Green Inventions

image of lightbulb

This is one of those green inventions that captures energy.

Invented by four engineers from Harvard University, the soccer ball harvests energy created from impacts.

The sOccket has a built-in inductive coil that collects kinetic energy. After about 15 minutes of kicking the ball around it will produce enough electricity to light an LED flashlight for 3 hours.

There is a need for inexpensive green inventions that provide off-grid energy solutions for developing regions such as Africa.

image of soccket In most African countries there is no access to electricity and more than a billion people around the world rely entirely on kerosene to light their homes.

Jessica Lin, along with co-inventors, Hemali Thakker, Julia Silverman and Jessica Matthews have received grants, including funding from the Clinton Global Initiative University, to develop a prototype of their invention.

"Soccer is in every African country, so we thought, why not try to get a little more out of that energy," says Lin. The sOocket was successfully crowdfunded on kickstarter.


Clean Water

green inventions The tragic loss of lives from the lack of safe drinking water in the aftermath of the tsunami in Indonesia and the hurricane in Louisana, motivated inventor Micheal Pritchard to find a solution.

After developing many prototypes, he designed an innovative handheld water purification device that creates fresh water instantly.

The LifeSaver bottle removes bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and all microbiological pathogens from contaminated water without the use of chemicals and lasts for years with very little maintenance.

Accepted for use by military forces, Lifesaver has also received a technological development award for green inventions.


Recycling Paper

green inventions Sawa Hiroshi is an engineer employed by the Oriental Development Company in Japan to develop green inventions.

"Global warming is a serious environmental problem and we wanted to develop an eco-friendly recycling product," says the 37 year-old inventor.

"We wanted zero-emissions and something that was economical and would contribute to conservation."

Funded by Oriental Development and Sanko Electronics, Sawa focused his efforts on an invention that would recycle waste paper. He invented a small-scale recycling machine that converts waste paper into toilet paper.

Paper is thrown into a hopper and the machine untangles, shreds and uses hot water to dissolve the paper into a pulp.

The machine then automatically adjusts the consistency of the pulp, removes any foreign particles, dries and compresses it into sheets and rolls it into toilet paper that exits out the other end.

green inventions It takes about 30 minutes to make a roll and each one is made with the equivalent of 40 sheets of standard size office paper.

Over a period of a year the machine would save about 60 cedar trees.

This green invention, affectionately named the "White Goat", has already won awards for innovation and is expected to be available for distribution later this year.


Vertical Farming

green inventionsVertical farming is an eco-friendly architectural concept for cultivating food within skyscrapers.

It uses green inventions and green technologies related to hydroponics, aeroponics and agua-farming to economically produce food for personal and communal consumption.

It is estimated that over the next four decades, our population will increase by 3 billion people and that 80% of us will be living in cities.

Many scientists are concerned that the amount of land required to feed us in the future will not be available nor will it be economically or environmentally sustainable.

Currently, the amount of land required to produce food for 6.8 billion people on earth is equivalent to the continent of South America. In four decades, we will require an additional 2 billion acres for cultivating food. But that much arable land doesn't exist.

Global warming and geological events will continue to create extreme weather conditions causing frost, floods, droughts, hailstorms, wildfires and torrential rainfalls that will severely effect the economics and sustainability of our food supply.

India has the world's second largest population and is experiencing extreme changes in temperatures and rainfall patterns.

It is predicted that within this century, India will lose 30% of it's agricultural production. So as the population increases, scientists are wondering - "Where are we going to get food?"

Currently, seventy-percent of available freshwater is used for agricultural irrigation, which subsequently contaminates our diminishing supply of fresh water with pesticides and herbicides.

green inventions Transporting food thousands of miles is also becoming increasingly impractical and unsustainable because of the rising costs of gasoline and diesel fuel.

In the United States, it is estimated that twenty-percent of all fossil fuel consumption is used for agriculture.

Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist and professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, is credited with popularizing the concept of vertical farming.

The idea originated from an assignment given to his students to determine how 2 million inhabitants of Manhattan could be fed from crops produced on 13 acres of rooftop gardens.

It was discovered that only 2% of the population could be fed from these gardens so vertical farming became an alternative solution.

Vertical farming stacks and grows plants "vertically" in skyscrappers and uses mineral enriched water instead of soil. It also uses the recycling concept of aquaponics where fish are cultivated in tanks and their waste provides nutrients for edible plants that reciprocate by filtering the water for the fish.

Advances in green inventions are making vertical farming a reality. The Illinois Institute of Technology is currently designing such a project for the city of Chicago.

Sources/Credits:;; soa architects