At the end of 2016, the “Looking Further with Ford” Trend Report found that 70% of adults are concerned about the damage done to our environment as well as climate change, drought and floods. To start the year on an optimistic note, we’ve identified 10 green trends which should grow and prosper!
1 – Grow your own indoor garden
The French startup “Prêt à Pousser” was much talked about at SIAL 2015 when it launched the 1st grow-your-own mushroom kit. The company’s aim was to bring the plant world into everyday life and recreate the wonder of nature in the kitchen. 18 months later, they are now leaders on the grow-your-own market with a community of over 26,000 “pick-your-own” foodies.
2 – Use your energy to pay the bill
At the end of 2016, the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan created a buzz by opening the 1st electric café in Paris. For 3 days, visitors to this this pop-up venue could pedal away on electric bicycles to generate and store the energy needed to make their coffee. Price for a coffee: 30 Watts!
3 – Breed flies
Raphaël Smia decided to set himself up as a fly breeder or insect farmer in the Laval region of France. Here, he developed a business breeding a specific species of fly whose larvae feed on organic waste. Since cattle naturally feed on flies when grazing, these larvae are then used for animal feed.
In this way, the vicious cycle of food waste is transformed into a circular economy. In 10 years, the proteins from locally produced flies can replace 50% of the fish meal used in animal feed but can also be used as fertiliser and biofuel.
4 – Grow bionic flowers
In 2016, the Linköping University in Sweden developed the 1st bionic plant in history. This “amped-up white rose” is embedded with electronic circuits which reproduce the phenomenon of photosynthesis and create electricity, otherwise known as electrosynthesis.
Solar energy is used more efficiently in these bionic leaves to produce carbon molecules with the result that researchers from all over the world are dreaming of making them an alternative to petrol.
5 – Reduce your on-line digital footprint
When we use the internet, our personal information is taken from us and stored in gigantic Datacenters which produce as much greenhouse gases as the whole world’s air traffic!
The French company SONORA LAB is about to present a ground-breaking product at CES in Las Vegas: the 1st home Datacenter with an environmental footprint of almost 0.
The product comes in the form of a box called LOLA where we can store and protect our whole family’s data or decide to open up a free space to a third party. On the one hand, your data won’t be sent to global private server companies any more. On the other, it won’t cost you a single penny more on your electricity bill.
6 – Switch to vegan mode
The vegan trend is growing stronger and stronger in Europe and not just in terms of what’s on our plate. To appeal to Millennials, cool brands are now making a promise that no animals are used in their clothing: goodbye leather and wool!
Dr Martins has launched a synthetic leather collection with a vegan label.
And recently, the vegan jeans brand Naked&Famous has pushed the analogy with what we eat even further by launching a campaign under the “Gluten Free” clean label. Watch for imitations!
7 – Clean the oceans
Boyan Slat is a 21-year-old young man from the Netherlands who’s decided to clean up the oceans. He has created Ocean Cleanup, a prototype worth 2 million Euros that detects and collects plastic waste. In 10 years, with just one machine, half the massive layer of rubbish on the Pacific could be cleaned up!
The aim to clean up our oceans has attracted many sea lovers to crowdfounding platforms. The “Seabin project” aimed at cleaning marinas in the United States has raised over 250,000 dollars on Indigogo. In France, the sailor Yvan Bourgnon has just closed his fund on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, having raised €150,000 to build a huge boat to collect plastic waste.