A new year has begun and it's time to take stock of the year gone by. What sustainable trends will accompany us into 2017?
In terms of politics, there was nothing much to shout about: November's climate conference, the attempt to ban glyphosate, the slow move towards a fossil-free future. Oh, and the little matter of the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement. But 2017 was also a year full of innovation - with technologies coming to the fore that have the power to revolutionise the way we live.
What happens when e-mobility takes off, when the blockchain is used for good, when underground garages are turned into mushroom farms and burgers are grown in labs? Here's our pick of the five biggest trends in the world of green and social innovation.
1) Electromobility: Making Cities Cleaner and Greener
While electric vehicles still only make up a tiny part of the world's traffic, recently sales have skyrocketed. And for the few remaining practical drawbacks, solutions are developing fast. Our Knowledge article E-Mobility: Where Is It Taking Us? takes a look at the status quo.
Other developments too - such as car sharing and autonomous vehicles - could revolutionise the urban landscape, meaning less space given over to parking spaces, and more to parks, accommodation and communal areas. We drew up a handy guide to show you how you too can get involved in the e-mobility revolution.
2) 3D Printing: What You Need When You Need It at the Touch of a Button
The initial fanfare surrounding this remarkable technology may have got a bit quieter, but it's still true: 3D printing could revolutionise our world. Its amazing ability to supply you with what you need, right here and right now means no need for specialised machinery, long transport routes or waiting around. It can even be used to transform trash into treasure, as Amsterdam's 3D-printed benches and the Australians turning plastic bottles into 3D-printed water pipes go to show. And for disaster relief teams, like those printing medical supplies in Nepal, in areas where supplies are lacking and infrastructure is practically non-existent, it offers quick, effective and life-saving solutions.
3) Blockchain: Bitcoin & Co For Social Good
Blockchain has been described as "one of the most important scientific achievements of the last 100 years." Our Knowledge article - Blockchain: A Digital System for Real World Sustainability takes a look at the remarkable opportunities it offers for some of the world's most pressing social and ecological challenges.
Some of our favourite projects were:
Solarcoin: How SolarCoin Is Adding Extra Value to Solar Energy Generation
Rent, Swap and Share Your Stuff Securely With Slock.it
Tracking the Story of your Stuff With Provenance
GiveTrack: Tracking Your Charity Donations on the Blockchain
4) Lab-Grown Burgers: Science's Solution For Our Love Affair With Meat?
Meat made in a petri dish wouldn't just have a much smaller carbon footprint than meat from real animals - in the near future it could be much cheaper too. Sounds good, right? Lab-Grown Meat Could Be On Your Plate Sooner Than You Think
5) Alternative Farming: No Glyphosate In Sight
From innovative greenhouses in the Arctic to mushroom farms springing up under the streets of Paris, 2017 was a year full of news of projects reclaiming unusual spaces for growing food.
RESET's Interview Special: How CABIN SPACEY Is Transforming Berlin's Rooftops Into Living Spaces
Our cities' rooftops hold acres of untapped space. Two young German architects want to change the face of urban living and bring it into the 21st century with their rooftop wooden cabins - innovative, sustainable and with the best views in town. The first prototype is set to appear in Berlin any day soon. In interview with RESET they told us about their vision, their target group and the key role that sustainability plays in their concept.
Our Pick of the Best Smart Green Innovations
Green start-ups, social entrepreneurs and projects that stand out through their impact and originality - here you'll find a diverse selection of the best solutions around, hand-picked by the RESET editorial team: Smart Green Innovation.
This is a translation by Marisa Pettit of the original article which first appeared on RESET's German-language site.