Environmental Protection

Eco-Trek: A Green Journey Around the World Completed (With Video)

For the last four months Eco-Trek had the opportunity to drive around the world with the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive, an emission-free, hydrogen-powered full-electric vehicle. Eco-Trek producer Christian Maier visited green projects all around the world and met some of the most fascinating people.

Here are some of the highlights from stories featured throughout the last four months:

Using natural resources and renewable energies is how sustainability is defined. All around the world we found interesting and unusual approaches to achieve a more sustainable way of life. At the start in Stuttgart, Germany, Eco-Trek encountered the world's first fuel cell powered plane, the Antares; in Barcelona, Spain we visited the Solar Pergola; in Australia we discovered the Carnegie Wave Energy Project where power is being generated from the ocean waves.

Architecture, the merger of art and science, has the potential to change the way we live. Sustainable buildings such as the Media Tic in Barcelona show us how to minimize energy consumption in style. Vertical Gardens, as Christian discovered in Paris are not just a beautiful way to bring green back into the cities, but also a core element of saving energy for heating and air conditioning. Architecture can also work in harmony with nature as Brad Pitts Make It Right Foundation in hurricane stricken New Orleans proved. As much as the Green Revolution will be led by scientists who find innovative ways to use technology to protect nature, there is also a cultural revolution emerging at the grass roots level in many places we visited.  Artists and designers, musicians and filmmakers we discovered on our journey around the world are also paving the way. From Parisian Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy to H.A. Schult and Chinese photographer Wang Jiuliang to designers like Pedro Costa and Luis Valenzuela and performance artist Andy Keller in Seattle – they all have one thing in common – to raise awareness about the environment and show creative ways to live in harmony with nature.

As we learned on our journey around the world – there is no area excluded from applying sustainable solutions to our every day lives. From the sustainable brewery in Portland that also serves organic food, to the smart car sharing program in Austin Texas, from entrepreneurs like Beth Ferguson and her Sol Design Lab that serves as a charging station for electric bicycles, cell phones, and laptops to Nick and Billy Smith who invented the sporting sail for skateboarders to The China Environmental Protection Foundation in Shanghai promoting reusable chopsticks, there is no place or profession where the principle of sustainability cannot be applied. Surely one of the most unusual examples to show just this is the Neptune Memorial Reef in Florida, a unique and sustainable way to go out in style off the coast of Miami, as the world's first underwater cemetery.

The arrival of the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive was marked by the announcement that Daimler AG together with Linde AG, the hydrogen provider on the F-CELL World Drive, will invest more than 20 million euros into building 20 hydrogen filling stations in Germany, which will make it possible to fill up a hydrogen vehicle pretty much anywhere in Germany by 2013.

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