Image: The Unreasonable Institute
The Unreasonable Institute needs your help: the Boulder-based program is down to 45 finalists, but relies on the public to choose the 25 fellows who actually make it into the fellowship.
It's TreeHugger news because so many of the finalists have some pretty impressive green ideas that you'll hope will become a reality.The way the Unreasonable Institute works is that they choose "the world's most brilliant and promising entrepreneurs who are dedicated to having a globally significant social or environmental impact with their ventures," and then for six weeks the 25 fellows work on skill development, business development, introductions to potential investors, and for the duration also work alongside mentors who are experienced in entrepreneurial endeavors. All to bring their ideas from the small scale they started experimenting with on their own to full-scale implementation.
Image: Jacinto & Lirio
The Institute attracts ideas like a company in the Philippines making accessories out of "water hyacinth leather," not only creating jobs in the region, but using a resource that is actually destructive to local ecosystems. Water hyacinth is an invasive weed, and Jacinto & Lirio has found a positive—and stylish—use for the plant.
Landwasher, a company that makes flushable mobile toilets that don't rely on water in China is another Unreasonable finalist.
Image: RVM China
So is the Beijing Green Channel Technology Co., which makes recycling machines to collect your plastic bottles and aluminum cans: imagine reverse vending machines to make recycling easier and more widespread.
And Eco-Conut, a company that uses the cradle-to-cradle concept to produce sustainable and low-cost fuel briquettes—made out of coconut husks. "We carbonize the charcoal using the adam-retort kiln and tap wood vinegar which we will sell as organic fertilizer," the Unreasonable applicant wrote, adding that the main market for the product will be slums in Kenya, "where charcoal is the main domestic fuel and currently they are paying around $0.54 per Kg and we are selling to them at $0.33 per Kg."
Other ideas proposed by the finalists including ways to increase recycling in Mexico; a bike-sharing network in India that will be integrated with public transportation and high traffic zones; making renewable energy technology available to remote and Native communities in Canada; urban worm kits in Guatemala; solar water heaters that will be accessible to homes in developing countries; technology to improve aquaculture in India; an advanced version of a solar cooker; a one-stop shop Development Kit in India that includes a solar LED Lamp, a crank dynamo lamp, a small radio, water filter, mosquito nets, and other basic items; an eco-tourism social enterprise in the Philippines; and solar technology in Liberia that will be accessible to individuals as well as health clinics, which close early because there is no light once the sun goes down.
Check out the Unreasonable marketplace to see these and all the other finalists—and vote soon.
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