Every Little Bit Helps

By Matt Allchin

Collecting Waste Without Wasting Energy

Finnish company Enevo manufactures tiny, battery-operated wireless sensors. These sensors measure and predict how full waste containers are in urban areas. The information is used to generate optimized routes and schedules for collection trucks. Trucks don’t have to waste mileage going to almost empty garbage cans which means less CO2 emissions.

Encouraging Electric Vehicles

Norwegian Meshcrafts wants to remove the obstacles for switching to electric cars. The company’s founder was surprised at how difficult it was to find charging points for electric vehicles. Meshcraft aims to enable everyone to sell electricity to others from their own charging points, at their own chosen price. This would be the same as how people rent out their houses on Airbnb.

Sharing Bike Rides

AirDonkey contacts wannabe bike riders and bicycle owners via smartphone. Those who want to hire out their bike get a Bluetooth enabled lock, which users open with their phone once they’ve reserved and paid for the bike through the app. This is basically another Airbnb clone, but for bikes.

Making Waste into Fashion

Pure Waste created the official gear for the Slush Conference in Helsinki. The company is making 100% recycled garments made of cutting waste, which makes up 15% of all fabric used in manufacturing. This saves 38.5 billion liters of water every year, which would otherwise be used on cotton irrigation.

Harnessing the Sun in Developing Regions

The Norwegian company Bright Products launched their SunTurtle and solar LED lamps in May last year. They have provided 300,000 solar lamps to 2 million people around the world. They reduce the use of gasoline generators by providing these lights to places like Africa, Asia and South America.

Helping Stop Food Waste

Finnish tech company Foller aims to end food waste by encouraging the sales of food close to its sell-by date. Their solution is based on RFID tags the monitor products on the shelf of a shop. If something isn’t selling and is likely going to go to waste, it’s price automatically goes down.

Gamifying Energy Behavior 

Swedish startup company Greenly has an app that will gamify our energy use experience. The app collects information about your energy use and gives you tips for better energy efficiency. The app also has you compete against your neighbors to see who is being more efficient.