By Daimon Eklund | Dec 18, 2014

Two different projects from members of the UW community are using crowdfunding to help make sustainable ideas a reality.

One team of former UW students is using Kickstarter to produce an environmentally friendly trekking pole. The company they formed, Uphill Designs, claims their bamboo trekking pole is not only made from sustainable materials, but it also stronger and more resilient than aluminum. With just a couple days to go, the project has already exceeded their $10,000 funding goal.

Another team of UW researchers is using the crowd-funding platform Experiment to help their efforts to produce an inexpensive, sustainable water purification system. The team uses the naturally-occuring material chitin, which is found in sources such as crustacean shells, to help filter the water. Currently they buy already-extracted chitin in the research, but are aiming for funding to allow them to extract the material directly from raw materials as they work on developing their filter.