We’re pretty big into nature here in Colorado. Between our glorious mountain ranges, flowing rivers and stunning features like Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, we’ve got plenty of reasons to have an interest in protecting our planet.
But fighting climate change will take more than just riding our bikes to work or recycling our craft beer bottles. It’ll take large-scale, institutional changes. Still, there are things consumers can do to help save the world — and these Colorado startups are making it happen.
Wunder exists to help schools, universities and hospitals harness renewable energy. The Boulder company’s software matches qualified investors with organizations, companies and municipalities who need help raising money for large-scale solar projects. They get solar power, investors get cash money, and everyone gets a few steps closer to helping the planet.
Simple Energy works with utility providers to get customers more engaged in saving energy. Their platform lets customers see where they’re using energy, and it gives them tips on how to become more efficient. It offers customers rewards and incentives to be smarter about their energy consumption, too. The energy companies and customers save time and money, while helping the planet in the process. Win-win-win.
We’ve had a lot of love for Denver IoT company Rachio lately. They’ve developed a “smart watering” system that works with the Weather Channel’s data services to make sure you’re not watering your yard in the middle of a downpour. Plus, they have a ton of other integrations like IFTTT, which you can control from your phone. No word on whether they’re building something to automatically pull your weeds, though.
The ink most of us use on a daily basis is incredibly unsustainable — it’s made from a petroleum base. Living Ink Technologies, based in Fort Collins and founded by Ph D. students at CSU, wants us all to start using more sustainable inks, like the one they invented. Fittingly, they call it their “saving the world” ink, and it’s made from plants. They grow algae in their lab and turn it into ink, and you can put it on paper just like regular ink. For science nerds, they also have “time-lapse ink” that, after being applied to paper, grows algae in the forms that have been drawn. Pretty crazy — and cool.
Home automation’s more than just a techy way to make your house awesome — it’s also a way to live a more eco-friendly life. We’re big fans of Jstar’s Josh.ai “home assistant” — using their technology, Josh takes care of things like adapting the brightness of your lights (and turning them off if you’re not around,) controlling your Nest thermostat based on the temperature outside and they’re even working on an integration with Rachio to take care of your outdoors needs together.