While climate change is on the rise, plenty of designers, inventors, companies and even industrialists are fighting to reverse that. Here are the stories on sustainability that stuck out this year:
As so-called "Eco-Friendly, 100% Compostable" takeout containers have been found to contain harmful cancer-linked chemicals, there's actually a massive design opportunity presenting itself.
A Japanese consortium produced a concept car to show that they can make interior and exterior automotive panels out of wood--at 1/5th the weight of steel, but five times stronger.
Aluminum can be recycled infinitely, and creating new aluminum is bad for the planet. So if you're going to design something new, useful and desirable, please make it out of recycled aluminum cans.
Thanks to Bill Gates' deep pockets, a company called CarbonCure has figured out novel way to make concrete more green.
While there's a ravenous global demand for concrete, there are alternatives. One eco-friendly breakthrough comes in the form of these fireproof, Lego-like Hempcrete blocks.
Israeli company UBQ Materials has figured out how to turn household garbage into injection-moldable thermoplastic. Just incredible.
A team of Canadian students invented the Hoola One, a machine that can harvest microplastic from beaches.
Plastic bags are recyclable, so why can't we throw them in recycling bins? PBS explains.
In Southeast Asia, some supermarkets have developed an eco-friendly, plastics-free way for supermarkets to package vegetables
It would incentivize people to stop using plastic utensils if there was a well-designed, portable and desirable alternative. Well, now there is, and it's called Magware
The Unocup is a folding-top takeout coffee cup that needs no plastic lid. We also covered its (successful) launch on Kickstarter.
While we're busy screwing up the Earth, at least people are recycling in space. Astronauts on the ISS will use a "Space Recycler" machine that turns waste into 3D printer feedstock.
Lastly, a clever move by a small-town newspaper: Printing a full-page pattern, to ensure it's upcycled as wrapping paper.