The team behind Living Green just won $20,000 to further develop LivingBox, an off-grid, modular system of growing food in urban spaces – without soil!
The Israeli company entered their concept into the Pears Challenge, which targets entrepreneurs that are developing solutions that can be applied in developing countries.
The Challenge welcomes submissions that address health, education, agriculture, water, ICT, and clean energy.
In this case, Living Green develops food growing systems that are affordable, can be implemented at home or scaled up for commercial farmers, and perhaps best of all, once they are set up, they are completely self-sustaining. This means they require zero electricity, soil or water to maintain.
There are three different kinds of LivingBoxes — one that relies on aquaponics, a closed loop system that uses fish waste to provide the nitrogen necessary for plants to grow, hydroponics, growing food in water, and a biogas system that – quite simply – uses food waste to produce organic, healthy fertilizer.
As far as we can tell, Living Boxes can be scaled up and down using any combination of the three techniques. They are delivered in one box, which is comprised of an array of smaller boxes, and are incredibly easy to use.
“The Livingbox is the perfect system, because it lets anyone anywhere grow vegetables without the need for fertile soil, or running water and electricity, and with minimal farming skills,” company co-founder Nitzan Solan told The Times of Israel.
“It could help feed people in the developing world, providing them with access to fresh, nutritious food, while helping them maintain a clean environment.”
Once users receive their boxes, they merely add water and seeds, and the relatively low-tech system essentially takes care of itself from there.
Noting that 70 percent of the global population are expected live in urban environments by 2050, Living Green proposes their system as an affordable means to grow nutritious food at home that will bolster people’s health and make them more resilient against disease.
The Pears Challenge is a collaborative competition hosted by the international Pears Foundation and Tel Aviv University.