Trash, Sustainability, and the Environment


ecology, engineering, earth science, materials science, chemistry, biology, physics, social science, data science, economics, education, anthropology

Trash only continues to rise with urban expansion. How can we reduce the amount of trash and lessen its impact on the earth, as well as develop new methods of sustainability and work to protect our environment?

The Projects

Browse the participating projects

How deep are microplastics in the sea? Understanding wind-driven vertical mixing

Microplastics – small bits of plastic millimeters or smaller in size – that float in the ocean are carried...

Discovering natural antibiotics from extremophile microalgae

Soap Lake, an extreme alkaline lake located in Washington State, is renowned for its “healing effect” since...

More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Challenge Amount:
Submission Deadline:
Dec 23, 2016
Campaign Launch:
Jan 10, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

This grant is for projects that launch crowdfunding campaigns by Jan 10, 2017. The project with the most backers after three weeks will receive an additional $500 grant. Eligible projects must be approved before the launch deadline.

When will the grant be awarded?

On January 31st at 5PM PT, the prizes will be awarded according to the posted schedule.

Can I still submit a project?

We are no longer accepting projects for this grant, however we will be launching many more challenge grant opportunities. Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date community news.

Please Note:

If we see suspicious acitivity of researchers or backers potentially cheating during the challenge, the project will be completely disqualified from winning the grant.

Challenge Aims

Trash is a visible manifestation of the ugly side of human technology. Driving ourselves to produce at the enormous scale we do today, creating materials so durable that they will outlast us for thousands of years, we've created a host of environmental and health problems. Many projects in this challenge study the movement and collection of waste in our ecosystems, such as microplastics in the sea.

This challenge also focuses on sustainability efforts and environmental science, such as the use of algae for biofuels, or investigating environmental toxins using novel technology.

Project Eligilibity

This grant is for projects that launch campaigns by Dec 23, 2016. The project that ends with the most backers will receive an additional $500 grant. Eligible projects must be approved before the launch deadline.

Share The Science

Spread the word about the science waiting to happen.