Top Sustainability Trends of 2023 & 2022

Our hand-picked collection of the top sustainability trends of 2023 & 2022. The topics in this report on today’s emerging sustainability trends are selected for their high growth across sites including Google, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon. Read more about how we track global trends.

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Rechargeable Light Bulbs

6.1K
Past Month Searches
+104%
Past Year Change

A rechargeable light bulb is a light bulb that can be recharged when being switched on with available power supply. The bulb contains a built-in battery that is charged when there is an available power supply. During power outages, the battery powers the light bulb so it stays on for two to eight hours, depending on the type of bulb. …  Read more

Green Hydrogen

69K
Past Month Searches
+66%
Past Year Change

Green Hydrogen is hydrogen that is produced by electrolysis or splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. The hydrogen is then used to power vehicles, heat homes, and generate electricity. …  Read more

Wind Turbine For Home

7.3K
Past Month Searches
+64%
Past Year Change

A wind turbine for home is a turbine that is designed to be installed on a property in order to generate electricity from wind power. Homeowners can install the turbine themselves or hire a professional to do it for them. …  Read more

Bamboo Pajamas

4.9K
Past Month Searches
+63%
Past Year Change

Bamboo pajamas are pajamas made from bamboo fabric. The fabric is said to be softer and more absorbent than traditional cotton pajamas, and is also said to be more environmentally friendly. …  Read more

Climate Finance

12K
Past Month Searches
+51%
Past Year Change

Climate finance is the investment of resources to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, as well as to help countries and communities adapt to the effects of climate change. The goal of climate finance is to make sure that everyone has the resources they need to take climate action. …  Read more

Net Zero Energy

6.7K
Past Month Searches
+51%
Past Year Change

Net Zero Energy is a term used to describe a building or home that produces as much renewable energy as it consumes over the course of a year. The energy can come from a variety of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal energy. …  Read more

Glass Straw

16K
Past Month Searches
+37%
Past Year Change

A glass straw is a straw made from glass instead of plastic. Glass straws are reusable and are said to be more durable and environmentally friendly than plastic straws. …  Read more

Net Zero Carbon

8K
Past Month Searches
+30%
Past Year Change

Net Zero Carbon refers to activities where from the very beginning no carbon is emitted or releases net-zero carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and many net zero carbon projects are now underway around the world. …  Read more

Green Ammonia

4.4K
Past Month Searches
+27%
Past Year Change

Green ammonia is a natural product that is made from the fermentation of sugarcane molasses and intended to be used in carbon-neutral products. The green ammonia is said to be a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional ammonia, as it does not produce harmful emissions. …  Read more

Sustainable Packaging

8.9K
Past Month Searches
+16%
Past Year Change

Sustainable packaging is packaging that is designed with the environment in mind. The packaging is often made from recycled materials and is biodegradable. It is intended to reduce the amount of waste that is produced by the packaging industry. …  Read more

Carbon Neutral

32K
Past Month Searches
+10%
Past Year Change

Carbon neutral is a term used to describe an action or product that has zero net carbon emissions. This means that the total amount of emissions from the product or action is offset by the planting of trees or other carbon-reducing measures. …  Read more

Blue Hydrogen

17K
Past Month Searches
+8%
Past Year Change

Blue hydrogen is a type of hydrogen that is made from natural gas through steam methane reforming and supported by carbon capture and storage (CCS). The gas is said to be more environmentally friendly than other forms of hydrogen, as the GHG emissions are not released into the atmosphere. …  Read more

Recycled Cotton

3.3K
Past Month Searches
+3%
Past Year Change

Recycled cotton is cotton that has been repurposed from other garments or materials. The cotton is often used in new garments or other products, such as bedding or towels. Recycled cotton is beneficial for the environment as it reduces the amount of waste that is produced. …  Read more

Trend Highlight – Zero Waste in the Hospitality Industry

By letting guests opt out of towel cleaning in the name of sustainability, hotels have been able to cut costs. They’re now extending this logic to shampoo, by replacing single-use shampoo containers with wall-mounted dispensers.

 

Tiny shampoo bottles are a high-waste product, since the bottle is thrown out if any of it is used, and the amount of plastic required per unit of shampoo is higher when the bottle is smaller. A dispenser can be cleaned off and topped up, at a lower marginal cost—and with less attention paid to keeping a stable inventory of small bottles. When Marriott started a plastic waste reduction program, they estimated it would cut their plastic use by 30%, eliminating 500 million bottles each year.

 

Shampoo dispensers, like pillow spray (Glimpse, March 2021), were popularized by hotels but have started moving into homes as well. Wall-mounted dispensers don't just reduce physical clutter, but visual clutter, since they mean replacing a product that has a label with a dispenser that doesn't. Much like cereal storage containers (Glimpse, April 2021), shampoo dispensers are a sort of in-home ad blocker, replacing a callout to a brand with a more minimalist display. Brands know that an appealing package can increase sales, and then increase usage after the sale; for customers who don’t want to be pitched products while they shower (even products they like), dispensers are a good solution.

 

Shampoo dispensers are part of a long-running evolution in how liquid consumer packaged goods get dispensed: when shampoo was first mass-produced in the early 1900s, bottles had unscrewable tops, followed by push buttons, then pumps. Single-serving dispensers may expand soon, into products like mouthwash; it’s already one of the popular features of the increasingly popular toothpaste tablets. Covid also affected the supply for dispensers, since it led to much higher deployment of hand sanitizer and touchless dispensers, and that manufacturing capacity can be redirected to other products afterwards.

 

There's a continuous tradeoff between usability, the cost of materials, and designs that increase usage and thus increase sales—but as Heinz discovered when they switched to inverted ketchup bottles, giving their customers the last drop of the product is a great way to earn goodwill, since it means the last interaction the customer has with the product is a reminder that they got their money's worth.

Trend Highlight – Carbon Offsets

As doing good for the environment becomes more and more of a social statement for consumers and businesses alike, carbon offsets are increasing in popularity. What's appealing about carbon offsets in particular is that they allow businesses and consumers to address their negative environmental impacts with money instead of a change in behavior or in business practices.

 

The goal of offsets is to cancel out the impact of emissions-heavy activities such as taking a flight, driving a car, or ordering a package online. In theory, carbon offsets allow environmental projects to make sense economically, where they may not have before. A company considering building a coal plant could instead choose to build a solar plant, and use the money generated from selling carbon offsets in order to cover the higher cost. The company doesn't have to invest any additional funds of their own to complete the project, and those on both sides of the equation can accrue brownie points in consumers' eyes for making more sustainable choices.

 

While the idea of carbon offsets was first introduced in the context of business, it has been an increasingly popular topic among consumers. This shows in the data: the rise in online consumer discussion of carbon offsets (orange) is noticeably more sudden than the rise of searches (blue), which includes both businesses and consumers.

 

While the concept makes sense on paper, though, it's far more complex in practice: accurately pricing certain offsets requires measuring environmental impact far into the future, for instance, and it's hard to know for sure whether certain projects would have been undertaken even without the aid of this additional funding.

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