It can be depressing and stressful to read about all the environmental problems today. But many innovative minds are at work on solutions.
Here are just a few of the interesting inventions that can help us face environmental challenges. They aren’t necessarily the most ground-breaking ones, but they can help us in all those little ways that add up to a big difference.
1. Machine Pulls Drinking Water Out of Air
Water-Gen has developed the world’s most energy-efficient atmospheric water generator. It can suck water vapor out of the air and treat it to make up to 825 gallons of drinking water per day.
A smaller version, for home or office use, can produce 4 gallons per day. Producing each gallon costs about 10 cents in energy use. It also purifies polluted air.
2. Backyard Tree-Style Wind Turbine Works With Light Breeze
The small, silent turbines on the Arbre à Vent, produced by the French company Newwind, are designed to make use of the slightest breeze.
The Arbre à Vent produces an average of 2400 kWh annually, enough to cover about 80 percent of a household’s electrical needs (excluding heat) for a year, to power 15 streetlights for a year, or to power one electric car for about 10,000 miles.
3. A Scarf That Filters Air Pollution
A good example of eco-couture, this scarf by Wair filters air pollution and monitors air quality.
4. Harnessing Energy From the Movement of Cars on the Road
It may be possible to harness and use the mechanical energy produced by cars moving across the road. California’s Energy Commission is investing $2 million in research along these lines, reported Phys.org on Sept. 25.
Devices using crystals would be placed beneath the pavement to capture the so-called piezoelectricity.
“It’s an energy that’s created but is just currently lost in vibration,” Mike Gravely, the commission’s deputy division chief of energy research and development, told Phys.org.
5. Pay What You Want Waste-Food Grocery Stores and Cafes
Conservation is important in addressing environmental issues. About one third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted annually, according to the U.N. Environmental Programme.
The Real Junk Food Project gets food that’s still good, but destined to be wasted, and cooks it into yummy cafe treats. It also puts it on shelves in a “grocery store” and lets shoppers pay whatever they want for it.
Many people throughout the world, often called “freegans,” collect food that will be wasted from local stores instead of grocery shopping. The Real Junk Food Project makes freeganism easier.
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