Every April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day and this awesome planet that we all call home. The very first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. It was the idea of an American man named Gaylord Nelson. He thought it was time that people started to focus on keeping our planet healthy, clean, and green. Over the years, more than 500 million people in over 180 countries have participated in Earth Day activities and the numbers keep growing.
Since going green is the name of the game, let’s look at some eco-friendly inventions that put Earth first.
A new bike path in the Netherlands has found a way to use the sun’s energy to light the way for bikers. The pathway is made up of thousands of stones that are coated with a special paint. The stones absorb light during the day, which creates a glowing light at night that helps cyclists see their route. The design of the eco-trail was inspired by a painting from the famous artist Vincent van Gogh. That makes it pleasing to the eye and the planet!
Now that spring is here, many people are busy thinking about their gardens. That’s where plantable paper comes in. This recycled paper can be used as writing paper, notecards, or invitations but it has seeds in it. That way when you’re finished using it, you can plant it. As the seeds grow, the paper turns into compost. This leaves behind a garden and no waste at all.
Two teens from Indonesia have invented an eco-friendly air freshener using a very unlikely ingredient: cow dung. Believe it or not, the girls found a way to turn the dung into a sweet-smelling concoction. Dwi Nailul Izzah and Rintya Aprianti collected cow dung from a cattle farm, left it to break down, and then removed all impurities from it. They added a few natural ingredients and created an air freshener that has the sweet aroma of herbs. Best of all, it doesn’t contain any harmful, toxic chemicals like many other air fresheners. This makes it great for the environment and perfectly safe for humans to breathe in.
You’ll have a ball going green with this device! The Soccket is a soccer ball that generates electricity with every kick. It works thanks to a special device inside that captures energy every time the ball rolls or bounces. This energy is stored in a battery to be used later. Just one hour of play generates enough electricity to power a small lamp. To provide light, the lamp simply plugs into a port on the outside of the ball itself.
Talk about a bright idea. A 16-year-old teen from Victoria, British Columbia recently invented a flashlight that’s powered entirely by body heat. Ann Makosinski’s invention, called the Hollow Flashlight, starts to shine as soon as you pick it up. To work, it absorbs heat from a person’s hand. The teen spent months designing the flashlight, after learning that her friend in the Philippines couldn’t study at night because she didn’t have electricity. Makosinski hopes her flashlight will one day be used in places around the world where people don’t have power to light their homes. And since her invention doesn’t use batteries, it’ll help reduce the number of batteries that end up in landfills.