3 startups saving trees and the planet

By Sam Brake Guia September 9, 2017
startups trees planet

Every day since 1979, a man named Payeng has planted a tree on his home island of Majuli and the neighboring Jorhat. Once upon a time, both islands were abundantly populated with lush forests, but these were destroyed by humans.

Thanks to Payeng’s tireless effort, the islands are, once again, thriving with a incredible 550 hectare space providing vegetation for a plethora of animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers. The space, which is larger than New York’s Central Park, almost certainly wouldn’t be the green paradise that it is today if it wasn’t for the selfless efforts of Payeng.

Outside Payeng’s world, we live an age where a colossal divide exists between those who want to save the environment those who don’t, or at least don’t see if as an serious issue. Given the state of the world, it can be hard to remember there are a lot of people who want to save the planet. Some of these people are campaigners, volunteers and others are bright entrepreneurs utilizing modern technology to create a greener world for future generations. Here are three startups aiming to make a difference in the world.

Bios Urn

This Barcelona-based startup aims to turn loved ones into trees. While this might sound like some outlandish sci-fi plot, the idea can be considered by some as a loving gesture with wonderful potential for the environment. The urn arrives in the post as a cardboard tube made of two separate cones, one for holding ashes and another containing a soil mix and the seed of choice, which can be a maple, oak, pine or any other tree or bush. The customer then decants the ashes into the bottom cone and buries the two parts together.

The startup has been very well received with a large number of supports from a success Kickstarter campaign. The Bios Incube, advertised as “the world’s first incubator for the afterlife”, was funded using Kickstarter, raising €73,671 (£65,890) in March 2016. More than 50 of them contributed €350 or more to get an early bird Bios Incube at a special price (they retail from €450).


Thanks to this startup, we may all be writing on stone once again, however this time with a little more ease. This Japanese startup is using the world’s “almost inexhaustible” source of Limestone to create paper. Nobuyoshi Yamasaki’s motivation is based on concerns over deforestation and water shortages, along with the fact that world demand  for paper is set to double by 2030.

“I want to end my life as an entrepreneur by creating a company that will last for hundreds of years,” says Yamasaki, who previously worked as a used car salesman, who also left school at 15 and began his career as a carpenter. “Our material will play an active role in many places as the world faces population growth and water shortage,” said Yamasaki.

Open Forests

Open Forests is a consulting company and expert network that support the implementation of social, ecologically diverse and profitable forestry projects. They are focused on  productive and highly sustainable forestry projects, using modern technology and data to simplify and streamline the process of saving the planet.

The company offers services such as Drone based Forest and Landscape mapping to offer a novel method of valuation, monitoring and research. The service provides certain benefits which were previously unobtainable using previous technology. As the below picture demonstrates, the low flying altitude allows the procurement of photos rich in detail and without atmospheric interferences as the following comparison of drone and satellite imagery shows.