Sustainability is finally hitting the mainstream, and 2023 is a big year for new sustainable technology and product releases. From factories that suck CO2 straight out of the air to building houses out of mushrooms, 2023 has some pretty impressive trends in store. Here are the top trends in sustainability to look out for in 2023.
Companies measure carbon footprint for you
Blue Apron and Planet FWD are launching a more sustainable version of Blue Apron’s popular meal kits to reduce packaging waste. The new meal kit plans use Planet FWD’s carbon management platform to track sustainability, aiming at a net-zero goal. With the new tools from Planet FWD, Blue Apron can measure and plan about how to make at-home meal kits less harmful to the environment.
This is significant both because home delivery can cause extra shipping carbon and packaging waste. Also, this represents a sea change underway where companies are now calculating carbon footprint for you. Instead of consumers having to figure out their own impact and research products thoroughly, it is becoming more common for companies to take on the burden of reducing carbon in their products and operations. It makes it easier for consumers to make sustainable purchasing decisions.
Convert any bicycle to an e-bike
Rubbee has created a conversion kit that turns a normal bicycle into an e-bike. It’s so simple, we can’t believe no one has thought of this before. The Rubbee X is the latest portable e-bike conversion kit from Rubbee, a micro-mobility startup founded in the mid-2010s. They have already made several e-bike conversion kits, including the Rubbee, Rubbee 2.0 and Rubbee X. The new Rubbee X comes in three configurations for different performance and price points. With the battery included, the conversion kit comes to $679 with a 250W or 350W motor.
Furthermore, the range is 10 miles for the base model and up to 30 miles for the high-end kit. Each model comes with its own pedal assistance levels. The high-end model includes eco, cruise and power modes. Each battery is rated for 1,000 charge cycles, so if you commute or ride heavily, plan on replacement costs for the $100 battery down the road.
Other startups are launching a number of new e-bikes this year as well, including the Urbet Lora, The Volt Pulse LS, Engwe Engine Pro Series, the Peugeot e-StreetZone and many more. Keep an eye out for great e-bike deals as this technology goes mainstream and becomes more competitive. If you live in a city, you might be able to combine e-bike commuting with your normal vehicle or public transit to reduce your planetary impact.
The auto industry creates zero fossil fuel batteries
Batteries may power the clean energy revolution, but the way we make batteries is still being worked out. Case in point, Volvo is committing to creating EV batteries without fossil fuel. The automaker is opening a new dedicated battery production facility in Skaraborg, Sweden to work with partners producing EVs for commercial vehicles. These batteries will be produced through an entirely fossil fuel-free method.
The company, like other automakers including GM, are paving the way to turn the entire auto industry all-electric somewhere between 2035 and 2050. The investment today will create the infrastructure to ramp up EV production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the ultra-polluting transportation industry.
Hydrogen finds its niche in the clean energy ecosystem
Loop Energy has created a hydrogen battery for fuel cell systems that is more efficient. The company’s S1200 hydrogen fuel cell system can rival diesel power for use in large trucks. It means cleaner transportation for the logistics industry with real hauling power. A truck can travel 111 miles on $100 of hydrogen fuel versus 109 miles on $100 of diesel fuel.
Hydrogen fuel cells are complex technology that require pressurized fuel tanks and special storage systems. However, they are ultra clean to use, as hydrogen-powered engines only emit water as a byproduct. Several new vehicles are coming out that are powered by hydrogen. Furthermore, a number of startups are working on mobile fueling stations for shipping fleets so that hydrogen can power the world’s semi trucks for a zero-emissions future.
Find sustainable, ethical fashion with this search engine
Ethical Clothing is the name of a new search engine that helps fashion consumers find ethical products in North America. Ethical Clothing was created in Barcelona and allows users to filter results by material, price, apparel type and target gender. Future versions of the search engine plan to include more detailed sustainability ratings and more filters.
Additionally, Ethical Clothing will create a price drop alert option to notify consumers of great deals. This is to address the problem of sustainable and ethical fashion being prohibitively expensive. The search engine also offers a fashion footprint calculator to help consumers understand the impact of their purchases on the planet.
Better solar panels are coming
Cities around the world are rapidly investing in solar and wind projects to convert to clean energy as quickly as possible. Powering that revolution are the creation of more efficient solar panels that are also easy to install. Several startups have recently created solar panel installations that can be rapidly deployed in case of emergencies and natural disasters, or to shore up the power grid quickly until more permanent clean energy solutions can be installed.
Solar panels are also being created for the individual to make everything from home energy to camping more sustainable. Take this foldable solar panel for example: The DEXPOLE solar power bank allows outdoor enthusiasts to power their devices with four ultra-portable solar panels that can charge an included 24,000mAh battery and support PD65W fast charging. It can be used with USB-enabled devices.
Build your health, or your house, out of mushrooms
It seems everywhere you look today, mushrooms are the hot topic. That’s because we have just discovered the power of mushrooms as adaptogens for building health in the immune system, helping with trauma and more. But did you know you can also build bricks out of mushrooms?
Researchers in Singapore and Switzerland have partnered under the Future Cities Lab (FCL) Global program to study mycelium as a sustainable building material. This project is working toward developing mycelium-based bricks for large-scale construction use. Mushrooms have already been used in art installations and small furniture design to show the potential of this material, and now it is scaling up.
Forget carbon neutral: carbon capture takes center stage
Carbon neutral is a difficult goal to achieve, but many companies have realized that in order to meet aggressive climate change mitigation goals, it’s essential to be carbon negative, or to consume less energy than you produce. Enter carbon capture companies — with new technology, some companies can capture CO2 pollution from the air or from factory smokestacks using filters or live forest installations.
Some companies are creating products to capture carbon: from permeable paver bricks that capture carbon while filtering rain runoff to carbon capture concrete and diamonds, clean fuel and coral reefs, startups are getting creative about how to stuff all that CO2 back in the ground. Prototypes for this type of carbon capture technology have been around for a decade now, and the good news is that they’re working. Now the industry begins to scale up on rolling out these products and services to consumers and industry.
One woman, Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental, runs a carbon capture company that is building $1 billion in direct air capture plants that suck CO2 straight out of the air. This is the world’s largest direct air capture CO2 project by 1000 times over, and Hollub has plans to build 135 of these un-polluting factories around the world.
This is just the beginning of the clean energy revolution. As new technology emerges and the climate crisis becomes more dire, we’ll report back on the latest solutions for sustainable living, technology and design.
Via Trend Hunter
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