What green product do you wish someone would invent?

We’ve had an email from Mel asking for a bit of help with a university assignment about green things and I thought it might make an interesting discussion:

I have a uni assignment where I need to market an ‘imaginary’ green product – I believe my time would be better spent marketing an ‘actual’ green product – but that is unfortunately not the brief!!

Each product I have thought of seems to already exist when I do an Internet search … so I though I might pose the question to you all … ‘What green product do you wish someone would invent?’. I’d love to hear your suggestions and hopefully find a subject for my assignment. It can be as simple or wacky as you like – it does not have to be based on actual science since it is for a marketing subject – but I would prefer to spend my energies on something useful and thoughtful.

Thanks! Great site, by the way :)

We greenies tend to be pretty resourceful at making our own green versions of things we need if we can’t buy them already (either because they don’t exist or because they’re too expensive) but there must be some things we’re still clamoring for. Plus, I suspect someone of us might be wishing for things that already exist – and hopefully by expressing our wishes we can find out about them!

My only ideas are business-to-business ones such as genuinely green food packaging for shops & supermarkets to use — yes, we can take our own containers to some places and reduce the amount of packaged stuff we buy in the first place, but it would be good if supermarkets had more affordable-to-them, greener options as an alternative to formed plastic or vacuum-sealed plastic containers. Or, more of a service than a product but a way for more packaging to be returned & reused like milk bottles or pop bottles in ye olden days.

One of my other “why can’t you get…?” pet peeves is the amount of times we’re transporting water around unnecessarily in products that could be made more concentrated or in a dehydrated form — but all the examples I can think of right now are available, for example powdered milk and shampoo bars.

Do you have any “why isn’t there a green version of that?” items?

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12 Responses to “What green product do you wish someone would invent?”

  1. Hilda says:

    I wish someone would invent a home dehumidifier that does not require electricity to operate and would allow the water to be collected in a container. The water could then be distilled to purify it for drinking.

  2. anna says:

    I’d love two products.
    1. An easy, very low tech and easy to install and maintain way to transform any existing plumbing or water system in a house to have gray water. Like direct the water from kitchen or other sinks or shower to the toilet (instead of flushing with clean water) and to garden. This would be brilliant for places where there’s not enough water. Water from shower or washing machine would be more than perfect for gardening or flushing.
    2. A car that would run with water or with sun. Or make a snow-powered heating system for places where they frequently get snow.

    • Bruce says:

      Thw water car has already been invented. There was one that attracted attention in Australia in the 1970s and US interest from the big boys. There are others if you google them. And Australia has had an annual solar car challenge for over a decade that runs from Darwin in the top end down to Adelaide in the south ….

  3. Melinda says:

    I don’t know where to start!
    Just now, though, I’m at school looking at the mass of disposable, dead pens, markers and broken mechanical pencils. It would be great if there were an affordable green material that would make similar housings for the ink and lead that wouldn’t feel like such a waste when they are done. For that matter, it would be great to be able to recycle pens, markers and pencils.
    – I know that sports shoes are recycleable in some areas, but having looked into it, it isn’t available enough, and seems more like lip service to the green movement rather than a serious attempt to recycle the shoes.
    – Are there greener ways to deal with the use-once-and-throw-out medical waste? Paper gowns, table covers, gloves…

    • Christina P says:

      You can recycle some pens and markers. I looked into it about a year ago. However, its typically useful only if you are a large organization, like a school. Because Terracycle collects large amounts of certain markers and pens, and if you’re a school, you get credits for doing it and other cool incentives.

  4. Dani says:

    A solar cooker that grills :)

    A solar still

  5. Melinda says:

    – Solar panels for the top of electric cars to help charge them while they are parked in the sun.
    – More and better ways to recycle synthetic carpeting and padding. It’s out there, but hard to access.
    – Shipboard recycling plants that could help deal with oceanic garbage gyres.
    Still thinking…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s not so much an invention as it is an adaptation, but I want to see grocery stores and gas stations transform from having aisles and aisles of individual use soda bottles, to having one soda fountain with ALL the sodas (I’ve seen an awesome soda fountain at Firehouse Subs once that had a great selection of drinks), where the population would then be able to fill it with their own cups OR grab a reusable one if they didn’t bring theirs. This would be GREAT to finally reduce the amount of bottled drinks without taking away the convenience!

  7. Sue says:

    1. Reusable travel mugs that are dishwasher safe, 100% recyclable AND affordable (it seems that affordability is always the reason great ideas don’t hit the general market.)

    2. Recycling sorter that did not get tangled by plastic bags.

    3. Pizza boxes and other food containers that are recyclable and do not absorb grease/food.

  8. Jean-Philippe Palasi says:

    The most important green product humanity needs to invent is a machine capable to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere at a cheap price, and transform it into solid material that can be safely stored somewhere, with no risk of going back to the atmosphere.

    Trees play this role so protecting forests if key – but not enough.

  9. Donny Piers says:

    A degradable garbage bag that fertilize the soil, and helps plants grow. Of course, the trash in the garbage bag should also be degradable :)

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