Top 10 Eco-Trends in 2010

4. LEED Building Certification

Eco-Trend #4: LEED CertificationEco-Trend #4: LEED Certification

While LEED Certification is not exactly an innovation of 2010, it has become increasingly more desirable.  This year LEED made several advancements.  They officially launched a pilot program, "LEED for Retail," which claims to encourage "forward-thinking retailers to integrate green building design, construction and operation into ground-up construction, retail interior, and build-out products."  Furthermore, the "LEED Volume Program," is aimed at making LEED certification easier and cheaper for large-scale property developers.  Beyond that, LEED is also offering programs for new construction, existing buildings, commercial interiors, core and shell, schools, health-care, homes, and a pilot neighborhood development program.  Clearly, the LEED certification program is the forerunner of green building in 2010.

3. Wind-Powered Everything

Eco-Trend #3: Wind-Powered EverythingEco-Trend #3: Wind-Powered Everything

Pictured here is the iFan, a wind-powered iPhone charger concept, covered in this recent post by Gloria Campos over at "Gloria's Green" for InventorSpot.  I've covered the previously mentioned wind-powered, electric car, the "Nemesis," and 2010 has brought us countless other wind-powered inventions and innovations.  This year, we've seen advancements such as the "Wind Cube," a wind-powered home generator; the "Agro E. Sustenable Generator," a portable, agricultural wind turbine; the "Revolutionair," a small-scale wind turbine for the home by Philipp Starck; as well as the "LIGHT WIND," a wind-powered, Dutch outdoor lighting system.  Could wind power potentially outdo solar power?

2. Energy Harvesting

Eco-Trend #2: Energy HarvestingEco-Trend #2: Energy Harvesting

Also referred to as "power harvesting" or "energy scavenging," energy harvesting has gained increased popularity over the last year.  Energy harvesting is the process used to collect energy from the surrounding environment (referred to as "ambient energy") and then convert it to electricity.  Recently, this is being done in rather innovative ways.  Pictured here is the "Hybrid Generator" by Fujitsu, a power generator that uses both thermoelectric (heat) and photovoltaic (light) sources to harvest energy for generating electricity.  Another innovative method of energy harvesting is used in the "Airenergy," a gadget charger that uses Wi-Fi radio frequencies in the surrounding environment to supply its power.

1. Alternative Fuel Sources

Eco-Trend #1: Alternative Fuel SourcesEco-Trend #1: Alternative Fuel Sources

From Bio-Diesel to hydrogen alternative fuel, traditional fossil fuels are rapidly becoming less in demand as alternative fuel sources gain popularity.  As can be seen by Precer's wood pellet-powered "Bioracer," biofuel is a comparable alternative to environmentally unfriendly and non-sustainable sources.  After the devastation of the Gulf Coast this past spring, we need alternative fuel sources now more than ever.  With advancements of this eco-trend growing at a rapid pace, 2011 is looking greener than ever.

Sources: TrendHunter's Top 100 Eco Trends and TrendHunter's 32 Small-Scale Wind-Driven Devices and Wikipedia and EcoHome

Amanda Hinski
Environmental Innovations Blogger