Decomposable shipping pads

Move over Styrofoam -- this fully biodegradable new packaging made from mushrooms will soon be used to protect all our purchased goods. Ikea has already made the switch and has hailed it for being very easy to mold to fit any design.

Space mirrors

The idea is to send mirrors up into Earth's orbit that would reflect some of the sun's light away from the earth, lowering the ammount of UV radiation that hits us, while using that same light to generate energy. The technology is still in development, but if they find a way to transmit the energy back down to the planet, it could help solve the ecological crisis and provide clean energy.

Micro-hydroelectric power

You don't need a river as big as the Colorado to produce electricity. You can harness even the power of a stream. The Dominican sisters at Queen of Peace Monastery recently installed a micro-hydroelectric system using the streams on their property to produce a whopping 86 kilowatts.

Nano-silicon oil-absorbing sponges

When oil is spilled in the ocean, we have a pretty easy time cleaning the floating patches, but it's much harder to collect the oil that's spread out underwater. New sponges made of silicon, however, have been found to seek out and absorb these droplets. It's hopeful that this new invention could trap oil as it spills.

Solar glass

Those solar panels people have been putting on houses may soon be obsolete, as new solar technology would see panes of clear glass generate up to 40% of US energy if installed in every available window slot.

Negative emissions technology

The biggest draw back to the use of fossil fuels is the carbon that it puts out into the air. That's why there are several companies working to catch the carbon as it is released. We don't pretend to understand the science, but the goal is to pull carbon right out of the air and then even make some useful things with it.

Green burial

"Green burials" are conducted with no chemical preservatives and no cement vaults. Bodies buried this way will fully decompose within 20 years, making this type of interment much better for the land. A Catholic cemetery in Minnesota recently began offering "green burials" and they have already sold 15 plots.