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What would tomorrow look like if, starting today, we started celebrating the creative and ingenious people who are finding climate solutions? If we gave these innovators more headlines than fear inducing facts or pessimistic prognoses? Innovators and activists are the backbone of the fight against climate change, and their desire for change and drive to design a path to the future are things we just cannot afford to give up on.
This is a different take on climate change: an article that won’t leave you feeling hopeless, but rather seeing potential in even the most unexpected places, celebrating 3 creatives who are taking a fresh look at the way we eat!
Focusing on the parts of climate change we can control
Earth is heating up–and it’s no secret! This year has been our planet’s hottest yet on record. Global warming is a multifaceted issue with a growing number of complexities. While the responsibility of climate friendliness isn’t a single individual’s weight to bear alone, one of the primary ways we can have an influence is with our food choices. Globally, the food industry from production to the supply chain– even down to the land used to grow crops and house livestock, accounts for 25-35% of CO2 emissions annually 1.
For some, the answer to living a more climate-friendly life is to adopt a more vegetarian diet in an effort to offset the higher level of CO2 emitted by livestock. (Remember, with anything regarding our impact on the climate it’s about progress–not perfection.) Even with our best veggie efforts, this solution is only so effective. Produce grown at large scales requires massive amounts of water and more often than not the use of large, CO2 producing equipment to grow and transport food across the country and the globe.
So what are we to do? When faced with difficult choices we can either choose to give up, or we can be forced to think as creatively as we can. The latter is exactly what these three innovators have chosen to do. Their creativity and innovation is the kind of thinking we need to be celebrating.
Arina Shokouhi is an artist from the UK who has come up with an eco-friendly avocado alternative, the aptly-named Ecovado. I know exactly what you’re thinking– how can an avocado be bad for the environment? The truth is, in nature they’re not, but when mass produced by humans, it takes about 2000 liters of water (about 7 full bathtubs of water) to produce one kilogram of avocados 2. Due to the massive popularity of this fruit, we end up needing over 180 MILLION liters of water a year to maintain this crop alone.
Enough of my nerdy babbling, let’s hear more from Arina herself!
Absolutely incredible, right? Great Big Story is one of our most favorite creators here at the Goodness Exchange, and we are so happy they’re back! Check out their YouTube channel to dive into more amazingly good news!
2. Egg Without A Chicken
Defying the eternal question, this egg comes after no chicken. Made with pea protein and algae derivatives, this egg is 100% birdless! While this product is not commercially available, it’s a promising step in making our food industry less carbon dependent. In fact, this step has already been taken by other startups, and you can find them online or even at your local grocer! The creator, Annie Larkins even coats these chickenless eggs in a few layers of melted plant wax so you can crack them like the real deal. Replacements do not always mean sacrificing taste or texture, especially with today’s technology! Not to mention, being made of more readily available plant products, this slashes the emissions it would take to raise and maintain chickens 4!
3. 3D Printed Leftovers
Think printing food is cool? Elzelinde van Doleweerd has taken it one step further by creating this inventive way to eliminate food waste! Her invention “upprints,” food using a paste made from a variety of ingredients all sourced from table scraps! As the paste is printed into fun 3D shapes, the product is a cracker-like dehydrated snack that not only has a sustainable source– your leftovers– but also a long shelf life 5!
Earth: The Planet in Need of Optimism
Pessimism has has pervaded too many conversations about climate change. It’s lead many to think less of humanity and others to believe that Earth’s fate is sealed–setting sights on extraplanetary destinations for humanity. The truth is, our world just needs hope!
Our world needs optimism. It needs innovators and activists who want to design a better future. Just as they refuse to give up on our planet, we can’t give up on them.If more ideas such as the ones we’ve shared with you here were supported and invested in, I’m sure our future will be brighter.
Our world needs the creatives, the curious people, the passionate optimists, and if we can’t contribute with ideas ourselves we can work to make sure these people get the support, encouragement, and spotlight they deserve. Will avocado alternatives or 3D printing our leftovers be the silver bullet to solving climate change? Probably not. But these innovations do give us a place to start important conversations, learn more about ways we can be a net contributor to climate solutions, and support future waves of climate innovation.
Want to Discover More Climate Innovations?
Kenyan Nonprofit Turns Flip Flops into Beautiful Works of Art, Cleaning Beaches and Empowering Communities
In sculptures made of flip flops that you have to see to believe featuring turtles, elephants, zebras, life-size giraffes, and many, many more, Kenyan nonprofit Ocean Sole’s artistic ingenuity solves more than one problem. Turning trash into treasure, this organization cleans Kenyan beaches, provides jobs for local artisans, and raises awareness for our flip flop problem, all at the same time. Ready to feast your eyes on this incredible art?Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Meet the New Vegan Bacon Made From Seaweed
When it comes to faux bacon, it’s not just about taste. People want the bacon to be as authentic as possible including the sizzling fat. Now a Bay Area California startup has introduced a vegan bacon that is made from seaweed that tastes delicious and has a crispy bacon appearance.Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Turning Pineapples into Plantable Plates!
Meet the people turning fruit waste into super-sustainable packaging! Their amazing innovations are opening a whole new world of possibility for us all. Prepare never to look at pineapples—or paper plates—the same again.Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Your Idea Could be Earth’s Best Hope
In the realm of creativity and ideating, there are no wrong answers, so put yours out there! In our position, everyone’s creativity and effort matters. Put your ideas forward, and if you have the means, put them into action! Even the most out-there thoughts could hold much needed solutions, and those thoughts could be yours!
Keep smiling and stay safe,
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- “How Much of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Come from Food?” Our World in Data, 2021, ourworldindata.org/greenhouse-gas-emissions-food. Accessed 10 Aug. 2023. ↩
- Lee, Chelsea. “Ecovado Could Be a Greener Alternative to ‘Green Gold.’” CNN, CNN, 12 Aug. 2022, edition.cnn.com/2022/08/12/europe/ecovado-climate-scn-spc-intl/index.html. Accessed 10 Aug. 2023. ↩
- Great Big Story. “This Is Not an Avocado.” YouTube, YouTube Video, 21 June 2023, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmcSxlMDZrw. Accessed 10 Aug. 2023. ↩
- Hitti, Natashah. “Annie Larkins Develops Plant-Based Alternative to Chicken Eggs.” Dezeen, Dezeen, 28 Oct. 2019, www.dezeen.com/2019/10/28/annie-larkins-vegan-egg-food/. Accessed 10 Aug. 2023./ ↩
- Parkes, James. “10 Eco-Friendly Food Alternatives Made Using Technology.” World Economic Forum, 25 July 2022, www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/food-innovations-technologies-climate-change. Accessed 10 Aug. 2023. ↩