We're exploring all the ways Israel is going green. From a wind turbine shaped like a tulip to fighting bugs with bugs... well, you just have to see for yourself. Here are 15 of our favorite Israeli "green" innovations.
01 The Knesset Goes Green
While many disagreements echo the halls of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) one thing is undisputed: the Knesset will be the greenest parliament in the world. The plan is to introduce air conditioners and sprinkler systems that run on solar energy, saving the Knesset (and by extension the Israeli population) millions of shekels every year on electricity costs.
02 Drip Irrigation
By far one of Israel's most famous inventions, drip irrigation is the process of releasing controlled and precise amounts of water for crop irrigation. The water is directed straight to the roots of the plant, saving farmers from using unnecessary water on crops.
03 Water Desalination
Full disclosure, Israel did not invent the desalination process. So why is this included on the list? Because Israeli technology has invented a more cost-efficient way of desalinating water. Why is it so important to take salt out of water? The desalinated water provides fresh water to 1.5 million people!
04 Turning Garbage into Energy
The Hiriya, a waste and recycling sorting plant, will be transforming 1,500 tons of household waste every day into an alternative fuel that will provide energy for a nearby factory. Can't say we want to work with the garbage, but we're all for the advancement of waste management!
05 Landfill Rehabilitation
Currently, the largest project of this size, the Ariel Sharon Park has transformed the once very odorous garbage dump into a beautiful park- even larger than Central Park in NYC. Every aspect of the park benefits the environment, from the sewage treatment garden to couches made from recycled tires in the visitor center.
06 Recycled Water for Agriculture
Have you ever thought about what happens to the water after you shower or flush the toilet? Yeah, it's not really our favorite thing to think about either. But the answer may shock you, in most places all sewage water is drained into natural bodies of water! However, Israel is bounds ahead of the world. 85% of sewage water is used for agriculture (after going through a lengthy and thorough purifying process, don't worry!). This not only solves the issue of what to do with sewage but also provides an extra source of water to Israel, one of the driest countries in the world.
07 The Negev Energy Project
Anyone who has ever visited Israel's south can confirm that the heat of the sun is off the charts. Scientists noticed that as well, and this realization resulted in the Ashalim Complex which uses different technologies to harness the sun's heat and provide 300 megawatts of clean electricity every day! (For those of you, like us, who have no idea what a megawatt is... the general calculation is that 1 MW can fuel 1,000 homes!)
08 The Dud Shemesh
The dud shemesh, a solar water heater, is probably the subject of most arguments in Israeli homes. (Because who wants to take a cold shower?!) Dr. Harry Tzvi Tabor invented the dud shemesh in the 1950s partly because he was tired of paying high electricity bills!
09 The Two Flush Toilet
Mandatory in all Israeli bathrooms, the two-flush toilet cuts the amount of water used per flush almost in half! One can choose a small flush or a big flush depending on... you know what- we think you got it.
10 The Wind Tulip
The Wind Tulip is a more efficient wind turbine that is silent, vibration-free, produces clean energy, and has a cluster effect (meaning the performance is better when placed close together). And an added bonus? The Wind Tulip is designed as an environmental sculpture so users do not need to compromise on aesthetics!
11 Solaris Synergy
Solaris Synergy is a system of solar panels that float on water. While this just sounds super cool, there are many benefits that go along with water-based solar plants. Not only does this system save precious land space, but it also prevents water evaporation from harsh sunlight, eliminates algae growth, and preserves water freshness!
12 ELA Recycling
ELA, a non-profit organization, is responsible for collecting most of Israel's drink containers and then taking them to recycling facilities. With cheerful collection bins placed strategically around the country, ELA collects about 2.5 million recyclable materials every day!
13 Biological Pest Control
Now it may not seem to make a lot of sense, fighting bugs with more bugs, but the Israeli company, Bio Bee, has created beneficial insects (yes, apparently they exist) that control the pests that are found in fruit trees!
14 AKOL (Agriculture Knowledge Online)
The name is pretty self-explanatory, but AKOL gives farmers around the world access to Israeli agricultural knowledge and innovation. Farmers can work with Israeli experts to create tailor-made solutions, connect with other farmers, or purchase supplies.
15 Tal-Ya Water Technologies
Sometimes when a crisis calls, a little creativity and a whole lot of science can solve the problem. Being one of the driest countries in the world, Israel is always looking for new ways to collect and efficiently use water. So Tal-Ya Water Technologies developed a tray that collects water/dew out of thin air (like magic!) and funnels it straight to the roots of the plant or tree. And an added bonus? The tray prevents weeds from growing, which reduces the need for weed killers.