Top 5 Canadian designs making the world a better place

Earthcycle Packaging

1. Lucky iron fish: When Cambodian villagers were hemorrhaging during childbirth due to a lack of iron, University of Guelph researcher Christopher Charles found an answer—throw a small chunk of iron, designed to look like a local river fish, into cooking pots. The result: a huge decrease in anemia. “The iron fish is incredibly powerful,” says Charles.

2. Double-red traffic light: One in 10 Canadian men are colour-blind, a potential problem when driving. But in Quebec, Omer Martineau’s double-red traffic light design helps drivers distinguish between frequency and shape, proving that two reds are probably better than one.

3. Water Bobble: Each year an estimated 100 million plastic bottles flow through Toronto’s waste system. But the Water Bobble bottle, by Karim Rashid, has a replaceable carbon filter able to filter chlorine and contaiments from up to 150 l of water, all for $9.99 a Bobble.

4. Palm fibre packaging: Earthcycle Packaging, based in B.C., with design company Tangram, created compostable palm fibre packaging. Earthcycle’s coffee holders and produce netting decompose in about six months.

5. The Nouse: The Nouse—or “nose as mouse”—is from the National Research Council of Canada and allows disabled users to control computers with the tip of their nose and to click with a double-blink.

Source: David Berman, author of Do Good Design

Have you ever wondered which cities have the most bars, smokers, absentee workers and people searching for love? What about how Canada compares to the world in terms of the size of its military, the size of our houses and the number of cars we own? The answers to all those questions, and many more, can be found in the first ever Maclean’s Book of Lists.

Buy your copy of the Maclean’s Book of Lists at the newsstand or order online now.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.