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THE WINNERS OF THE EARTHSHOT PRIZE 2022

Image Credit – Noah Buscher

Protect and Restore Nature: Kheyti, India

Kheyti, an Indian start-up, has developed a solution to the challenges that small-hold farmers face as rising temperatures affect harvests. This small greenhouse offers crops shelter from extreme weather and destructive pests, and also provides small-hold farmers with end-to-end support to ensure they use the greenhouse to its maximum potential. Crops in the greenhouse require 90% less water than those outdoors and grow 7 times more food,1 providing farmers with a steady and dependable income. Further, Kheyti greenhouses are incredibly cost-effective, costing 90% less than the standard greenhouse.2 So far, the start-up has given 1,000 farmers a Kheyti greenhouse and plans to increase this to 50,000 by 2027.3

Clean Our Air: Mukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya

Over 700 million people rely on and use traditional cooking stoves, which emit dangerous toxins and fumes.4 Social enterprise Mukuru Clean Stoves is a green alternative, using processed biomass made from sugar cane, charcoal, and wood, which not only burns cleaner than traditional stoves, but is much safer than using dangerous solid fuels like charcoal, reducing toxic smoke emissions by 50-90%.5 Mukuru Clean Stoves also decrease the amount of fuel consumed by 30-60% and they cost just $10.6 Currently, 200,000 people in Kenya are using Mukuru Clean Stoves, saving $10 million in fuel costs. Founder and CEO Charlot Magayi has stated that eventually, she aims to reach ten million people all over Africa.7

Revive Our Oceans: Queensland Indigenous Womens Ranger Network

Over the past four years, the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network has helped build the next generation of women rangers by training over 60 women to care for the great Barrier Reef.8 Queensland’s indigenous rangers are integral to the health of one of the world’s most important ecosystems. They share ancient knowledge that has been passed down by generations and collect data on the health of the reef by monitoring changes in coral, or signs of degradation.9

Build a Waste Free World: Notpla

Notpla is a viable alternative to the problem of plastics, particularly single-use plastic packaging. The material is entirely biodegradable, made from seaweed and plants. It can be used to create a broad range of packaging products such as being molded into a bubble to hold liquids, or made into a coating for food containers.10 It can also be used in the fashion and cosmetic industry as a paper.11 The natural packaging reduces ocean waste and also captures carbon, as the seaweed farmed for its production captures carbon 20 times faster than trees,12 and it does not require freshwater, land, or fertilizer.13 Notpla has already produced 1 million takeaway food boxes for Just Eat Takeaway.com, and it is in the process of developing new materials that could eventually replace single-use plastic packaging worldwide.14

Fix our Climate: 44.01

44.01, which is named after the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, captures carbon from the atmosphere and mineralises it in peridotite, a dense igneous rock which is found in Oman and also across the globe.15 This process of mineralisation takes place in under 12 months and involves the permanent removal of carbon, making it much more advantageous in comparison to other methods of sequestration such as carbon storage, which stores carbon underground and involves greater safety risks.16 44.01 is completely natural, scalable, and cost-effective. The company plans to mineralise 1,000 tonnes of locally captured carbon dioxide every year until 2024. By 2040, 44.01 aims to mineralise one billion tonnes.17

Kheyti: https://www.kheyti.com

Mukuru Clean Stoves: https://mukurustoves.org

Queensland Indigenous Womens Ranger Network: https://qiwrn.com.au

Notpla: https://www.notpla.com

44.01: https://4401.earth

References

1.  Kheyti, 2022. Available at https://www.kheyti.com [accessed 3/12/22]

2.  Kheyti, 2022. 

3.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022. Congratulations to the Earthshot Prize Winners 2022! Available at https://earthshotprize.org/winners-finalists/kheyti/ [accessed 3/12/22]

4.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022.

5.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

6.  Mukuru Clean Stoves, 2022. About Us. Available at https://mukurustoves.org [accessed 3/12/22]

7.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

8.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

9.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

10.  Notpla, 2022. We make plastic packaging disappear. Available at https://www.notpla.com [accessed 3/12/22]

11.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

12.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

13.  Notpla, 2022. We make plastic packaging disappear.

14.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

15.  44.01, 2022. We provide a safe, cost-effective way of eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere. Available at https://4401.earth [accessed 3/12/22]

16.  44.01, 2022. We provide a safe, cost-effective way of eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere

17.  The Earthshot Prize, 2022

Oliva Trimborn – Author

04/12/2022

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