Working with nature

  • With increasing energy costs individuals are seeking alternative methods for heating and lighting their homes.
  • Dutch innovators Phillips have recently presented a design that integrates microbes and nature into the home. The microbes are used to digest organic waste to produce methane. This methane can then be used for energy, either burned or fed to bioluminescent bacteria, which then produce light.
  • Recycling of plastic packaging is performed by the fungus mycelium. The novelty of the design is the creation of an integrated system, rather than the performance of individual components.

The challenge for policy makers is to consider how issues of energy and waste can be tackled in a systemic manner. Designs like this demonstrate the benefit and reality of systems thinking to everyday issues in the home.

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