This month we will take a look at the exciting innovation going on in the environmental world. From new technologies to insights from experts at the forefront of research and development, this month is dedicated to the new and extraordinary advances happening in the “green” sector.
All over the world, there are Centers for Environmental Innovation popping up in all different industries, even universities! People interested in using their creativity and background in a variety of disciplines, from biology to engineering to sculpture and everything in between, are working together to make “green living” beautiful, affordable, and sustainable.
Inhabit is a website devoted entirely to “green design, innovation, and the future of clean technology.” The Northeast Indiana Green Build Coalition has an annual competition that results in the naming of the recipient of the Green Innovation Award; this year, the winner was Transformations Furniture.
Innovation is much more than just sleek new furniture designs and think tanks- it is also refers to the inspiring actions of small communities and youth groups taking steps to clean up their neighborhoods, reducing their carbon footprints and resource usage, and rethinking traditional ideas about consumption, production and everyday living. Take Edith Floyd, for example: a Detroit woman sick of seeing the empty housing lots leftover from a stalled airport expansion who decided to use the land for good. Now different lots produce different produce: strawberries in one, kale in another, lima beans in a third, and so on. In the urban landscape of downtown Detroit, this agricultural oasis provides food for Edith, the soup kitchen and the local farmer market, while also introducing much-needed greenery into a concrete landscape.
During COP17, youth were outspoken about the need for international governments to take action to combat climate change. In Durban, South Africa, where COP17 took place just last week, 1,500 South African youth gathered on a beach and formed the shape of a lion’s head to call for urgent government action on climate change. Environmental innovation is everywhere, and it will be an exciting month as we explore the many places in our lives that it is popping up.
Later this week, we will have a couple of final guest blogs from youth activists who attended COP17, providing their thoughts on the role that youth played in the negotiations and next steps for these young environmentalists.