What does it mean to be eco-friendly? Well, it literally means earth-friendly or at least not harmful to the environment. People usually use this term when referring to products that contribute to “green living” or practices that people do to help conserve precious resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also aim to prevent unnecessary contributions to air, water and land pollution.
Trendchaser has a list of “eco trends” which showcases companies, designers, architects and others who are trying to counter climate change, and on a grand scale, are hoping to contribute to the wellness of the planet. From IKEA’s Space10 initiative to pop-up bike racks to compostable frozen treats packages, these are all eco-friendly trends that we all need to know about if we want to make even a tiny impact on our planet. And they’re also just really cool.
Schwan Cosmetics’ line Clean Beauty emphasizes transparency. Their cosmetics line feeds a growing consumer demand for products with more transparency, environmental responsibility, and safe and effective ingredients.
The products are made with no controversial ingredients like parabens, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, and synthetic fragrance. Instead, the brand focuses on using ethically sourced, eco-friendly materials. Dagmar Chlosta, the Chief Market Officer at Schwan Cosmetics, said: “Today’s consumers are leading an increasingly conscious lifestyle. With this comes a desire for transparency.”
Solar-Powered Smartphone Cases
The Soliz Case eliminates the need to charge your phone in the traditional, “old-fashioned” way. This is a new kind of case for iPhones that offers users a way to stay connected without ever having to plug in it in with a traditional cable or cord.
The solar-powered case comes in more than one style option to fit the iPhone 7 and later models. It has a solar panel on the back that passively draws energy from the sun when exposed to UV rays. The case has a relatively slim design that also provides the protection your phone needs from bumps and scrapes.
Thought that was cool? See the next product!
Biodegradable Bottled Waters
Concerns about plastic waste are only increasing and becoming more intense, with companies looking to find alternatives to satisfy consumer demands. They want sustainable products made of sustainable materials. Cove Water Bottles are made from an FDA-Approved biopolymer.
The biopolymer is 100% compostable and capable of breaking down into CO2, water, and organic waste after being disposed of by municipal compost collection. When in soil, salt, or freshwater, the bottles will safely break down, meaning they won’t hang around for thousands of years like traditional plastic materials. These water bottles will have a six-month shelf life and can be reused until the expiry date.
Tree Growing Kits
Sometimes, thinking of a gift for someone is harder than deciding which program to enroll in. this is the perfect choice for those friends or family members that seem to have just about everything! And the best part? It’s giving back to the earth, too. These tree kits, made by ForestNation, come in beautiful designs and contain basically everything you need.
The beautiful thing about this product is that the company plants 10 matching trees for each tree kit you buy. It’s all in support of reforestation projects in developing countries. Every part in the kit is either zero waste, biodegradable or recyclable. It’s a great way to “green your home” and give back to the earth.
Edible Plant-Based Buckets
When people would say “I’m so hungry I could eat the plate,” it was clearly a metaphor for raving hunger. But now it’s actually possible as these plant-based buckets can literally be eaten. More and more consumers are interested in plant-based eating to reduce packaging waste.
So Alpro, a dairy alternative brand, created a new product to offer the best of both worlds. They’re putting a plant-powered spin on the conventional chicken and French fries meals with mushroom “nuggets,” sweet potato fries, and a garlic dip. Each of these meals is served in a bucket that is made of nuts, spices, and fennel, nigella, pumpkin, and sesame seeds.
Next, see which product lets you throw the package in the compost!
Compostable Frozen Treat Packaging
Lickalix’s plastic-free packaging decomposes within 12 weeks. The company took a step forward for eco-friendly packaging that doesn’t contribute to the increasing amount of plastic waste in the environment. The packaging is made from a compostable material that can be tossed in with other food waste to decompose within 12 weeks.
This is far from all the traditional plastic-based packaging that can take hundreds or even thousands of years to break down. Co-Founder of Lickalix Karis and Dominic Gesua say, “We are only a small family business, but we want to lead the way for everyone to invest in sustainable packaging to reduce plastic use and to make the planet a happier place to live in.”
Naturally Derived Household Cleaners
Art of Green is an eco-friendly line of household cleaning products. They’re on a mission to make green cleaning accessible for everyone. The mixture is 98% naturally-derived and offered in three formats: a multipurpose cleaning spray, multipurpose wipes, and a concentrated refill.
Art of Green wants to make green cleaning the norm among most households. And not only are they good for the environment – their product actually works! Although eco-friendly products are considered to be less effective, Art of Green’s non-toxic, hypoallergenic and dermatologically-tested formulas are actually tough on grease, dirt, and grime.
The next product is a growing popular trend in many countries…
Shareable Electric Trikes
Gotcha, the electric mobility service company, decided to give people another way to get around – on electric three-wheeled vehicles. Their first publicly sharable electric trike is in addition to their e-bikes, e-scooters, and electric rideshare vehicles.
The trikes have a five-foot design with two wheels in the front and one in the back. They can accommodate two passengers and can be used for daily commutes and riding around the city. The e-trike can last about 40 miles on a single charge and can travel at a speed of up to 25 miles per hour.
Affordable Recycled Plastic Furniture
Yardbird is an eco-conscious start-up that uses plastic found in the ocean to make recycled plastic furniture. The company’s practices are rooted in sustainability and give consumers a cost-effective opportunity.
The recycled plastic furniture is perfect for outdoor spaces. The modern collections are of high quality, stylish, and comfortable. The company is also dedicated to ethical manufacturing practices, hiring a group of people in Manila to collect plastic from the ocean, getting paid by the kilogram.
Eco-friendly products can be worn too! See the next cool product…
High-Performance Cork Sneakers
SOLE & United by Blue created “the World’s Most Eco-Friendly Shoe.” The recycled cork shoes are made of Merino wool, rice rubber, algae foam, bamboo and bison fiber – all sustainable components. This design is marketed as a durable, comfortable and long-lasting shoe that delivers high-performance in a responsible way.
The natural, sustainable components mean the sneaker has hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating, odor-eliminating, and antimicrobial features, outperforming the synthetic sneakers on the market. A bonus: the shoes can be comfortably worn without socks and compressed when packing your bags for a trip!
Charcoal-Infused Eco Toothbrushes
Grin made biodegradable toothbrushes with soft bristles – a new eco-friendly option for consumers that want both the experience as well as the post-use eco-friendly profile. So, it’s an all-around better option for the oral care we all need.
The toothbrush has a non-GMO corn starch handle that’s 100% biodegradable, and the brush head itself is made with soft bristles, making it well-suited for gums and sensitive teeth. Where does the charcoal come in? Well, the toothbrushes are infused with charcoal to help get rid of bacteria while also gently removing stains (charcoal has a natural whitening capability). Oh, and the packages are also biodegradable.
Ever heard of eco-friendly coffee? If not, now you will…
Eco-Friendly Cold Brews
The coffee company Lavazza launched one of the first Rainforest Alliance Certified cold brews, an environment-friendly coffee blend that can be enjoyed in both traditional and nitro cold brew formats. The coffee is made with sustainably-sourced beans from Colombia.
The blend is said to feature flavors of grapefruit, red fruit, bergamot, and honey, and has a smooth, aromatic, and sweet taste that doesn’t require any added sweeteners. The coffee beans are sourced from the Colombian Meta region, which is helping farming families restore their plantations and build sustainable work conditions.
Space-Saving Wine Packs
London’s Garçon Wines’ offer 10-Packs of wine which ends up being half the size of a conventional 6-pack. The company introduced a flat, plastic wine bottle that can be conveniently slipped through a letterbox without being broken. And now with their 10-pack of wine bottles, it only takes up the space of four regular wine bottles.
It’s a space-saving innovative design that’s not only more convenient but also a more cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly method of shipping. The company states that it “will significantly cut carbon emissions and logistics costs from the supply chain of wine.”
Toronto, Canada has a restaurant that you’ve never seen before…
Imperfect Produce Meals
Toronto’s ‘ImPerfect Fresh Eats’ is a restaurant that makes its meals with imperfect (ugly) produce. That’s right, folks. The truth is that blemished or misshapen fruits and vegetables are usually deemed as unfit for commercial sale, leaving plenty of high-quality produce simply going to waste!
ImPerfect Fresh Eats makes wraps, salads, and bowls, along with build-your-own options, protein and sauces with unlimited toppings. They’re basically giving new life to perfectly good food! They’re not only eco-friendly but affordable too!
Upcycled Wildlife Homes
IKEA introduced its latest project that features homes for wildlife. The initiative supports the agenda of sustainability by offering shelter for animals, insects, and birds in cities. The project is called ‘Wildhomes for Wildlife,’ and it includes anything from tables to lamps to chairs.
It’s beneficial to the planet and urban animals. And it’s not just a feel-good project, it also contributes to the whole aesthetic of a city, showcasing unique and vibrant embellishment.
Next, a place you wouldn’t mind seeing a concert in!
Forest-Friendly Concrete Amphitheaters
This theater in Vietnam by 1+1>2 Architects is made of bamboo and concrete. It’s called the ‘Chieng Yen Community House,’ an entertainment venue and local gathering place that has become a tourist attraction.
The amphitheater is located in “a dense, old-growth forest,” fitting perfectly into the narrative of the landscape. And the roof is built with dry vegetation. The theater has a real whimsical presence.
Canned Hand Soaps
Trades for Good is a company that’s introducing sustainable soap in a can as a solution for helping to reduce plastic waste. This organic castile hand soap is made with a mixture of all-organic ingredients, including antioxidant-rich sea kelp, coconut oil, sunflower oil and essential oils for fragrance.
According to the company, “bathroom plastic has one of the lowest rates of recycling in the US,” and so their product offers a way for people to minimize the amount of plastic that comes into the home.
See what an environmentally-friendly fashion show looks like, next…
Globalization-Themed Fall Fashion
The T3CM Fall/Winter 2019 collection just came out, and it draws inspiration from Russia, with designs by Dmitri Kluchevski. He explores the ideas of overproduction, globalization, and ecology in his fashion. He highlights plastic overproduction by bringing awareness through literal and metaphoric translation.
The brand has a new tote bag that intentionally looks like a plastic bag. The clothing and accessories take also have the plastic bag symbol on them. His two-piece suit that features the label’s branding detail in an all-over manner stands out the most.
Sustainable Home Food Growth
Just Vertical’s Aeva system gives home plants a sustainable source that also serves as a nice piece of decor. The system purifies the air, lets owners grow their own food to eliminate waste, and even increases mental well-being.
The brand recognizes that health is a priority, and they aim to make home-grown goods a simple process. It starts with choosing where the Aeva system is placed in your home, followed by selecting a seed pod and nutrients, then setting it up and planting them. You turn on the grow light, fill water component once every two weeks, and simply watch it harvest and grow!
Next, see how hydration is becoming more health-conscious…
Haute Hydration Containers
Hydration is a top priority for health-conscious consumers, and new solutions like the Hashy Bottle is perfect for those who keep health in mind. It’s made of stainless steel with an insulated design, making drinks capable of staying hot for up to 12 hours, or cold for up to 24.
The elegant design is inspired by old-fashioned fragrance bottles, appealing to high-end consumers. The Hashy Bottle can be carried with two fingers due to the specialized cap, but it can also be used with a carrying strap, transforming it into something of a high-fashion accessory.
Pop-Up Bike Racks
This completely mobile pop-up bike rack is the size of one parking spot and fits eight bicycles. It was “Designed to bring extra infrastructure to an area where it’s difficult to find a place to lock [up].” The racks were conceived by both Dutch bike brand Union and creative agency Natwerk in partnership.
The pop-up bike rack is seen mostly in Amsterdam, being both convenient while also making a statement about the city’s emphasis on accommodating cars on the road. To pull off this initiative, Union and Natwerk found a way to make sure that the pop-up bike rack is not violating traffic laws.
Ever heard of vertical farming? See the next cool brand…
Organic Vertical Farms
Living Earth Farm is a sustainable vertical farming brand based in Toronto, specializing in producing quality greens all year. It also produces culinary herbs with a mission to create food sustainably while in a nutritious and delicious way.
The goods are all grown indoors and managed on an urban farm. They blend methods of traditional organic farming with technology to ensure that the plants are in the right environment throughout the entire year.
Autonomous Electric Buses
Volvo’s autonomous electric bus is 12 meters in length and can carry up to 93 people. It’s meant to safely drive through the streets of Singapore. It’s still in its testing stages, though, but the driverless bus is definitely an advancement within the transit system as well as the sustainability sector.
The innovation relies on artificial intelligence to operate. In addition, the vehicle is complete with light- and range-detecting sensors, as well as “cybersecurity measures to ensure its safety on public streets.” The development is really no surprise as more auto manufacturers are attempting to revolutionize transportation. In comparison with the traditional precursor, Volvo’s concept boasts zero-emissions and “uses 80 percent less energy than a diesel bus of the equivalent size.”
Outdoor Ocean Plastic Furniture
The Mater Ocean Collection designs furniture for consumers to buy “eco-chic” pieces for their outdoor spaces. Their Ocean Chair, for example, is made from a mix of 960 grams of ocean plastic and a metal frame.
The pieces are all expertly crafted to make them appear as chic as possible, with hopes of normalizing the use of unlikely materials for new consumer products. The Mater Ocean Collection was created in partnership with Dennie Ditzel and features relatively inexpensive price points to increase accessibility.
Cherry Blossom-Inspired Torch Designs
Tokujin Yoshioka has been appointed for the design of the 2020 Olympic Torch. And his beautiful designs were inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms. It’s quite an appropriate design given that the location of the Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The torch is divided into five sections, each representing a petal of the Sakura cherry blossom flower. The rose gold torch is crafted from aluminum, measuring 71 centimeters in length. Tokyo made a pledge to be sustainable during the Olympics, and thus Tokujin Yoshioka’s design is made of materials that have been sourced from a near-construction site.
Need some new T-shirt? Buy these…
Long-Lasting Minimalist T-Shirts
The Japanese apparel brand 10YC has introduced the 10YC Tee, a minimalist t-shirt, that was designed with the potential to last a decade. Two of the company’s founders previously worked for a major Japanese clothing company.
10YC wants to focus its apparel on two main advantages: toughness and comfort. The minimalist t-shirt comes only in black and white, with no logos, pockets or irrelevant details. It has a two-layer structure of a comfortable interior and an outer fabric that’s thick but also soft, durable, and resilient.
Clean Energy Community Concepts
IKEA’s Space10 initiative is building an environmentally-friendly miniature village prototype. IKEA, in general, has been focusing on sustainability, from their eco-friendly food menu to their clean energy community concept.
The plan for the village operates on the idea of circularity with a “neighbor-to-neighbor trading scheme,” referencing blockchain technology and making use of solar panels. Each house is to generate its own electricity by means of the solar panels, and any excess power is to be shared with neighboring houses by blockchain technology.
See how the next bakery is going the next mile…
Eco-Conscious Modern Bakery Designs
La Fille Du Boulanger is a Quebec-based bakery whose aesthetic is both fun and inspiring. La Fille du Boulanger is making uplifting modern bakery designs that reflect their values and philosophy. The company is deep into sustainability and has an innovative approach to limiting food waste while motivating a healthy lifestyle.
The loaves, for example, are made only on-demand, exemplifying their conscious consumption as an example for other businesses. The playful, accessible and vibrant modern bakery design is in Montreal, Canada.
Sustainable Self-Massage Rollers
The Warbler by 42 Birds is an eco-friendly cork self-massage roller which can do many things, like speed up muscle recovery, release trigger points, correct muscle imbalances, relieve stress, and more. The product is made from recyclable and biodegradable cork, which is one of the most sustainable natural materials.
It’s also naturally self-cleaning and can resist impurities, sweat, and bacteria. The massage roller has a design that’s particularly useful for accessing trigger points and knots with the right amount of pressure.
See how you can turn foam into cute little pieces of furniture, next…
Whimsical Foam Furniture
The Chinese design studio Lewu debuted a collection called ‘Borrowing for Birth’ which features foam furniture that’s surely going to capture the attention of audiences. The collection includes stool and tables that have been covered with foam.
Lewu used a “viscous liquid solution” that “released hydrogen and bubbles to form a silicone foam.” Since the technique can’t be totally controlled, the shapes and forms become unpredictable, making it fun and creative. Lewu also uses second-hand furniture in the collection.
Plant-Based Dyed Sneakers
Nike introduced the Plant Color Collection, coming from a sustainable approach, and translated through a dyeing process. The collection spotlights the Air Max 95 and the Blazer Low. Each sneaker comes in two color options, which are mainly cream, dusty pink, and off-white.
The Plant Color Collection is set to launch this year during the Summer season of 2019.
Next, another company jumped on the electric bike bandwagon…
Electrified Urbanite Bikes
Many urbanites are ditching traditional bicycles in favor of smaller and easier options that compliment life in the city. Bison Superbikes drew inspiration from the past but used a futuristic design.
The e-bike features real-time GPS tracking and the ability to connect with iOS. The bikes are also relatively affordable, making them more accessible to the masses. These Superbikes also have large, comfortable banana seats and a chain-free design.
Highly Sustainable Compact Homes
Architecture firm Estúdio 41 is building compact, stylish and eco-friendly homes in Curitiba, Brazil. They boast a minimalist silhouette with an emphasis on sustainable functionalities. The homes contain a number of water-conserving and energy-saving mechanisms, like “photovoltaic panels, a green roof, and a rainwater collection system.”
The houses are created to provide residents with more opportunities for outdoor living. Estúdio 41 focused on using cost-effective materials, and the minimalist aesthetic makes it easy-to-maintain. Aside from being clearly sustainable, they’re also design-forward and pleasing to the eye.
Next is a company that turns food scraps into plant food…
Food Scrap Produce Pottery
The ‘Compottery’ offers a trendy solution for the modern urban home that allows residents to keep their own greenery while also making the most of their food scraps and waste. The unit is meant to be filled with soil and uses worms to create vermicompost, dense in nutrients, to assist in the food growing process.
The pots are stackable, making it possible to design how short or tall they want the unit to be, according to their living space. It’s the perfect solution for those seeking a new way to make the most of their living space and their food scraps.
Waste-Reducing Cleaning Systems
Replenish teamed up with Amazon to create Clean Revolution, a line of eco-friendly cleaners designed for the e-commerce industry. One of the main issues with many household cleaners is that water is the first ingredient.
Cleaner concentrates, refill pods and reusable bottles offer an alternative that saves storage space and reduces shipping costs. The refillable bottles, for example, are compatible with the refill pods that attach to the base and are activated by pressing the bottom to release the concentrate into the tap water that’s added by the consumer.
Next, a water bottle worth checking out…
Conservation-Promoting Water Bottles
Greenpeople is an organic pressed juice brand that is launching a campaign and a water bottle collection to bring awareness to how much water the average person uses and wastes. While most drinking containers are measured in liters or milliliters, these bottles are measured by activities, such as brushing your teeth or showering.
One of the large 20-liter water bottles is labeled to represent a minute of washing a car with a hose. Greenpeople are sharing these special bottles for free in its stores on World Water Day, but they will also be sending them to influencers.
Easy-to-Clean Eco Straws
Plastic straws are actually starting to be banned in many parts of the world, meaning the demand for reusable alternatives is strong. The ‘Rain Straw’ has been designed with innovative sliding functionality, making it capable of being separated into two sides to offer complete access to what’s in the cup.
This means there’s no need for small brushes to clean the interior and it makes sure the straw is always free of debris or bacteria. The ‘Rain Straw’ is dishwasher-safe and comes in many colors to make it a fashionable accessory to your drink.
Next, some more examples of amazing eco homes…
Mountain-Inspired Concrete Houses
Steyn Studio’s ‘Sierra House’ is notable for its roof which is inspired by the lines of a mountain ridge. The name itself, Sierra, relates to the topography of the structure since the word translates to ‘saw’ and ‘mountain’ in Spanish.
Steyn Studio produces a “reinterpretation of the typical townhouse,” and the design is made to respond to the importance of sustainability. For instance, solar panels are placed on the roof between the two peaks.
Mobile Off-Grid Homes
Aiming to find the perfect balance between adventure and practicality, Italian architect Beatrice Bonzanigo designs mobile off-grid homes which are becoming an important category in the industry. The Casa Ojalá is a transportable and compact home that does not sacrifice aesthetics for functionality.
The beauty of the concept is its customizability, with possible locations and preferences of the individual. Beatrice Bonzanigo’s design has 20 different layouts, rebutting the “world of static architecture.”
Next, a unique way to use the plastic found in oceans…
Plastic-Made Ocean Sounds
National Geographic has created a thought-provoking campaign called ‘Sounds of Future Ocean,’ which addresses the issue of plastic waste and pollution in quite a remarkable way. Their short video features recognizable ocean sounds, but it’s quickly revealed that those sounds weren’t made by crashing waves.
They were made by a sound technician who created the noises using plastic from rolling bags on surfaces, rubbing garbage bags, and tapping bottle caps together. They produced a four-track record with the hopes of addressing issues of over-consumption and wastefulness.
Sustainable Norwegian Design Exhibits
Jannicke Kråkvik and Alessandro D’Orazio of design firm Kråkvik&D’Orazio curated this furniture exhibit which spotlights sustainability-focused Norwegian designs. 21 designers collaborated to make the collection which shows the importance of the circular economy.
The concept of the event is meant to honor the planet and preserve diminishing resources. The exhibit was dubbed ‘Norwegian Presence’ and ran in April 2019.