Some observers have predicted that the world will soon face a population crisis. According to the United Nations, the world’s population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011. This means the world now has a population of more than 7 billion people. It has been projected that by the middle of this century, the population will reach 10 billion. Some experts even put the figure higher.
As the population keeps increasing, humans will have to keep searching for food, water and other basic necessities to continue living. The world is already running out of fresh water, and currently, food is also becoming increasingly scarce. Increasing unreliable weather patterns, due to climate change, is causing crops to fail. Needless to say, Western countries are certainly not immune to this effect. The recent Californian drought in the United States caused many crops to fail.
By 2050, if the weather patterns continue to worsen, our situation will not be pleasant. The world will face a disaster: food will become very scarce and many will probably die of starvation. Already, it happens in some parts of the world.
However, some people are determined to find alternative ways to produce food without relying on the unstable natural climate.
A team of innovators from Quebec, Canada, have developed an eco-friendly and exceptionally cost-effective solution to our food problems. The facility is a sort of micro-climate that allows people to grow their food all-year round.
The facility was initiated by Francis Gendron. Gendron realized that our current food system is no longer sustainable, and that we need creative solutions to quickly turn the situation around before things get out of hand. Gendron, together with two friends, Christian Désilets and Curt Close, designed and built a radically different food growing system. The team set out to build a greenhouse that would grow organic food in any climate. They named their invention The Greenhouse of the Future. Their main focus was to create a micro-climate for producing an abundance of food with minimal energy usage and low construction cost.
Greenhouse of the Future combines the principles of Earthships, aquaponics and passive solar greenhouses to grow food. The facility utilizes easy to find recycled materials. It also provides a space for people to connect with nature and relax in warmth during the frigid winter months.
According to Wake-up World.com, The Greenhouse of the Future is designed so that it is partially dug into the ground to take advantage of the earth’s insulating properties. Recycled tires are filled with soil and used for the walls to further help regulate the indoor temperature. When prepared in this manner, the tires absorb heat during the day and then release it at night. In addition, earth tubes are used throughout, heating the interior during the winter and cooling it during warmer weather. Solar panels can be installed on top, making the facility a completely off-grid structure.
Positioning of the greenhouse is crucial. In the northern hemisphere, the clear polycarbonate front-side faces southward to make the most of the sunlight. Situating the greenhouse in this way also puts into service the insulated roof. During the winter months, the roof reflects light towards the plants, whereas in summertime, it helps to protect the crops from extreme temperatures. The facility also utilizes a passive rainwater collection system. Gutters in the roof funnel rain into collection barrels within the greenhouse. Not only does this provide water for the plants, but also increases thermal mass, furthering the regulation of temperature. Aesthetic features include attractive glass bricks pieced together from recycled bottles, cedar siding and a DIY polycarbonate door.
The real beauty of the facility lies within its ingenious design. It is both eco-friendly and inexpensive to build. With little attention to details, you can build the facility and start growing your own food using the techniques involved.
“The greenhouse of the future project is a breakthrough for the S.A.F.E (Sustainable Autonomy/Abundance for Everyone) movement because it synthesizes many of the best resilient and passive sustainable technology. It allows anyone to understand and apply them in their own lives, but also encourages people to keep innovating so that together, we can create a climate FOR change”, co-developer, Curt Close said about the facility.
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