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Beneficial cover

Cocoa plants aren’t just used to make chocolate and buildings become more flexible. Now, an international research team has developed a design concept from which humans, animals, plants and organisms such as microbes could all benefit. The idea is to cover houses in several layers. Each of them is tailored to the needs of the organisms within. Humans, for...

International space

With the right search engine, people with disabilities can check their holiday destinations in advance. A Spanish startup is helping Erasmus students find accommodation during their year abroad. Their platform saves students from potential language difficulties and issues with local processes, as well as the need to find trustworthy contacts on the ground. Users can search for a flat,...

Give and take

In France, the law obliges companies to offer a repair service for electronic devices. A similar idea came to four women during a hackathon at Trinity College, Dublin. Their startup enables people to recycle old furniture in three easy steps. First, furniture owners upload details of individual items to the startup’s online platform. Next, artists choose a piece which...

Making connections

Grandparents make great friends and an intergenerational exchange can be beneficial to all involved. With this in mind, a Swiss startup has recently started a platform which brings together students and senior citizens. The former are always searching for low-cost accommodation solutions; the latter to avoid feelings of isolation and make use of extra space. Those with a spare...

Material gains

As winter draws in, bacteria start to grow more quickly. Not much fun unless you happen to be a scientist. We’ve seen wood and designer bags manufactured from fast growing cells. Now, a startup from New York has developed a leather-like material using bacterial nanocellulose and plant-based fibres. The novel material is free of chemicals and plastics, as well...

Sustainable care

Often the most cultivable land is found in gardens. In south LA, front yards are already being used to grow vegetables. Now, a startup from Colorado is focusing on backyards. Together with a turf expert, it has developed 45 ecological products for lawn care, all based on natural ingredients such as algae, molasses and iron. The company is also...

Bed and board

Working out of an office has had its day for many. But moving around as digital nomads should be done sustainably. Which is why a group of Dutch students has developed a new all-electric mobile home. When stationary, a rising roof creates a standing height of 2.54m and space for two to sleep. The unit comes with a TV,...

Advanced community

For many, having nothing to do on holiday is the definition of bliss. As people get older, household chores can become a burden. Now a startup from Florida is offering modern, age-appropriate living for people over 55. The buildings the serviced apartments are part of will house both families and singles. This promotes inter-generational living - in contrast to...

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