Being eco-friendly isn’t just a lifestyle choice anymore, with more businesses than ever choosing to step up their green credentials. Not only are environmentally-friendly policies popular with consumers, they also bring in more profit. The reason for this is simple – decreasing the amount of wastage or increasing the energy efficiency of a business is, of course, going to cut costs. It is not surprising, then, that we are seeing more startups making the environment their business. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting eco-friendly startups in 2015.
There’s something to look forward to from windy days, especially if you’re from Denmark. On July 9th, the nation experience strong winds and voila, they were glad in the days to come. How so, you may ask. Denmark have invested heavily on wind energy, the testimony of which can be found on their elaborate wind farms that span acres. The winds led to the production of 16% surplus energy during the day and an incredible 40% surplus overnight, to meet the entire nation’s demand and have some power still left. And prompt as they are, the Danes exported the excess energy to Germany, Norway and Sweden by leveraging their electricity grids. This clearly paints the picture of a very probably future, where renewable energy rules the power lines.
One wouldn’t imagine seeing a 40-ton 100% electric truck. The BMW and SCHERM Groups have come together to roll out this marvel. Launched at the BMW Group Plant in Munich by Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner, the truck has successfully completed its test drives. The truck will make eight rounds between the SCHERM Group logistics center and BMW Group plant in Munich, loaded with numerous vehicle components and parts. The truck will be charged with electricity drawn from renewable sources of energy, thus leaving little or no carbon footprint as it travels along the road on a daily basis. A calculation proves that the truck will save 11.8 tons of CO2 in a single year.
Putting its eco-friendly line in overdrive, BMW have unleashed the possibilities of the i8 Concept that runs on hydrogen fuel. In addition to its unparalleled, futuristic swag, the car is here to take on Toyota’s offering. The car has not been christened in all its glory as yet and continues to be a prototype that’s only getting better with each passing day. The company has been researching on hydrogen fuel for nearly three decades, which doesn’t really boast about their speed of operation. On the other hand Toyota’s 2016 Mirai will be available as the first hydrogen fuel cell EV, next year. Both companies formed a joint venture to leverage Toyota’s fuel cell expertise to the fullest. This explains why the i8 model will brag the same fuel cell technology that the 2016 Mirai will contain.
Who would have thought of Lego going the green way? The company thrives on plastic-based bricks and have been the creative building blocks of adults and youngsters for decades. The brand however has decided to play its role in global sustainability in its own way by deciding to stop the production of petroleum-based plastic bricks. By next year the company will set up the Lego Sustainable Materials Center at its headquarters in Denmark. “This is a major step for the Lego Group on our way towards achieving our 2030 ambition on sustainable materials,” said Lego Group CEO and President, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp. “We have already taken important steps to reduce our carbon footprint and leave a positive impact on the planet by reducing the packaging size, by introducing FSC certified packaging and through our investment in an offshore wind farm. Now we are accelerating our focus on materials.”
There, there now! Didn’t we warn you all about how addictive selfies could be? It seems to have caught up to plants as well. The Selfie Plant project from The Secret Life of Objects at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design seems to have its noble mission underway. Students Shruti RNR, Haoyu Li and Manu Dixit studies selfie culture in the modern world and tests how plants would react to such a culture. A number of factors lead to the trigger of a selfie such as the mood of the plant, an occasion or even change in the weather. With the help of Arduino Yu, the plant snaps itself from the angle it believes to be the finest and then shares it on social media with the help of python script.
Bees contribute greatly to the planet’s flora through pollination and by providing honey for greedy humans. Yet, all we know them for is their sting. Norway had decided to pay the bees their due with the announcement of the world’s first bee highway. The highway is created to promote movement of the bees without the risks of running out of floral lands. There are a number of intentionally planted shelter points at consistent intervals thanks to the efforts of Bybi, a group that is leading this initiative. Even corporate buildings have contributed their effort and spaces to the cause by lending out their terraces and open spaces to the world’s finest pollinators.
The legendary Double Decker buses from London have made their way along the path of global environmental awareness. This comes with the announcement of a pure electric double decker bus from this October. This announcement was made atop the first electric double decker bus, at the inaugural Clean Bus Summit, by the Mayor of London. Over 40,000 ultra-low emission buses are on their way to 24 other cities across the globe by 2020. London already features electric double decker buses plying since 2013. The buses were made by BYD who will also be developing the new ones.
Designer Kevin Czinger’s brainchild, Blade, isn’t your regular speedster. It comes with more to offer in design, manufacturing and preserving the environment. Czinger founder Divergent technologies in California, which rolled out its first 3D printed supercar model. The Blade supercar is not only a good looker but also one that handles eco-friendly performance quite well. “Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger. This makes so much sense that we’re surprised it never occurred to anyone else before. His company is revolutionalizing car building with their very own 3D-printed aluminum Node joint, which connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s frame. Thus, the cars take lesser time and space to be manufactured. Head after the jump for some impressive specs.
Everyone’s waiting for the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle to hit the mass markets soon. There could never be enough cars rolling in from the house of Tesla to overcome the world’s pollution crisis which is why we’re all eager to set our eyes on the real Tesla Model 3. To make the anticipation quadruple, we’ve learned that the Model 3 will come in more than just one form. This means we could expect an entire line of vehicles ranging from sedans to convertibles, all bearing the same hallmark Tesla logo and bringing with it the promise of a cleaner world. With the promise of a 200-mile range, this car will truly set the benchmark high for similar competition.