We recently wrote about Earthshot Prize nominee Vinisha Umashankar, a clever 14-year-old student from Tamil Nadu who created a mobile ironing cart that runs off solar power. Although Umashankar didn’t win an Earthshot Prize, the five other recipients were recently announced. Here are the winners and the innovations which got them there.
Protect and Restore Nature: The Republic of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a frontrunner in environmental action and advocacy. The country has been celebrated for its reforestation efforts and emissions reductions, and its Earthshot Prize is awarded for a scheme that includes both of those goals. The prize was awarded for a program that pays local residents to restore ecosystems. The program has resulted in widespread rainforest restoration.
Clean our Air: Takachar, India
The “Clean our Air” prize goes to a group in India that came up with a method for turning agricultural waste into fertilizer, eliminating the need for farmers to burn their fields and cause air pollution.
Revive our Oceans: Coral Vita, Bahamas
Run by best friends Gator Halpern and Sam Teicher, Coral Vita grows coral in the Bahamas which it uses to restore the world’s reefs. Their microfragmenting method, designed by Dr. David Vaughan, allows coral to grow 50 times faster than it would in nature.
Build a Waste-Free World: The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy
Milan’s innovative food waste program pairs unused food with those in need, simultaneously addressing food waste and hunger in the city.
Fix our Climate: AEM Electrolyzer, Thailand/Germany/Italy
We’ve written extensively about the potential of green hydrogen, and the “Fix our Climate” award goes to a group working on that solution. The AEM electrolyzer makes green hydrogen by using renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, eliminating the need for fossil fuels in the process.
Organized by the Duke of Cambridge to reward people trying to save the planet, the Earthshot Prize is a decade-long program established this year that aims to make this decade a pivotal one for building a greener future. “Time is running out,” said Prince William. “A decade doesn’t seem long enough, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable.”