The phrase “there is no magic pill” is often preceded by diet, fitness, reaching lofty goals, or building a reputation. It can be said for most aspects of life and it is especially true for stemming and, whenever possible, reversing decades of pollution and destruction (at worst) or our own environmental apathy (at “best”).
Both big swooping changes as well as what might seem like small and insignificant changes can have a major impact on the health of our planet. We are both excited and eager to adopt and champion methods and products which offer concrete, innovative solutions to the waste, recycling and renewable challenges that our communities face.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the 12 in ’23:
ADVANCED MECHANICAL RECYCLING
Mechanical recycling is integral to the success of the global economy and AI-assisted systems that are coming to market in 2023 will undoubtedly have an undeniable effect on the ability to more effectively speed up plastic waste classification. What this kind of technological innovation will bring to the recycling industry is a process by which recycling plants can ensure high quality waste flow, thereby increasing the quality of secondary raw materials.
ALL ELECTRIC CAMPING TRAILERS
Sales of RV’s and trailers increased nearly 40% in 2021 and 2022 sales figures are expected to surpass that mark. What has not been readily available until now is an eco-friendly solution which decreases its carbon footprint. The Bowlus Volterra camping trailer, for example, is powered by a 17kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack that offers a 100% increase in power capacity over the brand’s Terra Firma model. In addition, Coachman recently introduced its Apex Ultra-Lite model which features pre-installed solar panels, recycled materials, and energy-efficient LED lighting systems. More sustainable, planet-friendly models are on the horizon for 2023.
COMPOSTABLE SMARTPHONE CHARGERS
We all have a house full of mobile phone chargers but until now they have never been what you would consider eco-friendly. Brands like Treed, who recently introduced a 3D-printed eco-friendly wireless charger made from recycled material, are sustainable takes on the mobile charger game and more are coming by Q2 2023.
DISSOLVING FOOD PACKAGING
Food wrap made from algae? A company called Naama Nicoltra has developed eco-friendly food packaging that dissolves, instead of ending up in landfills or at recycling centers. Simply wash the product in water prior to cooking to reveal the food within.
ECO FRIENDLY BAKERY PACKAGING
One sector of the CPG industry that needs significant help in the sustainability department is baked goods. Virtually all muffins, croissants or donuts found in our local supermarket are packaged in unsustainable hard plastic. Compostable bakery packaging is a range of sustainable packaging focused on reducing waste and bringing a focus on sustainability to the forefront. Flax4Life’s plant-based packaging, for example, is derived from corn and sugar cane feedstock, which enables it to be composted on an industrial level after use.
ECO FRIENDLY CARDBOARD CAN CARRIERS
Although most plastic carriers are technically recyclable, recycling centers across the country are unable to accept them, meaning they end up in landfills. In addition, the thin nature of the plastic means they are often unable to be separated from paper which contaminates an entire load of recyclables. Durable cardboard can carriers are a solution whose time has come.
MYCELIUM BASED BRICKS
Mycelium has been the buzz word for both food and clothing over the past few years but who knew it could have such promise in the construction industry? European and Asian researchers are working on a project that would develop mycelium-based bricks for large-scale construction. Could that be ready for 2023?
PAPER MADE COFFEE CAPSULES
Everyone loves single serving coffee pods, but we all hate the impact they have on the planet. Now, Nespresso is addressing those concerns with their new compostable coffee capsules. The new coffee capsules feature paper with a biopolymer lining to protect the coffee within from oxidization.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION SEARCH SITES
Want to dress more sustainably but don’t know where to find eco-friendly fashionable clothing? Ethically minded consumers of fashion products in North America will have new outlets for sustainable fashion with sites such as ethical-clothing.com which provides a digital store front full of fashionable, eco-friendly clothing.
SUSTAINABLE POWER TOOLS
An industry not known for its focus on the planet, the power tool sector is getting ready to make a big jump to sustainability. Black+Decker has recently launched its first line of sustainably produced power tools. These cordless power tools are designed for the DIY’er and are made with 50% certified recycled material
UPCYCLED FOOD EXPANSIONS
Upcycled food has been a thing for a few years but 2023 will see major supermarket brands such as Kroger feature upcycling front and center. Their partnership with RIND Snacks, for example, will push the upcycled food movement to Kroger’s 2,800 store presence. After all, who doesn’t love a tagline, “Keep It Real, Eat the Peel”?
AUTOMOTIVE VEGAN INTERIORS
Is leather interior a thing of the past? Perhaps it’s too early to bid a fond farewell to that seating option in luxury automobiles but both BMW and MINI are foregoing leather starting in 2023 in lieu of a more eco-friendly vegan interior which will reduce carbon emissions by 85%.
Thanks to Trendhunter and Startus Insights for help with this list. Also a huge shoutout to the people who make these solutions, the dreamers, builders, engineers, creatives, and innovators and those who make lifestyle changes and sacrifices. Even if your contribution was small, it will undoubtedly make a huge difference.