We have many ideas to help tackle the climate crisis. But we only have so much time. Below you will find a list of all our best 'lightbulb' moments.
If you see an idea you would like to use, run with it! We would love to see it succeed. If you want to talk about any of the ideas on this page, get in touch. We love talking about solutions and we are open to collaborating with anyone to make these ideas happen.
Local compost collection
Why can't collecting organic waste be the modern version of a paper run? Instead of delivering newspapers, teenagers could collect organic waste from 20 - 50 houses in their neighbourhood on a weekly basis, charging something like $20-30 per month to do so. They could then compost that waste in their own backyard if they have a decent area. They could even 'rent' some backyard space off mum and dad, or arrange permission to use local public land.
Payments could be set up using Stripe. 20 - 50 households is a manageable amount to cover if they are nearby and the resulting compost probably won't cause too much of a smell, as long as your compost pile isn't right next to your neighbours front door. It's not enough income to start a standalone business but it's perfect for a teenager and it keeps the solution local.
For more info, check out:
The Climate Fund
A climate crisis focussed investment fund that invests your money into sustainable companies and financial assets that are good for the planet, and uses part of the returns (10-20%) to fund high-impact climate charity work around the world. This would provide a way for investors to let their capital go to work, helping solve one of the worlds biggest challenges, while still providing a positive return on investment.
A machine learning app that could read your supermarket receipt and tell you which items come with the highest carbon footprint, allowing you to pick the low hanging fruit and make high-impact changes to your weekly shop.
Insurance Awareness Map
When it comes to climate change, insurance is the tip of the spear. If you live near a river or near the coast, you'll probably notice your premiums going up before you have water lapping at your door through rising sea levels. Unfortunately, insurance premiums aren't easily known until you ring your insurer to get a quote.
One solution would be a world-map where users could enter their annual insurance premium amount, creating (eventually) a worldwide database. This would help people decide where they want to live, which areas are seen as having the highest risk of floods, and where your premiums might be headed in future if you live in a high-risk area.
The creator of this service could probably make a solid income referring visitors to insurance companies, who pay huge money for new clients.
Canned plant-based meals
Plant-based meals are far less carbon-intensive to create than anything that includes meat as an ingredient (especially red meat). The problem is, convenient, tasty meals usually come in single-use plastic packaging which is bad for the planet. Canned meals are less sexy but would provide a recyclable solution. Many plant-based meals suit this 'all-in' type of packaging. Examples include risottos, curries, lentil stews, potato salads, coconut creamed rice, stir-fry mixes etc.
Climate activism yard signs
Spurred on by attending many climate protests and seeing all the homemade signs, wouldn't it be cool if someone provided recyclable protest signs that people could take to protests and then place on their front lawn to show their support for action on the climate crisis? This business could also supply climate-activism clothing, flags, bumper stickers etc.
Online database of personal health problems fixed by diet
Many health problems are fixed by trial and error, especially when it comes to skin and digestion. Most solutions will never receive their own random-controlled trial or study but they still work. And if that solution worked for you, then it might work for someone else. Conveniently, plant-based diets which are shown to have a lower carbon footprint tend to alleviate common allergies and skin problems by removing elements that many find inflammatory (like lactose).
The idea here is to provide a website where users can post solutions (to help others) and search for ideas (to solve problems) based on their symptoms. This could be highly valuable to anyone who has not yet found a solution via traditional channels, like their local doctor. Essentially, the idea is to use crowd-sourced data to solve personal health problems. The long term goal is to reduce suffering so people can get on with enjoying life and free up mental energy to help reverse the climate crisis.
Lease electric vehicles or e-bikes / scooters
The big problem with electric vehicles is accessibility (high cost to buy outright). We can change this by providing lease solutions. This could be particularly helpful in lower-income areas where ownership of cheap petrol cars can put families in difficult financial positions when they breakdown, when registrations run out or parking fines mount up. If families could be convinced to rent an e-bike instead of a crapbox car, then you could help families get ahead, while taking another fossil-fuel burning vehicle off the road.
Reusable nappy collection / cleaning service
A company that picks up your used nappies once a week and swaps them out with a fresh set of clean ones. This saves you from having to constantly stay on top of your washing to ensure you have clean reusable nappies ready to go.
The stock numbers required would be fairly dependable. Customers could sign up for a certain number of nappies per week, depending on how many kids are in the household.
Zero-waste food subscription service
An extension of the weekly veggie box or meal service. Customers would commit to a certain plan of zero-waste supplies each week. Everything would be supplied in zero-waste reusable packaging, which would be covered by a bond. An example weekly order might be:
- 3 litres of plant-milk
- 2 x loaves of bread
- 1 kg of granola
- 1kg of oats
- 500g rice / buckwheat
The list goes on. This could include things like toilet paper, coffee, kombucha, eggs. The possibilities are endless.
Bus tracking app
If we want more people to catch the bus instead of driving cars, then we need to make the system more efficient.
An ideal app solution would allow riders to register for a bus they plan to take. Inside the bus, the driver would have a screen where they could see where that rider is in relation to the bus. If that rider is 20 metres away, the driver knows to wait 5 more seconds to allow that rider time to get on. This stops the awful situation where you walk towards the bus stop, only to see the bus leave just before you get there.
Ideally, it would work the other way too. The riders would be able to track where the bus is in real-time so they know how long they have to wait.
This app would likely be the kind of solution you could sell to local councils or license out to bus companies.
Get in touch if you have feedback on any of the ideas listed here.