15 Things You Can Do to Start Helping Our Planet Right Now
In recent years, humanity has started realizing that we are going the wrong way. The natural resources of our planet are being depleted, and the oceans and atmosphere are getting dirtier and dirtier. So scientists are rushing to invent things that can heal Earth before we destroy it. Did you know that approximately 1.4 billion pounds of trash gets into the ocean every year?
Bright Side has created a list of 15 inventions that could make Earth a better place. From an eco food wrap to new ways of cleaning the oceans — everything can make a difference. Don't miss our bonus at the end — this NASA news is worth it!
1. New ways to repurpose plastic bottles
Instead of throwing away bottles that have only been used once, people recycle them into everything from flowerpots to toys and trash cans.
2. These seaweed bottles start decomposing when empty.
This idea belongs to Ari Jónsson, a student from the Iceland Academy of the Arts. He presented his project at the DesignMarch festival in 2016. Ari created a bottle made of water and powdered agar. It keeps its shape while filled with water and starts decomposing as soon as it empties.
If stored for a long time, the algae bottle can give its taste to the water inside, but it's completely safe. You can even eat the container if you like it.
3. These sneakers are made from ocean trash.
Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to make the world better. The company has already created several sneakers and sportswear designs made from ocean plastic. They're made in the blue and gray colors of the ocean and look as good as any other materials.
4. Fully compostable plant-based "plastic"
Avani is a start-up company based in Bali, Indonesia. Their aim is to replace plastic with ecological analogs. For example, these cups are made with FSC certified paper and cornstarch and are fully compostable. They even have bags made of cassava (tapioca) that can hardly be told apart from their plastic cousins. The amazing thing about them is that they totally decompose in half a year and can even be dissolved in water!
5. Beeswax food wrap
Bee's Wrap also has a solution to reduce plastic use. The company creates food wrap made of cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. It's covered with various patterns and looks more appealing than common plastic. The wrap is also reusable — just wash it.
6. Waterproof banana leaf "leather"
Green Banana Paper offers an alternative to leather wallets and common paper. Their items are made of banana fiber. The choice of material is due to the fact that banana "trees" die after harvesting, giving way to younger stems. So making use of them seemed to be a logical and eco-friendly decision.
7. Eco-friendly 6-pack rings
E6PR (eco 6-pack rings) is a project aimed at saving animals! Every year, lots of them eat or get caught in the plastic rings people throw away. Yet E6PR decomposes in just several days — or weeks if disposed of incorrectly. Another no less important advantage is that this material does no harm to animals if swallowed.
8. This graphene sieve makes seawater drinkable.
These membranes were developed at the National Graphene Institute and have already proven their efficiency in filtering large salts. However, common salts can still pass through because the membranes slightly expand in water. Scientists are currently working on a way to control their size.
9. This device takes drinking water right from the air.
WaterSeer could be another way to access pure water. This device pulls it right from the air by collecting it in a container and condensing water from the vapor. It can collect up to 37 liters (9.8 gallons) a day. The developers claim it can use any power source and takes 150 watt-hours per liter for its needs.
10. This shower saves up to 70% of water.
Nebia is a brand-new showerhead that atomizes water streams into millions of droplets, which creates the impression of a waterfall vapor shower. According to the company, Nebia can save 70% of your water. Unlike a common showerhead that takes 76 liters (20 gallons) for an average shower, Nebia uses only 23 liters (6 gallons).
11. This bin separates trash from water.
The Seabin Project is a garbage bin that can be immersed in the waters of marinas and ports to collect up to 20 kg of floating trash — even small items. It sucks water and debris in and then filters it out. The device can even catch some spilled oil.
12. Edible water bubbles
Skipping Rocks Lab launched the Ooho! project, and their motto is "water you can eat." They created edible algae bubbles that can be filled with water (both pure and flavored), alcohol, and even cosmetics.
13. This thermostat adjusts to users' needs.
Nest thermostat is a clever gadget that helps you manage your heat consumption. It turns off when everyone leaves the house and is controlled by an app, through which you can change the temperature and see your energy history. The most amazing thing is that it learns your temperature preferences for days, weeks, and seasons and applies this knowledge to create a comfortable atmosphere in your house.
14. These coffins save the forest.
Get ready for a sensitive subject. Capsula Mundi is a project aimed to change the approach to death. The company is concerned about deforestation as each coffin requires a tree to be cut down. To save the forest, they offered a new form of egg-shaped coffin made of biodegradable materials with a tree or a seed planted on top. There are 2 designs — coffins and urns — to fit everyone's needs. The idea is that a person chooses a tree to be planted after their death, and the mourning family then takes care of it.
15. "Hobbit Hole" eco homes
Green Magic Homes look like they came right from Tolkien's books. These are modular buildings covered with soil, which is both a decoration and a method of climate control. The constructions are durable and won't need repairs for a long time. You can plant a vegetable or flower garden on the roof and walls — whatever you desire!
They also come in sand and snow variants for deserts and cold climates. The entire process of ordering, delivery, and installation takes a maximum of one to 2 months.
Bonus: NASA has found 7 Earth-like planets we could live on.
One of NASA's telescopes found a solar system with 7 Earth-sized planets that might be suitable for people to live on. The system is called TRAPPIST-1 and is situated only 39 light years away from us. All the planets there could have liquid water, which is essential for life as we know it.
These 7 planets are situated so close to each other that a person standing on the surface of one of them could see the geological features of the closest worlds.
Which idea did you like the most? Maybe we missed your favorite Earth-saving item? Or do you have your own project in place to improve our ecological situation? Share with us in the comments below!