Pince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, London Mayor Sadiq Kahn and school children amongst others celebrating the creating of the prizes.

The Earthshot Prizes

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 20 October 2021 > In the News Shine Bright Lycée

The British Royal Foundation is awarding five prizes a year till 2030 for innovative ideas to help the planet. The Earthshot prizes have been named in reference to President Kennedy’s Moonshot project which concentrated innovators’ energies on putting a human on the Moon in the 1960s. Prince William explained that the aim of the Earthshots is to repair this planet, not explore another one.

The first Earthshot Prizes were awarded on 17 October, chosen from three finalists in each of five categories. The finalists ranged from a 14-year-old Indian girl who invented a solar-powered street ironing cart to the government of Costa Rica. These are the winning projects:

Protect and restore nature

Tending the rainforest.The Republic of Costa Rica was once infamous for deforestation but it has reversed the trend by doubling the number of trees. The award was for a project which paid local citizens to restore natural ecosystems and therefore revive the rainforest.

Build a waste-free world

Distributing food so it doesn't go to waste.The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy: The city collects unused food and gives it to people who need it most. The initiative has dramatically cut waste as well as fighting hunger. Smaller-scale versions of this idea, often run by charities, exist elsewhere but by institutionalising it on the level of a major city, Milan has multiplied the benefits.

Revive our oceans
Coral Vita, Bahamas:
Two friends are growing coral in the Caribbean islands in order to revive the world's dying coral reefs. They’ve developed a way to grow coral up to 50 times faster than normal.

Clean our Air

Turning agricultural waste into sustainable fertiliser.

Takachar, India for inventing machine to turn agricultural waste into fertiliser. It has double benefits: as well as transforming waste, it avoids air pollution because previously farmers burned the waste.

Fix our Climate

Technology at the service of the environment.

AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy: An innovative machine makes hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Renewable energy is used for the process, rather than the fossil fuels that are usually needed to produce a gas that is theoretically clean good for the environment.

Vinisha Umashankar

Not a winner, but we have a soft spot for Vinisha Umashankar of Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. At just 14, Vinisha came up with a solution to solve a problem she saw on the streets around her. Street vendors who offer clothes ironing services are common in India. But the heat for the irons is created by burning charcoal, leading to deforestation and air pollution. Vinisha has created a pedal cart with solar panels which can generate electricity to power an iron and even produce surplus electricity the vendors can monetise by offering to charge electrical devices as an extra service.

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