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6 successful crowdfunding projects from 2021

Words by Smiley Team

Lots of people in our world have good ideas of how we can better protect the people and our planet – but not everyone has the funds to pull them off.

That’s why crowdfunding is such an important tool. It gives people the opportunity to drive forward their visions, and try to solve the world’s problems by providing the goods and services we need.

Throughout 2021, we’ve been highlighting brilliant crowdfunding projects that give back. Here are six of the best – all have been made possible thanks to people donating their money to make them happen. 

The zero-waste bracelet that creates change in the Amazon

The Yawanawá are an indigenous community who have lived in the heart of the Amazon rainforest for hundreds of years. The forest provides them with medicine, shelter and the resources to live. To support them, the Together Band has partnered with the community of the Yawa to launch a crowdfunding project for ‘Yawa Bands to be a symbol of hope for the forest. 

Together Band is part of the British sustainable brand BOTTLETOP, co-founded by Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, and driven by COO Jon Lee. The project aims to create long-term artisanal employment for the Yawanawá community at the heart of the Amazon rainforest and in doing so, support the community in their continued stewardship of 250,000 hectares of Brazilian rainforest.

Read the full story. 

The wind turbine that fits in your backpack

Shine Turbine is a wind turbine that fits in your backpack. It weighs just three pounds, can be set up in two minutes and has been created by entrepreneurs to help us live in a world where clean energy is prioritised. Designed and manufactured in Canada, the team managed to secure their funding for the project through an impressive Kickstarter campaign. “Our mission is to provide clean energy independence,” they say. “Shine is the first of a series of renewable power products created by Aurea Technologies Inc. that will provide freedom from the electrical grid.”

Read the full story.

The smart bottle that cleans the oceans

If you found out you could save the ocean just by drinking water out of a bottle you’d want to know more, wouldn’t you? Nick Doman, 27, and Will Pearson, 27, from London created just that with Ocean Bottle – that directly funds the collection of 1,000 ocean-bound plastic bottles in weight. Locals in coastal communities then turn these bottles into a sustainable livelihood.

The founders then went even further to produce BOB: a Big Ocean Bottle, which is a 1 litre version of the original. Their Kickstarter campaign aimed to help them achieve this goal.

Read the full story.

The debit card that helps the planet every time you spend

Your debit card in your wallet could make a difference in the fight against climate change – that’s if you have an ekko card. Oli Cook, 35, from London, has crowdfunded for his project, which – in simple terms – means by using an ekko card, you’ll be collecting one ocean-bound plastic bottle for every five transactions, regardless of the amount spent. A tree will also be planted with every 50 purchases and cared for up to five years, he says.

Read the full story.

The ‘mini laundrettes’ being creates in schools

Smol's idea is to create "mini-launderettes" in schools that need them – they want to provide a washing machine and dryer and all the detergent they need to ensure no child in their care has to suffer from the consequences of not having clean clothes or uniforms. The company recently set up its very first washing machine in a primary school in Blackpool, and it's already having a big impact. Smol smashed its £10,000 target in just three hours and burst through £25,000 in just 25 hours. 

Read the full story.

The wildlife device that conserves nature

Terra is hoping to revolutionise the way we connect to and conserve nature by creating one of the “largest community science projects” of all time. The small, weatherproof device can be placed in your garden, and contains a set of microphones as well as a radio receiver for radio-tagged birds.

By using the app, you can connect Terra to your phone or bluetooth speakers and listen to the world outside your windows. And you can also learn about the birds and wildlife in your garden through the app, even when you’re not listening. Or, you can listen live to wild places like waterfalls, oceans, rainforests and savannahs – wherever you are. 

Read the full story.

If you, or someone you know, has launched a crowdfunding social enterprise project, email [email protected].

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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