The Summer’s Brilliantly Simple Innovations

Photo by: Cycle Technologies

Photo credit: Cycle Technologies

Hello, Summer! We’ve selected a few brilliantly simple ideas we think you should know about:

ROTHY’S SHOES

Beautiful, comfortable shoes made out of discarded beverage containers? Yes please! The San Francisco-based Rothy’s Shoes has found a way to use some of the more than 2 million tons of water bottles discarded in U.S. landfills each year. Made from 100% recycled water bottles, these breathable, washable, and durable shoes are crafted by an innovative, patent-pending 3D knitting process. As of now, there are two styles and a few colors from which to choose.  Co-Founder, Roth Martin says the limited color-palette speaks to their emphasis on simplicity.  Send samples please!

 

WARD + ROBES

Can a hospital gown be couture fashion? When top designers collaborate and leverage their creative talents, it can be. Starlight Children’s Foundation of Canada and Ward + Robes are redefining the hospital gown to ease the sulkiness of staying in the hospital. Check out the video and see for yourself the impact this is having on these young lives. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you really understand your patients’ needs.

 

TACKLING OBESITY WITH DESIGN

Cycle Technologies Features Work of Hayden Peek on The Brilliantly Simple Blog

Photo credit: Hayden Peek

Do you know what’s in your grocery basket? Reading labels gets tedious, but if we’re going to fix the obesity epidemic we need to find a way to make people more conscious of what they’re consuming. Hayden Peek, a British designer, has come up with with “a ridiculously simple way” to cut through the noise and educate us; a simple graphic that would print at the bottom of every supermarket receipt, with color-coded symbols for things such as calories, sugar, and saturated fat.  Color-coded symbols on your grocery receipts could alert you if there is too much sugar, fat, sodium…you get the idea. What do you think? Would this change your shopping habits? 

 

These “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please contact us!


Cycle Technologies is a socially minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions to help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit www.CycleTechnologies.com

These Two Companies Are Helping the World in Very Different Ways

Are you ready for the summer? We are! And we’re featuring two sustainable development technologies that will sure to make some waves this summer season.

SALTWATER BREWERY

SaltwaterBrewery.com Did you know that last year, consumers drank an estimated 6.3 BILLION gallons of beer – much of which was packaged in cans and transported in plastic 6-pack rings. Those plastic rings end up in our ocean and waterways as trash and threaten wildlife. To help alleviate this environmental problem, Saltwater Brewery created a solution that can reduce plastic waste in a very significant way. With the help of We Believers marketing agency, Delray, Florida’s Saltwater Brewery created the first ever, 100% biodegradable, edible six pack rings made from the left over wheat and barley. How ingenious is that? Take a look at the video and watch how this small, craft beer company is quenching the thirsts of thousands of people and at the same time, helping seabirds, turtles and other wildlife NOT get trapped in the plastic, traditional beverage packaging industry.

 

FASO SOAP

Moctar Dembélé and Gérard Niyondiko were the first African winners of the Global Service Venture Competition in 2013 and their invention, Faso Soap, raised $26,500 in prize money to help combat mosquito-borne diseases. According to Faso Soap’s website, a child dies from malaria every 2 minutes and their Malaria-fighting soap can help reduce that fatality number with a cost-efficient soap solution they developed. “Soap is one product you can find in all African family homes, no matter how poor they are,” Niyondiko tells CNN. “Most people wash in the evening and you want to be protected before you go to bed at night.” The company wants to reduce death caused by malaria – a goal of 100,000 lives by the end of 2018 by putting a mosquito-repellent soap in the hands of the most vulnerable populations in Africa. The students launched and completed a crowdfunding campaign on Ulule to continue to develop and test their product with hopes to eventually combat the zika virus.

These “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please contact us!


Cycle Technologies is a socially minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions to help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit www.CycleTechnologies.com

3 Green Companies That Do Sustainable Work

Planets are hard to find! Love Kindly. Cycle Technologies celebrate earth day | Brilliantly Simple Sustainable Family Planning Solutions

This month, we’re featuring 3 green companies that do great sustainable work.

CONSCIOUS PERIOD

Cycle Technologies Features Conscious Period on The Brilliantly Simple Blog

Photo courtesy of Conscious Period

Here’s a company on a menstrual mission! Margo Lang always knew she wanted to start a business that had a social good component to it, and Annie Lascoe was concerned about the ingredients in commercial tampons. BOOM! The two combined their talents and passions into the creation of Conscious Period, the first organic tampon in the USA with a “dual giving” model to provide for women in need. Conscious Period wants women to obtain healthy, safe, and sustainable period products. According to their website, the average american woman uses 16,800 tampons in her lifetime. And manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients of their tampons. Unfortunately what’s really in your tampon is not something we’re privy to and according to Phillip Tierno, a microbiologist at NYU’s School of Medicine “a lot of dioxin”  is in your tampon. The EPA classifies dioxin as carcinogenic and although trace amounts are ok, if a woman is exposed to dioxin a lot over the course of her menstrual lifetime (let’s say 16,800 times) Tierno points out, “That’s a lot of dioxin absorbed directly through the vagina. It goes directly into the blood.” Organic is starting to look a LOT more appealing.

What’s more…when you purchase a box of Conscious Period tampons, you’re not only providing yourself with chemical-free sanitary products – you are also providing a box of healthy, environmentally friendly pads to a woman who is need of sanitary supplies. How cool is that?  It’s a one-to-one, buy & give, business model.

Check them out and take note of their huge success on Indiegogo. As of March 31st, the first batch of Conscious Period tampons were shipped to initial project backers. And they were also just mentioned in a Newsweek article on Menstruation – so they must be doing something right! We’re looking forward to our box!

HUNGRY HARVEST

Photo credit: Hungry Harvest

Photo credit: Hungry Harvest

Getting rejected because of minor imperfections just plain sucks. What’s even worse is the 6 BILLION pounds of produce that is rejected and thrown out each year – many because of those imperfections! Now imagine families in need who could benefit from these fruits and vegetables and couldn’t care less if their granny smith apple is the perfect shade of green. Drum roll please… meet Hungry Harvest, a Baltimore-based company who wants to sell you its ugly fruits and vegetables and feed hungry people in need at the same time.

With more than 500,000 pounds of produce recused since its inception, Hungry Harvest founder, Evan Lutz and his team redistributed 185,000 of that 500,000 pounds of produce that otherwise would have been wasted. The model is subscription-based and customers browse the Hungry Harvest website to buy organic, quality produce boxes that we once rejected for one reason or another. And for every box a customer purchases (free delivery included by the way), another produce box gets delivered to a hungry family in need.

Whoa! The company was featured on Shark Tank and many “sharks” found the concept fascinating and truly sustainable.  So do we!

CYCLE TECHNOLOGIES

Cycle Technologies CycleBeads App featured for Earth Day Sustainable Innovations

Photo credit: Cycle Technologies

We believe that the benefits of fertility awareness methods are massive! And one of these benefits is helping to protect our environment.

How? Two ways:

  1. By ensuring fewer toxins and less packaging waste enter the environment; and
  2. Reducing unplanned pregnancies.

Since 2002, Cycle Technologies has focused on creating simple, sustainable family planning innovations and products that help women plan pregnancy or prevent pregnancy NATURALLY.

And it makes many of these tools available for free so that women all over the world can use them

Scientists and environmentalists have debated the impact that hormonal contraception may have on our environment, but it’s clear that the packaging, plastics, syringes and other paraphernalia associated with birth control affects the environment too.  There are lots of stories trying to rate the various methods in terms of their green impact – here, here, and here.

But really the most important thing when it comes to family planning and the environment is that people are able to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Population and its impact on the environment is another tricky discussion among scientists.  But we know that when people have access to family planning options that they want to use, they are likely to have fewer children. And when people are able to plan their families, they can better take care of them. Today there are over 222 million women worldwide who are at risk for pregnancy, but don’t use contraception currently.  Why? The #1 reason women cite for not using contraception is side-effects and health concerns.

Cycle Technologies works to provide women with effective, easy to use fertility awareness options that meet their needs. 

These “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please contact us!


Cycle Technologies is a socially minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions to help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit www.CycleTechnologies.com

March Top Picks for Sustainable Development Technologies

Cycle Technologies - Brilliantly Simple Global Health Solutions - TBSB Features Top Picks for Sustainable Development Technologies

Happy Spring! Here are our March favorite picks for sustainable development technologies.

1. Dot Period & Fertility Tracker

WD2016-Women-Deliver-Ad_NL

 

We can’t help but feature Cycle Technologies‘ – Dot Period & Fertility Tracker (#DotTheApp) this month! Dot was recently chosen to be featured at the Women Deliver Conference along with nine other amazing apps that are “changing the face of global health for women and girls”. The conference, which takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark May 16-19, will give participants a chance to interact with these cool technologies during it’s APPY Hour reception. We’re so honored to be on the impressive list of innovative companies and organizations making an impact on global health around the world, including Jhpiego, BVKit, MobileODT, Fundación Capital, Love Matters India, Maternity Foundation, IntraHealth InternationalWorld Vision USA Girls and Football SA. Let us know if you will be at Women Deliver conference this year. We’d love to connect!


2. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Photo credit: Sharmeed Obaid Films

March is a celebration of Women’s History, and we believe that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will go down in the history books as a woman who is a catalyst for change. Obaid-Chinoy made history on March 7th when her film, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness won an Oscar. In fact, she is the only Pakistani who has won TWO Oscars. “This is what happens when determined women get together,” she said during her Oscar acceptance speech. “That is the power of film.”  With more than 1000 women killed in the name of “honor” in Pakistan every year, this documentary follows the story of a rare survivor who falls in love and lives to tell the tale. To learn more about this masterful, social impact change-maker, visit Sharmeen Obaid Films.


3. AgriLux

Cycle Technologies Brilliantly Simple Blog Features AgriLux Spectrum LED Lightbulb

Photo credit: AG Innovation

Ontario-based AgriLux developed a new lighting system led by poultry-science expert, Dr. Gregoy Bedecarrats from the University of Guelph. The research shows that providing a new type of lighting for chickens results in an increase in egg production. The data show that making the chicken more comfortable, calmer and happier led to a better outcome – thus more egg-laying capacity.

Dr. Bedeccarat’s research and commercial partnership with Thies Electrical Distributing in Cambridge, Ontario, helped bring AgriLux lightbulb to the poultry science field. Take a look at the innovation behind this lightbulb and delve into the research on Agri-Technology Commercialization Center website for further information.

Hmmm…this is making us rethink the lighting at our office.

These “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please contact us!


Cycle Technologies is a socially minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions to help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit www.CycleTechnologies.com

February’s Top Picks for Sustainable Development Technologies

Genius-is-1%-Talent-and-99%-Hard-Work

We just got back from Mumbai, India, where Cycle Technologies Founder Leslie Heyer spoke at the World CSR Congress on “Innovative Solutions to Address Family Planning Needs Globally.”  The presentation focused on how technology is bringing new options to family planning and the critical factors for impactful innovation. We think understanding the problem you’re trying to solve is key, and this month we’ve chosen to highlight social impact companies that are working to address clearly defined problems and developing brilliantly simple solutions in the process.

Here are our February favorite picks for sustainable development technologies.

1. Kite Patch

Orange-Kite-Patch

Photo credit: KitePatch

Mosquito-repellents have been around for decades but one company is developing a mosquito-repellent patch that combats mosquitos in a very different way. Kite Patch is a “sticker” that is applied to clothing (like a decal) that keeps mosquitos from detecting your presence for up to 48hrs. The project was backed by 11,254 supporters and reached an impressive 743% of its goal on Indiegogo. The science-based technology has been in the works since 2013 based on research conducted at the University of California, Riverside. According to KitePatch’s Facebook page, field testing (Phase 1) to see how well the decals performed took place in Uganda in April and May 2015, and as of December 2015, the new technology is “getting close to completion” We look forward to seeing this at work!

 

2. Meet Luci by MPOWERD

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Photo credit: MPOWERD

There have been a lot of portable lights around but Luci offers something different. For every Luci purchased, MPOWERD gives a light for someone in need. According to their website, the company created Luci to “empower the 1.5 billion people in the developing world who still live without electricity.” When folks purchase Luci, NGO partners distribute the lights directly to people in areas where they are needed the most – including Kenya, Haiti, Philippines and Nepal. Luci is inflatable, waterproof, lightweight (4 ounces), shatterproof, and can provide up to 12 hours of light per solar charge.

 

3. Refugee Wearable Shelter

Coat-Tent-5-released-Royal-College-of-Art

Photo credit: Royal College of Art – London

We stumbled across an interesting article published in Fast Company recently about a group of textile students from the Royal College of Art in London who designed a “jacket” that transforms into a tent for Syrian refugees. Led by Dr. Harriet Harriss, the students wanted to create something that was light enough to wear throughout the day to protect then from the elements but also expand into a durable tent that allows for a parent and a child to have shelter at night. The jacket is made out of Tyvek which is waterproof and fully recyclable. The student chose to keep the white color in order for the jacket-tent to act as a canvas so that the families can draw on them with markers or personalize their shelters. We hope to see this project reach its potential.

We believe that these “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please let us know and contact us.


Cycle Technologies is a socially-minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions that help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit www.CycleTechnologies.com