In an era of rising environmental awareness, cleantech has become the fastest-growing technology sector in the world. And sunny California loves it. That’s why they buy more electric cars and do more recycling than any place else. So what is ‘cleantech’?

At its simplest, it’s any technology that helps a more efficient use of natural resources.

We travelled to LA for some good, clean fun with Fred Walti, co-founder of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). A test bed for solar energy, electric car sharing and batteries, better lighting and various exotic machines, this impressive hub helps create a green and inclusive economy. It’s recognised as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world.

Watch ► Fred breaks down the nuts and bolts of the tech that we call clean.

Want to know more about LACI’s portfolio? It is also home to Homeboy Recycling, an e-waste recycling company that gives jobs to ex-inmates, and the Academy Award-nominated Hive Lighting. The lighting manufacturing company is helping Hollywood reduce their carbon footprint – to turn the silver screen green.

While we were nosing around, Fred introduced us to the people behind three exciting companies based there. Green Commuter‘s mission is very, very clear. They want to reduce the cost of commuting, improve traffic and reduce CO2 omissions. The transport startup utilises a fleet of 100% zero emission vehicles to provide a service of vanpooling, car sharing and fleet replacement. Pull up to the LACI bumper, baby.

Atlas Editor Lisa and Green Commuter’s Barton Sidles hop into his Tesla Model X

Entrade manufactures small-scale biomass generators to produce electricity, heating and cooling from waste products. Lab Director Katherine Silva was a chemical engineer looking for “a better way” – and is currently looking into how to incorporate their systems in places with unreliable power, like Puerto Rico.

Interviewing Katherine Silva at LACI

We also met up with Max Aram, Founder and CEO of Pick My Solar, an online hub that helps homeowners to go solar. Their mission is to help consumers to move away from fossil fuels as much as possible.

Watch ► These guys are cleaning up.

These videos were produced by Atlas of the Future for Project Breakthrough (United Nations Global Compact/ Volans). Check out our other videos here. Comment below to get an Atlas avatar.