Inhabitat features a concept modular and moveable building – called Mashambas – that could be used to increase farming productivity and reduce poverty in developing nations, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa where around 40% of the population are subsistence farmers.
Combining growing space, tools, education and a marketplace, the Mashambas is put in place for as long as needed – i.e. when the local community is thriving and self sustaining – before being disassembled and moved to another community.
Inhabitat highlights the use of shipping containers for growing food in the arctic town of Kotzebue, Alaska. With the local environment making traditional farming impossible, locals have turned to hydroponics which helps to reduce the cost of fresh produce – which has to be imported – and the accompanying carbon footprint.
SHENDY is an open-source and low-cost arsenic detector being developed by an international group of students. The aim is to create a smartphone connected device that can test whether groundwater is safe to drink based on its arsenic content, which is often at poisonous levels in post-conflict zones and after natural disasters.
After collaboration with MIT, Target is to trial in-store vertical farming, in the hope of producing fresh vegetables and herbs all year round, whilst reducing costs and carbon footprint.
Inhabitat features the WaterSeer – an in-development device that draws water from cooled air through condensation. From the article:
The Water Seer device is planted six or more feet into the ground, and soil is then packed around its metal neck. The top of the Water Seer holds a vertical wind turbine, which spins internal fan blades to draw air into the subterranean chamber. Because the underground chamber portion of the Water Seer is cooled by the surrounding earth, water condenses in the reservoir to creates sort of an artificial well, from which people can draw clean, safe drinking water around the clock.
FastCoExist highlights the development of a humanitarian drone for disaster and conflict zones by Windhorse Aerospace that is packed full of food and useful parts. From the article:
“Because the drone, called the Pouncer, is designed for one-way delivery, it can be broken down and reused when it arrives. Chop up the lightweight plywood frame, and it becomes kindling for a fire to cook the food. The wings themselves are packed with meals. The protective covers around the food can be used in shelters.”
FastCoExist highlights a concept design for a desalination plant that proposes a novel approach to extracting salt from seawater. As explained in the article, ‘The Pipe’ would use a magnetic field to remove the salt, rather than using filters which are commonly used in existing desalination plants.
FastCoExist reports on the construction of a self-sufficient ReGen Village in the suburbs of Amsterdam that will generate it’s own power, grow food and manage its waste.
FastCoExist features the use of pineapple waste as a sustainable alternative to leather.
Researchers at the University of Exeter (UK) have found that adding green LED lights to fishing nets can significanty reduce that numbers of turtles that get trapped and die, without impact on the quantity of fish caught.
Grist highlights an innovate and elegant device that provides clean and warm water to families in developing countries . The Solvatten – a durable 10 litre container expected to last 7 to 10 years of daily use – uses UV rays and heat from the sun to remove impurities and bacteria to leave clean and warm water for cooking, cleaning, basic hygeine and bathing.
FastCoExist features a ‘pop-up’ farm designed for unused urban land; The Impact Farm. Conceived a as temporary or moveable structure, the two-story unit is self-sufficient by utilizing sunlight for power and capturing rainwater.
The farm – being built in Japan by vegetable grower SPREAD – will automate all stages of production expect seed planting and will produce millions of lettuce each year, reducing costs of construction, production and energy consumption.