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The Maker and His Co-Creators: God and the Green Innovators

Image: Bench

In the face of wars and rumors of wars, rising tides and wildfires, I take great comfort in knowing there are people everywhere dreaming a new creation into existence, building together with the Maker of the Universe a flourishing world.

Stop rolling your eyes, it’s true—the God that created everything invites his most marvelous creatures into the act of creation, too. We are able to use that power and ingenuity to improve or harm the lives of our neighbors. That’s the invitation when Jesus summed up all the law and the prophets into two big, colorful love umbrellas: love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

I get a little giddy when I see the green innovators of the world making strides and acting out their part in loving their neighbors well. 

Check out these cutting-edge technologies that are taking on the most pressing challenges of our age so that people can continue to prosper on a planet whose creations also get to thrive:

Low-Carbon Building Materials

Plantd Factory of the Future – Image Courtesy of Plantd

Building and construction accounts for a mind boggling 37% of global emissions, by far the highest emitter of greenhouse gasses. To reduce human impact on rising temperatures around the globe, several companies are hard at work to develop and deliver low-carbon building materials.

Plantd Materials makes carbon negative building materials from perennial grasses. Plantd embraces a philosophy that feels an awful lot like Jesus’ message of living an abundant life: “Many people think we need a scarcity model to solve climate change. But we believe the opposite is true. We see a future that is abundant. With Plantd, there’s a way to solve climate change by building more, not less. Because with our materials, every new home and building is an opportunity to lock away vast amounts of atmospheric carbon.”

Carbicrete is another company that sees building materials as a means to a sustainable solution for carbon sequestering. Carbicrete makes cement-free concrete that uses steel slag and CO2, permanently sequestering CO2 in the finished product.

Both companies want to keep excess carbon out of the atmosphere, tucked away instead in the building materials that will construct our future.

Carbon Capture Technology

Heirloom unveils America’s first commercial Direct Air Capture facility – Image Courtesy of Heirloom

Beyond the building industry, other companies are going to the heart of the carbon crisis to pull CO2 back out of the atmosphere.

The Arkansas startup Heirloom captures CO2 from the atmosphere and turns it permanently into rock. They’ve taken the natural process of carbon mineralization that usually takes years and accelerated it down to just days. 

Like so many of our human-made problems, the answers are frequently found in the natural world that God created.

Here’s a video about how Heirloom works:

Another company, Graphyte Carbon Casting, is joining the fight to remove 5 to 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually by 2050. Progress on this audacious goal, so far, is tortoise-slow. But technology developed by Graphyte will speed up this process, once again relying on the power of nature, specifically photosynthesis, to capture carbon. 

Barclay Rogers, Founder and CEO of Graphyte, said, “Carbon casting lets nature efficiently do the work of capturing CO2, then leverages engineering techniques to store it permanently. It’s a solution that can be done anywhere, that will change the market, and more importantly, that will help save the planet.”

Renewable Energy Storage

Scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators have made huge strides in the renewable energy industry over the last few decades, but while we’ve found ways to harness the wind and capture the sun, we’re still struggling to find ways to contain all of that energy when the wind dies down and the forecast is cloudy.

Never fear, there are innovators at work here as well!

One such business is Malta, part of X – The Moonshot Factory, which is a group of inventors and entrepreneurs who are committed to taking on the world’s hardest problems to improve the lives of millions of people. 

Malta is trying to solve the challenge of storing renewable energy. Malta is building a salt-based, “grid-scale energy storage technology that stores electricity from renewable energy sources as heat inside large tanks of high temperature molten salt and as cold in large tanks of chilled liquid.”

Are they the literal salt of the earth, providing a source of light to the world? I’m going to go ahead and say yes.


Recycled Firefighter wallet made from recycled fire hoses – Image Courtesy of Recycled Firefighter

Upcycling is the creative person’s palace in the kingdom of sustainability. Recycling takes objects and breaks them back down to their original raw materials for reuse. Upcycling bypasses recycling centers and landfills to create something new that is of equal or greater value or quality.

Recycled Firefighter is one such company. They make products like wallets, purses, and flags from used firefighter gear. Wallets made from recycled firehouses have saved 60,000 feet of hoses from landfills!

A broader business, Upcycle That, curates ways to use, make, or buy upcycled products to turn trash into treasure. Divided into three different categories—buy that, use that, make that—Judy Rom empowers people everywhere to catch a vision for found objects. Judy collects ideas from people and helps people connect and start upcycling movements in their own community.

If you’re a designer with a passion for fashion and an eye for sustainable design, you might want to join the Upcycle Design School. Noor Bchara is the founder of NOORISM, a repurposed denim brand that creates new pieces from second-hand jeans. Through her Upcycling Design Masterclass, she trains designers how to use pieces of used fabric for new fashion to keep fabric out of landfills.

Other Co-Creators Commissioned and Sent for Sustainable Purposes

Are you hungry for more good news about innovators who are making a difference in their local and global community? We’ve featured many other stories of small and large operations that are embracing their mission to create the future we all want for our families and future generations. 

Check out how your scrap plastic becomes a deck through the Return Polymers Full-Circle Recycling Program, or the team at Redhouse Design that is using fungi to take down dilapidated buildings and construct new properties, or The Copper Fox Makery, which finds upcycled purpose in every scrap of fabric.

And so many more! Follow along with Root & Vine for more inspirational stories about the good work we’ve been given to help usher in the New Creation.

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