We all know we could lead a better life than we currently do, whether through using a cleaner alternative to a car, or changing our daily routines, but many of us like our comfortable habits too much to let them go.
So here's the good news: these seven innovative Swedish startups will make your life better in an easy way.
Bought something second-hand and want to move it from the other side of the city to your home? Then MoveByBike cargo bikes could be your green alternative to the traditional methods of transport.
Founders Johan and Nils Wedin, who are father and son, use special bikes that are able to transport up to 300 kilos in a covered trailer. The Wedins wanted to live without a car but found moving big and heavy items like furniture from one spot to the other a challenge. After being inspired by a Canadian moving company that uses cargo bikes, they had the idea of starting their own transportation business in Malmö.
Research shows that 51 percent of all goods deliveries could be done by cargo bikes, so transportation is ready for a change. With a 24 hour advanced booking service, things can be easily sent to new locations within the city in an environmentally friendly manner. The bikes are available in Malmö, Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Umeå and Lund, and more information is available at the MoveByBike website.
The Cargo Bikes from MoveByBike in action. Video: MoveByBike
Having an exceptionally good hair day but planning on biking to work? Perhaps that's why there are still a lot of people who don't use helmets, even though we all know they keep our beloved heads and brains safe.
Two industrial design students from Malmö have invented a solution. Hövding is an automatically unfolding airbag helmet, worn around the neck like a scarf, that pops out and covers the head when it tracks an unusual movement from the cyclist. Thanks to them, looking good and being safe is made easy.
This is how the airbag helmet by Hövding works. Video: Hövding
Always wanted to own a goat? Or perhaps a camel? With the Ari.Farm app you can have both, while also offering development assistance for others and feeling better about yourself as a result, not to mention potentially making a profit at the same time.
The app allows you to buy, own and trade livestock like sheep, goat and camels in Somalia, investing in animals from local farms, meaning the community is supported by your investment. You can even track your grazing animals online.
Founder Mohamed M Jimale grew up as a nomad in Somalia, and his family have been farming for generations. After coming to Sweden as a refugee in 2010 he decided to combine his knowledge about normadic farming in Somalia with his IT skills, and startup Ari.Farm is the result.
Ari.Farm makes it possible to buy and trade animals in Somalia. Picture: Ari.Farm
Put simply, a contraceptive app. We're not kidding: the creators say it's tested and certified to work as well as other contraceptives but without any side effects.
The app tracks the user's menstrual cycle and shows if it's a fertile or non-fertile day. The only thing the user has to do is measure her body temperature and enter it into the app. If pregnancy is not the goal, protection should be used on the fertile days, but if a baby is the plan, the app could help too.
Natural Cycles gives you insight into your body and helps you to make self-determined decisions about pregnancies. Fun fact: founder Dr. Elina Berglund took part in the search for the Higgs boson particle. Her and husband Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl, have applied their mathematical knowledge to create the unique algorithm that allows Natural Cycles to adapt to each woman's body individually.
Natural Cycles is the first app to tell you if you are having a fertile day or not. Photo: Natural Cycles
Worried about aging family members? Aifloo is designed to help keep your loved ones safe and cared for. E-health and artificial intelligence merge to create the first self-learning e-health system, using a motion-sensitive wristband that tracks and understands behavioural patterns and can therefore identify deviations.
When the system recognizes a critical situation, an alert gets sent to a mobile phone and other online devices, and the wristband also records the location movement of the user. Aifloo is based on medical artificial intelligence and was developed in collaboration with elderly people, their relatives and caregivers. It enables elderly people to live independently, but securely.
A video explaining how the system works. Video: Aifloo
The green movement can now start right from your living room. Watty acts like a bloodhound, sniffing for energy, and especially lost energy. Co-founder Hjalmar Nilsonne used to teach students at KTH university in Stockholm on modeling home energy through software, which was where the idea for the startup developed.
Together with academics from the university, the team created a hardware box that is able to measure the total energy consumption of your home. The Watty box comes together with an app, which shows you the energy consumption of each appliance at different times of the day.
The intelligent and self-learning technology learns your personal pattern of appliance use and gives you advice on how to save energy. That means acting more sustainably, saving money and ensuring safety in your home. Watty has its headquarters in Stockholm, but can be used all over Europe.
The Watty box has the size of a hand and measures the energy consumption in the house. Photo: Watty
Say hello to the car of the future! A compostable electric car that drives autonomously may sound like a fairytale, but it's coming true with Uniti. The sustainable commuting idea emerged in an open innovation project at Lund University and continued with money raised through crowdfunding, followed by investments.
The team, led by founder Lewis Horne, started as a group of volunteers that fascinated by the idea of the innovative car. The futuristic-looking vehicle is made for urban travel with a range of 150 km, a top speed of 90km/h and a light body made out of biomaterials. Earning those karma points isn't cheap though: the cost will be 200,000 kronor for the first Uniti cars on the street by the end of 2018.
Futuristic look and sustainable materials for the car of the future. Photo: Uniti