Every day, everywhere, responsible companies are doing their part to make our world greener and stronger. The second in a series, this post explores some of the more innovative ways these companies inspire us all to do more.
Mexico grows about 50% of the world’s avocados. And when you have avocado seeds, you can make biodegradable cutlery. Mexican company BioFase designs single-use cutlery and straws that break down in only 240 days. Usually, these seeds are destined for landfills where they just take up space. In addition to cutting plastic waste, BioFase is cutting avocado waste as well – plus the cutlery is beautiful!
This Florida brewery saw how ocean wildlife was getting caught in the rings that their industry used to corral their aluminum beer cans. So they thought of a better way. With biodegradable six-pack rings, not only can animals break free from any that aren’t cut before disposal, but they can even eat them! Made of barley and wheat ribbons, these Eco Six Pack Rings will help to reduce the horrific number of deaths by plastic – estimated at over one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year.
We’ve all heard the devastating news that coral reefs are becoming bleached and are deteriorating due to climate changes like increased acidity, temperature, and toxins in our oceans. The Ocean Agency runs 50 Reefs, which uses advanced imagery and AI to analyze images of shallow-water reefs instantly and at scale. Through their deep learning algorithms, the AI identifies the type of coral so scientists can track them and note the changes from climate change, ultimately helping to save them.
Transportation is a huge generator of greenhouse gases. In fact, it contributes a whopping 23 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Between 1970 and 2004, the transportation and logistics sector logged a 120 percent increase in emissions. Delivery service DHL wanted to do something about this. Working with IBM, the two companies harnessed AI to optimize DHL’s global logistics operations to predict risk, supply-side variations, demand, and 56 other factors. This coordinated effort helps DHL cut emissions significantly.
Since airlines are the top producers of emissions in the transportation industry, this story is welcome news! NASA plans to test the first all-electric airplane at the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Developed by Empirical Systems Aerospace Inc., the X-57 Maxwell is also the first crewed X-plane for NASA in two decades. This is a big step towards reducing greenhouse gases produced by the aeronautical industry. The “X” denotes it as experimental, and we hope that this is just the first in a number of flights that will tread more lightly on the Earth.
These responsible companies and organizations have the power to significantly move the needle on big issues like helping wildlife, creating sustainable products, and combating climate change. Federal, state, and local governments can’t always move as nimbly as these companies and organizations, so their contributions are more important than we realize. And with the competition they engender, they are leading larger movements as well. We applaud their Earth-friendly practices!