Launched in 2020 by HRH the Prince of Wales and David Attenborough, Earthshot is a sustainable project which aims to protect and manage carbon stores, restore forests and damaged ecosystems, and develop regenerative agriculture. The name of the project was inspired by President John F Kennedy’s “moonshot” challenge.
This year the awards ceremony took place in Boston on December 2nd, with 30 finalists competing to obtain one of the coveted awards.
Who are the Earthshot Winners and What are They Going to Do with their Prizes?
The Earthshot prize is a substantial one, that can truly make a difference to the world around us, with the winners (chosen for their contributions towards environmentalism in each of the five categories) receiving a grant of £1M (approximately $1.23M) to continue their good works, and all the finalists receiving tailored support and help to continue making a positive impact on the world.
Clean Our Air: Mukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya
Founded by CEO Charlot Magayi, Mukuru Clean Stoves use a processed biomass of charcoal, wood, and sugarcane, which burn cleaner than traditional solid fuels and create 90% less pollution than an open fire and 70% less than a traditional cookstove.
Providing cheaper, safer cooking options with the stoves, the company has also been supporting the empowerment of women and aiming to reduce respiratory infections and the danger of severe burns that can come with burning charcoal.
With the prize, the company is aiming to create an even more effective stove (which burns ethanol) and hopes that within the next three years they can reach one million customers, and ten million people across Africa within the next ten years.
Protect and Restore Nature: Kheyti, India
Kheyti is an Indian start-up who have focused on creating a ‘Greenhouse-in-a-Box’ which is designed for small-hold farmers – sheltering the plants from unpredictable elements and destructive pests.
The innovative product requires 98% less water for the plants (compared to those outside) and is 90% cheaper than a standard greenhouse. The yields are up to 7 times higher than outdoor planting.
So far 1,000 farms are using the Kheyti greenhouse, and with the support of Earthshot, the company are aiming to reach 50,000 farmers by 2027.
Revive Our Oceans: Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network identified that only 20% of indigenous rangers are women and are aiming to build the next generation of women rangers, to help defend the Great Barrier Reef and bring together ancient knowledge (passed down through generations of indigenous families) with the most modern tools, in order to collect data, monitor coral changes, forest fires, and land degradation.
The programme has currently trained more than 60 women and encouraged conservation, and with greater support the group are aiming to help repair ecosystems from Hawaii to Nepal and Tanzania.
Build a Waste-Free World: Notpla, United Kingdom
Plastic waste is a problem on a global scale with only 9% being recycled and 12% incinerated – with the rest dumped in landfills or worse, the oceans. Notpla has developed an alternative to plastic, made from seaweed and plants, which is totally natural and completely biodegradable.
Notpla created more than 1 million take-away boxes for Just Eat in 2022 and is aiming to replace more than 100 million plastic coated containers in Europe in the future. They already have new materials in development and aim to continue working towards a goal of replacing single-use plastic packing applications on a global scale.
Fix Our Climate: 44.01, Oman
Named after the molecular weight of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 44.01 have been working on an innovative process to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and safely (and cheaply) remove it, by permanently mineralising the gas in peridotite.
Their first project aims to mineralise 1,000 tonnes of locally captured CO2 every year until 2024, then they will look to expand their operations internationally.
With the support of Earthshot, 44.01 aim to have mineralised 1bn tonnes of CO2 by 2040 and provide new employment to engineers and geologists working in the fossil fuel industry.
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Looking forward to 2023 and Beyond
With big ambitions, and a goal to ensure that Earthshot makes a positive long-term sustainable difference, at the ceremony, HRH The Prince of Wales said of the project, “It’s my hope the Earthshot legacy will continue to grow, helping our communities and our planet to thrive.”
It’s great to see so many good works rewarded, and we look forward to seeing what innovations will come in 2023.