Welcome back to Greenwashed! 👋
After a small deviation last week to warn you about the potential danger of your stove (potential $125 solution found here), we're getting back to our core mission of covering the climate crisis' solutions.
In line with last week's coverage of an Estonian startup making bubble wrap out of wool, we've got some creative ones this week, as well as another opportunity to get in on the renewable energy wave. ⬇️
Super Shrooms: Part 2 🍄
It's not just hippies anymore--climate scientists have officially hopped on the fungi hype train. In the wake of Australian scientists discovering a mushroom that dissolves plastic in 140 days, mycologists out of Edinburgh, Scotland have found another fantastic fungi use-case. 🏴
Charities, indigenous populations, companies, and local do-gooders have long been obsessed with planting forests as a way to combat climate change since trees are a natural carbon sink. This only works, however, with the assumption that the forest will grow healthily into old age, which gets more and more unlikely as the climate gets more extreme.
Enter Rhizocore Technologies, which produces a special type of fungi that enhances the growth potential, resilience, and, crucially, the carbon sequestration potential of newly planted forests. By acting as a nutrient superhighway between trees, colloquially referred to as the "wood wide web", fungi strengthen pretty much all aspects of these new forests. 🌲
Algae Plastic 🦠
As Estonia attempts to replace plastic bubble wrap with wool, Switzerland is trying to replace plastic packaging with algae. 🇨🇭
Algae is one of the most rapidly renewing materials on Earth, and while the dreams of it becoming scalable fuel are slowly dying, Noriware sees an opportunity for it to replace plastic. After accidentally discovering the process in a shared graduate student kitchen, CEO Jessica Farda immediately partnered with a few serial entrepreneurs in the packaging industry and has now raised $1.1 million pre-seed.
Spanish Solar ☀️
Rounding out Europe's pool of impressive climate solutions this summer is Crowmie, a Valencian company that tokenizes renewable energy projects, enabling small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest into solar energy. SMEs play less of a role in America, but in the EU's more small-business friendly economy, they represent a shocking (to Americans, at least) 99% of all business activity. 💪
Renewable energy projects are usually long-term capital-intensive investments, which are more difficult for SMEs. By tokenizing and pooling their investments, Crowmie unlocks a vast amount of value for the SMEs and, more importantly, accelerates Europe's transition to renewables.
It's also good to see blockchain projects making a resurgence in European markets. After the collapse of cryptobank FTX and regulatory uncertainty, funding dried up in the sector. However, after the EU provided semi-sensible regulatory clarity to the industry, investors are slowly starting to pour financing back in--a welcome sight for the world of climate tech. 🙏
Thanks for reading! If you've been inspired to help out in the fight against the climate crisis, start by offsetting your emissions here or by subscribing below to stay up-to-date on all of the need-to-know climate problems and solutions.