4 eco-friendly tech startups saving the world

Is green innovation the next big thing?

Silicon Valley, global hub of tech entrepreneurs, hasn’t always been synonymous with positive environmental policy. Whether it’s Uber’s questionable carbon-emission claims, or Apple’s reliance on mining precious metals for iPhone parts, the bulging app and gadget industry often has a problematic relationship with Mother Earth.

But with growing consumer pressure to adopt sustainable business practices, the next wave of disruptive technologies promises to have a distinctly green flavour. From tree-planting search engines to bioluminescent roads, we’ve found the four eco-friendly start-ups putting sustainability at the centre of their mission statement.

Think surfing the web can’t do any good? This search-engine alternative funnels 80% of its ad revenue into tree-planting programs across the developing world, helping to combat polluted air and soil erosion. With one tree being planted roughly every two seconds – or 43,000 per day – it won’t be long before Ecosia hits its 1 billion target.

Air-purifying bicycles, motion-powered dancefloors and bioluminescent roads are just a few of Dan Roosegarde’s forward-looking designs, brought to life by Dutch construction company and long-time collaborator Heijmans. Their Smog Free Tower installation in Beijing made headlines for its smart anti-pollution technology and inspiring message for global policy-makers.

Overheating gadgets aren’t just an annoyance; they’re a sign that energy isn’t being converted efficiently between various sections of hardware. Founded in 2011, MIT-based startup Arctic Sand specialise in efficient, streamlined superconductors, keeping down energy usage and allowing for thinner laptops and smartphones.

Taking a stand against the UK’s monopoly of ‘Big Six’ energy companies, eco-friendly supplier Bulb gets 100% of its electricity (and 10% of its gas) from renewable sources. With competitive prices and a minimal carbon footprint, these green-thumbed underdogs may well make a lasting impact.

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