We imagine a way of life where waste is significantly decreased by our Extreme Green Kitchen, backyard garden, and composter working together in a self-sustaining cycle. Many of you have probably heard of the concept “waste equals food.” William McDonough, architect, designer and author of the esteemed book Cradle to Cradle, developed the idea. Working alongside his colleague and co-author Michael Braungart, McDonough calls for “the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design.” “Waste equals food” is a system of “true recycling”—a system designed with the Life Cycle in mind. By applying this concept to our kitchen we hope to revise the current relationship between food culture and production so that they connect more closely to the home.
I recently met with Alison Hastings from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to discuss a current project she is involved with entitled the Greater Philadelphia Food System Study. They are researching ways to redesign the food system so that it is healthier, more efficient and able to exist in a world without oil. She gave me the contact information for Roxanne Christenson, co-founder and President of the Institute for Innovations in Local Farming. The Institute operates Somerton Tanks Farm, an urban farm acting as a prototype for Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) farming. I will be contacting her to discuss her work and thoughts on backyard farming kits, which could be sold with Postgreen homes. We also currently have our eyes on the Nature Mill composter because it is fully automatic, able to break down meat and dairy, and Energy Star approved. And don’t be worried about odor because it includes an odor-absorbing air filter that lasts up to five years.
So, our general idea is that owners of Postgreen homes could use these kits to plant their own backyard garden, which, using the SPIN method of farming, could produce a large amount of their fresh produce. The food is then cooked and stored efficiently in their Extreme Green Kitchen. The food scraps would then be transferred to the included composting system located under the kitchen sink. Food that would have been wasted, instead becomes nutrient rich soil that is added to the backyard garden to “feed” the existing soil, and continue the cycle of growth.
If you have any other product ideas, methods or even words of warning, share them with us in the comments.