Leather Made Of Cactus & Roads Made Of Plastic, People Are Doing Their Bit For The...

Leather Made Of Cactus & Roads Made Of Plastic, People Are Doing Their Bit For The Environment

While most of us are still talking about global warming and climate change on social media, there are those who are actually doing something to stop the killing of animals on a large scale, or make sure that plastic is recycled into something that can be used for ages. Here are a few examples of new inventions and some recycling methods, that have the potential of saving the environment. 

Real leather products are mostly made from the skin of animals. They are killed on a large scale for their skin and hides. Not only are billions of animals killed for leather, it is harmful for the environment too. The animal from which leather is derived consumes a tonne of water in its lifetime, but after deriving the skin, the treatment process loads it with a lot of chemicals. This not only is harmful to the environment, but also makes the leather item non-biodegradable.

The faux leather might give some the illusion of saving the environment but that too is made of plastic and it does not really solve the waste problem. 


However, two entrepreneurs, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, have come up with something that might solve the leather problem once and for all. 

These men have formulated a new technique to create a fabric using cactus leaves called Desserto. Cactus, known for its rugged nature is quite hard and thick and pointy, however, when fully processed, it not only feels like actual leather, but since it is made from cactus - a plant that can grow in the desert with minimum moisture - it doesn’t consume as much water.

Moreover, they’ve adopted natural dyes for processing the leather that doesn’t really impact the environment while making the material last for as long as a decade.

Plastic takes years and years to degrade. That is the reason it is advised that it be recycled. 

Recently, we heard that Jamshedpur Utilities & Services Company Limited (JUSCO) had taken the initiative to use this plastic products to construct roads in Jamshedpur. 


However, this is not the first time this is happening. An Indian scientist, Rajagopalan Vasudevan, created a technique to make roads out of recycled plastic, that not only makes them better, but also takes care of the waste problem.

Moreover, for his research and contributions to society, he was also awarded Padma Shree in 2018.

A 50-year-old Hyderabad-based researcher, Narayana Peesapaty, quit his job to create edible cutlery in order to eradicate plastic cutlery.

According to the researcher, 120 billion pieces of plastic cutlery are disposed annually. 

He experimented with hard jowar roti (flat sorghum bread) to scoop vegetables during his meals in semi-arid regions of Andhra Pradesh. He created edible spoons from jowar and other flours.

Better India

Narayana Peesapaty claims his edible cutlery is nutritious; made from dough of wheat, jowar and rice powder, the edible spoons are crunchy and available in three different flavours: sweet, salty and plain.

Edible cutlery will cut down the usage of plastic many folds and it is nutritious at the same time! 

A Finnish startup called Solar Foods invented food...from air. It is a completely new form of protein derived only from air, water and renewable energy, and needs absolutely no plant or animal source of any kind.

This food protein is called Solein and can be a potential energy source for all human beings in the future, it harms no plants and animals. 

Solar Foods

'Solein', is made in a manner very similar to how beer is brewed. It involves feeding tiny microbes air and water, with continuous electricity passing through, and that's pretty much all it takes to extract protein out of thin air.

The food source is completely dependent on renewable energy. 

“We bring to the market an entirely new kind of food that is both natural, and free from the burdens of agriculture and aquaculture,” Solar Foods said. 

One of the most commonly disposed plastic products that pollute the environment are straws. Over 8.3 billion straws pollute world’s beaches. In the US alone, over 500 million straws are used every day. 

Even though paper alternative of the straws is available, we know that they do not last long; they get soggy really soon. 


Tran Minh Tien from Vietnam found a sturdier solution to this. 

He has made straws out of grass that can not only be a better alternative to paper straws, but also are fully biodegradable, unlike plastic. To make the straw, he uses a grass from the species Lepironia Articulata, also known as ‘co bang’ in Mekong Delta region in Vietnam. The straws are edible too. In fact, chewing these straws after meals can help in cleaning teeth and gums.

Deserts are a difficult environment to live in for both humans and animals because water and other resources are not easily accessible. 

However, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have formulated a technique to extract drinkable water from cold, foggy climate, directly into a bottle. It is like creating water out of fog. 

The technique basically involves harvesting moisture from the fog to generate fresh drinking water in desert-like conditions. 


A researcher said, "Harvesting fog as a source of fresh water is a practical solution for inhabitants of foggy coastal deserts, whether human, animal or plant. Namib desert beetles famously lean their textured bodies into the fog-laden wind."

He further said, "The water content and frequency of fog formation may vary depending on the location and the season. While precipitation may be infrequent in some regions, it is, however, important to realise fog is nonetheless a predictable and hence reliable water source."

This might not really be excessively beneficial to the environment but it will be for animals and humans in the area. 

If you know of any other such alternatives let us know in comments!

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