Chicago is full of tech startups trying to make their mark on society, but not all of them better the planet in the process. These five green companies, however, are well on their way to building a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. Check out their products and progress thus far.
Architecture graduate students Anna and Andrea created LuminAID in 2010 as a project to help relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake. They developed a solar-powered, inflatable and water-resistant lantern that provides light in times of emergency or following natural disasters. The duo have appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2015 and have since grown their business internationally, with products sold in more than 70 countries for both disaster relief as well as commercial use. You can purchase several different types of lantern multipacks on their website to bring a little more energy efficient light to your world.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Goby’s team helps you run a better and more sustainable building, whether you’re an owner, manager, product or service provider. They partner with companies across the country to engineer green buildings, plan their energy strategies and offer sustainable services. Their goal is to help clients achieve EnergyStar status on their buildings and make the world a better, greener place. Goby has been named a LEED Proven Provider and recognized by the US EPA with an ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.
When you’re printing documents, spreadsheets and web pages, you likely notice a lot of wasted white space in your printouts. Two young college graduates also noticed this problem in 2010 and developed PrintEco, a free software that rearranges your printing layouts to reduce paper waste. It can be downloaded from their website right onto your web browser or Microsoft Office application, and it takes care of the rest. If you’re interested in incorporating it into your business, their PrintEco Analytics will even track its environmental and financial impact for you.
When you use batteries, you’re powering your object with electrical energy stored within those batteries. NETenergy has taken this successful concept and developed a battery that stores thermal energy to be used during off-peak times. According to their website, when buildings use their battery to store cold energy, it will ‘save 30% or more on their energy usage and reduce carbon emissions by 50%.’ It’s an attractive and simple way to improve a building’s sustainability and save owners money on cooling costs.
The scientists at RedWave Energy came together in 2011 to create a technology that makes use of wasted heat energy. Their prototype, which is expected to release in beta within the next year, will harvest lower-temperature heat that’s given off at factories and turn it into usable electricity. The energy wasted in industrial processes will be picked up as wavelengths by RedWave’s millions of small antennas before conversion, a technological process they developed in conjunction with scientists and researchers around the country.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.