23/3/2016 - 12:00 am

#NowTrending: 3 Green Things We’re Coveting This Spring

Written by

Spring is in the air and with spring comes fresh flowers, spring cleaning and an abundance of new, innovative and very green things. In a world that is becoming increasingly, technologically driven, it is important to discover new ways we can use social innovation to design a more sustainable planet. From a gardening kit that lets you grow veggies from the comfort of your own home, to a bike that can predict the weather, these are just a few of the green things we’re coveting this spring.

IKEA’s Hydroponic Gardening Kits 

Despite what many people might believe, IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant, is on a mission to provide everyday people with sustainable solutions. This April, the company will unveil a new line of indoor gardening kits which include everything you need to start growing produce on your kitchen countertop.

In collaboration with scientists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, IKEA has developed the KRYDDA/VÄXER system. The hydroponics system contains everything you need to enjoy a home-grown salad from the comfort of your kitchen. And, best of all - it’s completely fool-proof and soil free.

All you need to do is place the seeds onto the absorbent form plugs which keep the moisture in and prevent over-watering. Once the seedlings sprout, you just transfer them into their own pots, fill them up with highly-absorbent stones and place them onto a bigger tray equipped with a solar lamp and a water-level sensor.

This invention is just one of the ways IKEA is changing the way we think, live and eat. The home gardening kits are a part of a larger initiative to reinvent their business model, making it more environmentally sustainable. “We will be increasingly building a circular IKEA where you can repair and recycle productssaid the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Steve Howard. We can expect to see an exciting bunch of ground-breaking innovations from IKEA in the coming years.

The Smart Bike

The internet and digital technology is constantly changing the way consumers interact with everyday objects from appliances, to clothing. Now, London-based bicycle company Brompton is changing the way we ride our bikes.

The company recently teamed up with software developer, EVERYTHING to explore what would happen if our bikes were digitally connected. “We wanted to see what would happen if we combined our unique little bike with a cutting edge Internet of Things technology like EVRYTHNG.” explained the company’s Chief Design and Engineering Officer. “Can we make a product which is smarter? Can we make the experience of riding it better? Can we make it safer? Can we make it more accessible?

The key features of the foldable, smart bikes include weather tracking, a function that alerts riders when cars get to close and an emergency screen through the app which provides vital emergency information. Te project is still in the prototype stage, but some elements may be put into practice later this year.

Ugly Veggies

Over 40 percent of all fruit and vegetables in wasted every day. The majority of it winds up in the trash because it is deemed ‘too ugly’ to sell although it is perfectly good to eat. To fight this issue, a UK based service called Wonky Vegetables is repacking this odd looking produce and delivering it directly to your doorstep. 

The company is changing our relationship with food, making us more accepting of the fact that odd-looking carrots and potatoes are just as good as their pretty brothers and sisters. Each week, subscribers get a crate of vegetables delivered to their door. At a fixed price, these crates contain essentials (like potatoes, carrots, onions) along with seasonal produce in shapes and sizes you won’t find at supermarkets. Because the vegetables are ‘uglier,’ the company offers up to 57 percent savings against similar crate delivery services. 

However, their end goal is not to just sell “wonky vegetables” but to normalize the purchase or weird looking fruits and veggies. “We feel we should aim for a system in which vegetables are graded only by whether they are fit for human consumption or not.” their website explains. Not only does this initiative alleviate food waste, it helps farmers and the company donates 10 percent of their profits to charity.

Read 3098 times Last modified on 1/4/2016 - 10:52 am
Joi M Sears

Joi M. Sears is a creative strategist, freelance journalist and social entrepreneur. She is the founder and Creative Director of Free People International, a social enterprise which specializes in designing sustainable products, creative platforms and innovative experiences for the greater social good.

Login to post comments
Top

Friday's Newsletter with the best stories of the week.

Your email address: (required)