Brilliant and Environmentally-Conscious Ways to Transform How We Eat and Drink
Today is Earth Day; the day we celebrate our planet and bring awareness to environmental problems we face. We’ve seen a lot of great work combating food waste, climate change and other major issues done not only by scientists, but also Chefs, farmers and even beer brewers. Here are some projects going on right now that we should all be grateful for.
Chef Dan Barber has emphasized sustainable eating at both his Blue Hill restaurants, growing almost everything he serves himself. But to highlight the massive problem of food waste in America and to encourage us all to #LoveUglyFood, he put together an entire menu with ingredients that most of us would just throw away. The things he managed to do with beef trimmings and fish heads were remarkably delicious.
For people in tiny New York apartments or other spatially-challenged living arrangements in cities around the country, composting presents a bit of a problem. But a new trend of countertop composting led by companies like NatureMill makes it possible to make gallons of compost in your kitchen minus the typical and smelly drawbacks usually associated with the process.
Cardboard Beer Bottles
Environmentally-conscious craft brewers like Oskar Blues started a canning revolution that has taken hold over the last few years, greatly increasing the amount of recycling in the beer world. But brewing giant Carlsberg announced a new take on green packaging—biodegradable bottles. The bottles, which should come to market in the next few years, will be made from sustainably sourced paper pulp.
Edible Coffee Pods
Despite their convenience single serve coffee pods have become an environmental scourge over the last couple years—even their inventor has misgivings about his creation. So designer Eamon Chow Wai Tung created a new coffee pod made of milk powder and sugar that will dissolve right into your coffee. It’s still in the concept phase, but Chow has a working prototype.
Plantable Coffee Cups
How can you make those edible coffee pods even greener? By drinking them out of plantable coffee cups. Alex Henige, a student from San Luis Obispo, California, raised more than double the amount he asked for on Kickstarter for his project to create disposable coffee cups designed to actually grow trees when planted in the ground.
Tokyo’s massive and efficient metro system decided to get into the produce business this year and has repurposed a vacant building on one of its in lines into a hyper-clean urban farm producing greens under the name Tokyo Salad. Metro finished its first harvest a few months ago and their vegetables will show up in stores soon.
Building Materials from Food Waste
A project sponsored by the European Union has created a new technology that can turn peels, rinds and pits into graphene—a super-strong material that can be used in everything from tennis racquets to electric car batteries.