5 Projects and a Contest to Inspire Your Environmental Awareness

Education Energy & Sustainability Maker News Science

Low-cost advanced technologies, especially the open source hardware & software, enable almost everyone to get involved to show support for environmental protection.

To celebrate Earth Day 2018, Seeed and hackster.io have launched an Earth Day contest to encourage the community to make & share projects that benefit the planet! The contest will give away 15 awesome Seeed & Hackster-powered prizes for the top submissions, including a trip to Shenzhen during Maker Faire Shenzhen. More info about the contest, please visit here.

If you are still struggling about what to make, here are some cool environmental projects. Hope they could inspire you.



Marine Litter Detective

As more and more litter ends up in oceans, marine lives are put in danger. In order to detect how litter enters the sea through storm drains and rivers, WWF-Hong Kong, in cooperation with MakerBay, has designed tracking devices to deploy a network of over 100 GPS trackers in the ocean in 2016. The data collected by the devices are transformed by leaflet-powered data visualization into Ocean Litter Real-time Map.

Seeed participated and provided electronics parts and technical support for the project. And now, the project is still ongoing with more schools and makers involved.


Project Protei

Project Protei is an open source, robotic, unmanned, sailboat, dragging a long oil-absorbent boom, to aid in the cleanup of oil near spill sites. It aims at understanding and protecting the oceans to deal with oil spills, plastic debris accumulation, radioactivity sensing, fisheries monitoring and so on. 

Learn more here.

In 2014, engineer Mrutyunjay Mishra teamed up with German journalist Ulrike Reinhard to make the AirOwl Project happen. They placed sensor kits in different places within the city. The sensor kit contains 9 different sensors including temperature, humidity and air quality etc. And they monitored the environmental data of this city during Kumbh Mela (the largest carnival in India, with more than 20 million people participated), and shared the data on the web. In this way, people can learn about human activities’ influence on the environment.


For this project, they used Seeed’s #Grove sensors to make the first prototype, and upgraded AirOwl into an affordable DIY personal air quality (Dust SPM 2.5 & 10 micron) monitoring device. It generates real-time dust pollution data and shows it on this open data project website and a free mobile app (Android, iOS) that anyone can download.

Learn more here.

A 100-Sensor DIY Network Collects & Visualizes Realtime Environment Data

Data Canvas is a co-worked project by Lift, Gray Area, the Swissnex network and Seeed in 2014. By encouraging more people to participate in sensor setup, the project aims to build a 100-sensor DIY network around the world. It collected and visualized open data, measuring air quality, noise, pollution, light, and temperature in all six cities. The six cities include Rio de Janiero, San Francisco, Boston, Bangalore, Singapore, Shanghai, and Geneva.

Learn more here.


Reflecting the Stars

Due to the serious light pollution, stars are invisible to the unassisted eye in cities like New York. In order to remind people of the seriousness of air and light pollution, artist Jon Morris created Reflecting the Stars, an art installation that re-creates constellations on the surface of Hudson River in Manhattan in 2011.

The installation consists of a network of over 200 wireless sensors scattered throughout the river, connecting wirelessly with one master control panel on land. At night, a set of 201 LED lights twinkle in various patterns as the tides conceal and reveal the lights. Visitors on shore can press buttons, which highlight constellations within the lights that are no longer seen in urban centers because of air and light pollution.

Learn more here.


After sharing these five projects, which are all dedicated to protect environment around us (Ocean, Air, Light), you might get inspirations for your environmental project. Then jump in the Contest now, and share your projects with the community!

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!