5 Incredible Eco-Friendly Innovations To Save The Earth

By:: 
Lesley Teoh

Climate change is real and it’s accelerating. Five social enterprises are responding to planet earth’s SOS with revolutionary eco-friendly solutions to tackle waste and help save the earth.

From homes made of mushrooms to ink made of air pollution, here are some of Asia For Good’s favourite innovations from across the region that are shaping a greener, more sustainable future for our planet.

Were you as fascinated as we were? Read on to find out more about each of these amazing Asian social enterprises after the jump.

Graviky Labs Turns pollution into art

[Image Credit: Graviky]

GRAVIKY LABS, INDIA

Turning pollution into art

In 2017, India’s air pollution has surpassed China’s and continues to worsen steadily, at pace with rapid industrialisation. Air pollution in the country has caused 1.1 million premature deaths each year.

Graviky’s retrofit KAALINK technology, which is easily installed on vehicle tailpipes, captures 95% of carbon emissions and pollutants like soot, to help improve air quality by reducing particulate levels from vehicles or chimneys. The pollutants are recycled into ink, which is used write, draw and paint. To date, the venture has cleaned over a whopping 1.6 trillion litres of air.

You can get a hold of this incredible ink and artwork when it launches by backing Graviky’s Air-Ink on Kickstarter.

Mycotech Indonesia turns mushrooms into bio-composite building materials

MYCOTECH, INDONESIA

Rooms from mushrooms

From 2000-2010, industrial activities like mining and logging contributed to nearly 45 percent of total forest land lost in Indonesia. At the same time, the nation produces roughly 120 million tonnes of agricultural waste each year.

Mycotech has pioneered the use of mushroom technology to create sustainable buildings. Their environmentally-friendly building materials are made from recycled vegetable waste that uses mushroom mycelia as a binding agent. Mycotech’s philosophy is that building materials should be functional without compromising on aesthetics or harming the planet.

Their holistic solution is helping farmers, lessening environmental degradation and creating affordable housing for local communities. Mycotech buys waste crops from farmers, which would have otherwise been burned (i.e. slash-and-burn farming) and turns them into affordable bio-composite boards that are used to build low-cost housing.

Fun fact: the idea was inspired by tempeh – an Indonesian food made by fermenting soybeans, which binds them into a ‘cake’!

ELRHINO, INDIA

Rewriting the future of India’s elephants and rhinos on dung paper

Elrhino produces artisanal, tree-free (its odour-free in case you were wondering!) paper products from upcyled elephant and rhino dung, as well as forest waste. The paper is made of hand-pressed fibre pulp that is passed out in their poo.

Their work supports the conservation of the Great One-Horned Rhinoceros which is listed as vulnerable, as well as the endangered Indian Elephants in Assam in north-eastern India. Elrhino also actively involves local communities in the paper production process, providing them with a much needed source of income. This effectively deters man-animal conflicts and incentivises local communities look after the wellbeing of these majestic creatures.

Check out their hand-crafted paper notebooks and cards and pledge to become a keystone cadet and advocate for the Great One-Horned Rhinos and Asian Elephants.

Elrhino paper turns rhino and elephant dung into sustainable handmade paper products

ALCHEMIST CREATIONS, HONG KONG

Turning back the clock on waste

Alchemist Creations upcycles trash into wearable fashion and artworks such as the world’s first soda can watch, which fully functional and elegant. All their designs are guiding by a commitment to sustainability and the belief that there is beauty in the mundane.

What’s more, their products are handcrafted by the underprivileged, as well as those with disabilities and special needs in sheltered workshops, which provides them with a steady income and helps them eventually reintegrate into the workforce.

BLUEREN, SINGAPORE

Today’s waste, tomorrow’s skyscrapers

Singapore produced a staggering 822 tonnes of plastic waste in 2016. Only 7 percent was recycled, while the rest was disposed of in landfills or incinerated. Blueren is addressing this waste management challenge with its novel technology that turns plastic waste into carbon nanotubes (CNTs), without emitting any toxic gases and with virtually no carbon footprint. CNTs are used in everything from rechargeable batteries to high-end electronics. CNTs are also commonly used to reinforce concrete, generating about 30 percent savings in cement usage. 

FEATURED SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

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