In his recent June 18th encyclical letter Laudato Si, Pope Francis called for “decisive action” to stop environmental degradation and global warming. Taking his name from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of ecology, the Pope explained that protecting the planet was a moral and ethical imperative that supersedes political and economic concerns. He also called for replacing fossil fuel technology with new sources of renewable energy.
“All of us can cooperate … for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents,” the encyclical reads. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”
What better place for the human family to share ideas for a more sustainable future than with crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter? Social media and smartphone technology might be our best chance at collectively confronting environmental degradation and global warming.
Although crowdfunding alone may not be enough to protect our resources, there are various fully-funded products that can save the planet by helping all of us go green.
1. Edyn Smart Garden Sensor
The solar-powered Edyn Garden Sensor is a device that monitors and tracks environmental conditions, helping your plants thrive. The Edyn sensor measures soil moisture, pH, temperature, humidity, light levels and soil nutrient levels to help assess the needs of plants. Rather than water on a timer, Edyn evaluates your actual watering needs so there’s no need for waste, particularly during drought conditions. The sensor communicates with the Edyn valve, turning the sprinkler system on and off based on sensor data.
The Edyn smart garden system can also give advice on the best plants to grow, by considering local climate and soil conditions such as moisture, acidity and fertility. This will help improve garden yields, even for novice gardeners. The sensor can also transmit data up to 33 feet to a home router — and a smartphone app can pull data from the Edyn cloud.
Using alerts and suggestions, the Edyn app should make it easier for home owners to care for their plants while lowering utility bills. This could be indispensable for anyone growing their own food. According to the Edyn Kickstarter site, the device will “enable us to become better stewards of the environment and what we grow, because understanding our environment is the first step in conserving it.”
2. Eco-Friendly Home Accessories
An eco-friendly mindset can also help you design your home with bamboo and re-purposed hardwood accessories for the kitchen, home and office. According to creator Walter Dill, “our true responsibility as humans is to bring joy and beauty into the world.”
Drawing upon designs from Celtic, Gothic, Chinese, Moorish and other traditions, Dill designs objects that are beautiful and useful. Most importantly, he uses materials he considers ecologically sound.
Using computer-controlled woodworking process for unlimited design and production, Dill crafts a variety of decorative objects such as serving trays, cooling racks, spring clips and cookbook stands, as well as mirrors and clocks. He also uses parts made over 30 years ago, re-purposing woodwork that would have otherwise been destined for the waste dump.
3. Kids Imagination Furniture
Cardboard has become an increasingly popular medium on crowdfunding sites, with one team of designers calling themselves The Cardboard Guys. They offer imaginative furniture for kids who like to turn boxes into race cars, castles, airplanes and more.
Kids Imagination Furniture fosters creativity in a fun, environmentally friendly way. The Cardboard Guys do this by using reversible outer pieces, cubbies for storage, DIY attachments, and a proprietary snapping and locking system. Kids can color their furniture and turn it into anything they like before flipping pieces to try a completely different look.
The Cardboard Guys have given us a product that’s easy to assemble, 100% recycled and incredibly strong. Lightweight but durable, the cardboard furniture can withstand the unlimited imagination of a child. And when they’re done with them, the pieces can be recycled.
4. Kor Water Filter
When it comes to home water filtration, KOR’s Water Fall offers hydration in the home. KOR’s first Kickstarter campaign featured the Nava, an innovative filtering device called “Product Accessory of the Year” by Inc Magazine. For Water Fall, KOR utilizes a filtration process that mirrors pour over coffee, using a counter-top stand with a coconut shell filter that’s separate from the glass carafes. This means you can serve fresh water from a carafe and leave the filter behind.
The KOR filter uses coconut shells because they’re an effective and renewable material for carbon filtration, meeting filtration standards for NSF 42 in the categories of chlorine and chloramines. Since most home filters fail to filter chloramines used by municipal systems to treat drinking water, KOR’s Water Fall ensures quality water without the need for bottled water. A filter subscription provides you with clean filters when it’s time for a replacement.
Working Towards a Sustainable Future
These are only four of many new offerings for the home, although Kickstarter showcases plenty of eco-friendly options for life on-the-go. Protecting the planet can be easy when we seek out, fund and sample all the exciting new products offering a more sustainable future.