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Natural Awakenings San Diego

13 Hot Sustainable Products to Follow in 2013

May 31, 2013 10:10AM ● By Dimitar Vlahov

"Hottest" lists have been making a comeback lately. Today we start with a look at 13 hot products that not only achieve drastic reductions in environmental and social impacts in their categories, but also have the potential to ultimately transform their entire industries. Here we go:

1 PUMA's InCycle collection, which includes footwear, apparel and accessories that need not be tossed in the trash at the end of their useful life, but can rather easily be turned into biological nutrients or taken apart for metals, textiles and plastic to be reused in making other products (or more InCycle products).
Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Sponge

2 3M's highly intriguing Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Sponge, which boasts a composition of 100 percent plant-based fiber. Not just any old plant material, but agave plants—which typically take up to 10 years to grow, consuming lots of energy and water in the process—most of which used to go to waste until 3M's scientists stepped in.
Lucid's Building Dashboard Network

3 Lucid's Building Dashboard Network, a powerful toolset bringing the Internet of Things to buildings and enabling behavior change through radical transparency of energy and water use data. With clients ranging from Yahoo! to Starbucks and the one-of-a-kind Campus Conservation Nationals competition, Lucid's dashboards have become a recognized leader in this exciting niche.

BMW i Electric Car4 The BMW i series of electric cars, featuring the compact urban i3 and the dynamic i8 sports car. These two models are being built from the ground up as entirely new concepts with the goal of being 'uncompromisingly sustainable' for the next age of mobility.

Solazyme5 Solazyme's revolutionary algae-based renewable oils, which have a wide range of applications, serving as transportation fuels, food ingredients, skin and personal care products, as well as inputs in the production of laundry detergent, soap and shampoo.

Ecologic Bottle6 “America's first molded fiber bottle” by Ecologic Brands—a simple-looking, yet elegantly innovative and smartly designed line of containers, with a fully compostable outer shell made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and newspaper and an inner pouch using 70 percent less plastic than plastic jugs.

7 The water center Coca-Cola is starting to build across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia in partnership with DEKA Research and Development Corp. Each unit is designed to be an entirely DEKA Water Purificationoff-grid little cabin the size of a small café, powered entirely by solar energy or biomass and featuring extra perks such as cell phone charging, some shade and a public flat-screen TV. DEKA's water purification technology takes 'anything that looks wet' (literally!) as an input and produces 1,000 liters of fresh drinking water per water center per day.

8 The upcycling Filabot, a one-of-a-kind plastic extrusion system capable of converting most types of recyclable plastic, such as milk jugs, detergent bottles, soda bottles, shampoo bottles, product packaging and many more, into usable 3D-printing filament.

Mango Materials9 The affordable, bio-based and biodegradable plastics Mango Materials derives from methane at a price that is competitive with that of conventional oil-based plastics. Using a patent-protected biological process, this brilliant start-up has found a way to both reduce the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and contribute to the rapid growth of the bioplastics industry.

Philips Solar Power Lighting10 The solar-powered lighting centers Philips is building across Africa with an intention to bring evening sport, education, healthcare and commerce to rural communities which currently live without electricity. Philips is taking advantage of a new generation of highly efficient solar LED lighting to create areas of night-time light the size of a small soccer pitch each.

11 Proof Eyeware's collection of original products, especially the signature sustainable wood sunglasses that have quickly Proof Sunglassesgrown into an internationally recognized brand, handcrafted in Idaho from sustainable materials by three brothers 'with sawdust in their veins' and their awesome team.

12 American Standard's prefabricated toilet system that is more hygienic, easier to install, and easier to maintain and clean than traditional toilets—without the need for any sewer infrastructure—and can be economically mass-produced for just $1.50 a pop. The project was done in collaboration with the Gates Foundation's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy, and International Development Enterprises (iDE).

13 SAP's HANA 'Real, Real-Time Computing' solutions allowing a dramatic acceleration of analytics, business processes, predictive analysis and sentiment data processing for a truly real-time control over the destiny of sales and other key business activities.

The change agents behind all of these products—and many more—are confirmed as speakers for “Sustainable Brands '13” being held June 3-6 in San Diego. For more information, call 415-626-2212 or visit

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