, producing building materials without emitting greenhouse gases and without the depletion of nonrenewable resources.

…breathe a cleaner air free of pollutants

After 20 years of research and development, a groundbreaking approach to clean air has arrived. Molekule breaks down harmful microscopic pollutants like allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and even airborne chemicals. While most air filters improve air quality by trapping harmful pollutants in a filter, Molekule takes this idea one step further by destroying them altogether. Its nanofilter is designed to react with light in a way that prevents toxins from growing back. It’s similar to “the way light shines on a solar cell and generates electricity,” says Jaya Rao, who co-founded the company.

…eat oysters and seaweed that come from a 3D ocean farm

According to Bren Smith, founder of Greenwave, the future of farming is growing oysters, mussels, clams, and seaweed on ropes anchored to the ocean floor. The concept isn’t as wild as it may seem. As land farming becomes increasingly problematic, and oceans are overfished, humans will need to develop alternative food sources. GreenWave’s crops are protein-­rich, self­-sufficient and they even help combat climate change by sequestering carbon as they grow. Read our interview with Bren Smith here.

…charge your phone to a solar-powered flower

Solar-powered flowers have been tested in New York, offering precious joules to cellphones drained by searching for 3G on the subway. Design firm Pensa and solar company GoalZero teamed up to install these original street charge stations in 25 locations in New York to study consumers’ needs. The system serves as a self-sufficient battery-filled pole that can be dropped anywhere–from a swatch of unused asphalt to a patch of grass in a city park, and it’s free!

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The Beam

The Beam Magazine is an independent climate solutions and climate action magazine. It tells about the most exciting solutions, makes a concrete contribution to eliminating climate injustices and preserving this planet for all of us in its diversity and beauty. Our cross-country team of editors works with a network of 150 local journalists in 50 countries talking to change makers and communities. THE BEAM is published in Berlin and distributed in nearly 1,000 publicly accessible locations, to companies, organizations and individuals in 40 countries across the world powered by FairPlanet.

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