Environmental Awareness & Protection, and What Can We Do? 5 Environmental Projects to Inspire You

Low-cost advanced technologies, especially the open source hardware & software, enable almost everyone to get involved to show support for environmental protection. Since founded in 2008, Seeed has been putting efforts and resources in supporting environmental projects to contribute to our mother Earth.

To celebrate the Earth Day, partnering with hackster.io, Seeed has launched our first Earth Day contest, to encourage our community to make & share projects that benefit the planet in an open sourced way! And we’re giving away 15 awesome Seeed&Hackster-powered prizes for the top submissions. More info about the contest, please visit here.

If you are still struggling about what to make, here are some projects that Seeed has involved in the past years. Hope they could inspire you.

  • A Coconut Monitors Ocean Pollutions
    Marine Litter Detective
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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 (packed in coconuts) 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 to stimulate the awareness of ocean protection.

When we got the project proposal from MakerBay, we were really happy to participate and provide electronics parts and technical support for the project. And now, the project is still ongoing with more schools and makers involved.

Learn more here: https://makerbay.github.io/Marine_Litter_Detective/

  • A Robot Boat Traces Marine Litter
    Project Protei  屏幕快照 2018-04-25 上午10.50.09
Project Protei is an open source, articulated, segmented, robotic, unmanned, sailboat, originally built to sail upwind, dragging a long oil-absorbent boom, to aid in the cleanup of oil near spill sites. It aims at understanding and protecting the oceans in dealing with the following issues: oil spills, plastic debris accumulation, radioactivity sensing, fisheries monitoring and so on.

In 2012, Seeed took part in the project as one of the partners by supplying parts such as servos, microcontrollers, and sensors etc for the seventh prototype Protei_007 of the project.

Learn more here: http://www.instructables.com/id/PROTEI007/

  •  An Owl Detects City Air Quality


In 2014, Mrutyunjay Mishra who is an engineer 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.) to monitor the environmental data of this city during Kumbh Mela (the largest carnival in India, with more than 20 million people participated), and they shared the data on the web. In this way, people can learn about human activities’ influence on the environment.

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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. In 2016, we organized an Environment Monitoring Workshop based on AirOwl Kit in Chaihuo Maker Space.

Learn more here: https://openenvironment.indiaopendata.com/airowl

  • A 100-sensor DIY network Collects & Visualizes Realtime Environment Data

         Data Canvas: Sense Your City

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 to collect and visualize open data, measuring air quality, noise, pollution, light, and temperature in all six cities (Rio de Janiero, San Francisco, Boston, Bangalore, Singapore, Shanghai, and Geneva).

All the sensor kits used for the project were provided by Seeed.

Learn more here:https://www.swissnexsanfrancisco.org/event/datacanvas2015/

  • An Art Installation Reminds Seriousness of Light Pollution  
    Reflecting the Star

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.

Seeed developed parts of the controllers, sensors and communication modules for this art installation.

Learn more here: http://www.thewindmillfactory.com/stardedication/

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 our Contest now, and share your projects with the community!

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April 2018