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Published on September 27th, 2018 | by The Beam


Tomorrow’s Best Sustainable Innovations

September 27th, 2018 by  

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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About the Author

The Beam Magazine is a quarterly print publication that takes a modern perspective on the energy transition. From Berlin we report about the people, companies and organizations that shape our sustainable energy future around the world. The team is headed by journalist Anne-Sophie Garrigou and designer Dimitris Gkikas. The Beam works with a network of experts and contributors to cover topics from technology to art, from policy to sustainability, from VCs to cleantech start ups. Our language is energy transition and that's spoken everywhere. The Beam is already being distributed in most countries in Europe, but also in Niger, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Japan, Chile and the United States. And this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future development and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Medium.

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