Today’s Solutions: October 16, 2021

A refrigerator made of clay, an energy bar made from crickets, and a recycle-ATM: the sustainable top 100 from the organization Sustainia is a yearly smorgasbord of creativity. Every year Sustainia presents the Sustainia 100, an overview of a hundred innovative, sustainable solutions from all over the world. In June, the third edition of the list was published. The list gives insight into which sustainable developments are being worked on in the world currently. By not focusing on what things we should avoid for a better future – such as hot showers, driving cars and eating meat – but by focusing on what we can do the organization hopes to give sustainability a positive boost.
The Optimist selected the five most remarkable projects, which highlight how a sustainable future doesn’t have to be boring or take a lot of effort. Small, often simple ideas can offer solutions to many of the problems of today, such as painful food shortages, poverty and e-waste.
Exo-618x412Cricket flour
Two American students would share their homemade energy bars with their fellow students. The bars did so well that they started their own company, Exo, to produce the energy bars for a larger audience. The bars have an unusual main ingredient: flour made from crickets. Though it might not sound very appealing, the bar is worth tasting. The production of insects takes very little water, food and space compared to the meat industry. In addition, crickets have twice as much protein as chicken. The Exo-bar was developed by three-time star chef Kyle Connaughron and is available in the following flavors: chocolate-nut, cashew-ginger, and peanut butter and jelly.
Mitticool-ClearRefrigerator made out of clay
The Mitticool refrigerator is made of clay and works without electricity. That makes it a suitable refrigerator for rural communities in developing countries where electricity is scarce. The Mitticool is also more affordable than regular refrigerators. The secret of the refrigerator is a cooling system that works on the principle of evaporation. Water from the top chamber slowly drips down the sides and evaporates, which carries heat with it and keeps the inner chambers cool. The refrigerator can keep vegetables and milk fresh for several days. The clay refrigerator was conceived in India and is already available in Kenya, the United Arab Emirates and England.
Screen-shot-2014-07-07-at-11.02.23-AMSecondhand clothing as currency
This solution turns textile waste from urban areas in India into currency that helps development projects in rural areas. The organization GOONJ collects second hand clothing and shoes in twenty Indian states. They then recycle that clothing and transport it to disaster areas. There they work with local communities to rebuild roads, houses or schools in exchange for the clothing (using the clothing as payment). So far they’ve completed more than fifteen hundred projects using this model.
EcoATM-234x412ATM for your old phone
Ever tried to sell your old phone in the marketplace and ended up just throwing it out anyway? The American company Outerwall thought up a new way to combat e-waste that benefits the consumer. The EcoATM is a network of cash machines where you deposit your old phone and immediately get the value paid out in cash. It sounds like a futuristic fantasy machine, but it really exists. The machine scans the type and serial number of your old phone and the condition. Then the EcoATM looks for the highest bidder for that phone in a network of buyers and asks the seller if they agree with the bid. If yes, you get your money right then and there.
Terminal makes old computers useful againOld-computer
Free software from Linux makes it possible for old computers to come back to life. The Linux Terminal Server Project makes a ‘terminal server’out of old computers, a sort of tunnel to a more powerful computer. A school for instance will then only need one powerful computer to make all the old computers work. The students open their software using the terminal, and can run new programs which otherwise won’t work on their old computers, via the main server. This means that schools don’t have to spend a lot of money investing in updating the whole computer system in a school and yet they can stay current with their software. This also means old computers will have a longer life.
Take a look at the complete Sustainia 100 list at

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