This handheld composting machine works just like a coffee-grinder, turning waste into nutrient-rich pulp!

No, this doesn’t mean your coffee-bean grinder can help you make compost!

The ReGreen is a nifty little handheld device that’s designed to speed up the composting process by entire weeks. Working almost like a handheld version of your waste-disposal machine, the ReGreen lets you manually crush and pulverize your waste into smaller bits that are much easier to biodegrade.

The grinder-shaped device is made entirely out of aluminum, allowing it to easily cut through waste while resisting rot/corrosion, and being easy to clean. Waste goes into the ReGreen through the opening on the top, and a rotating arm lets you gently and effectively pulverize the waste into manageable pieces, while water drips out of the base, drying out your compost. A sachet of enzymes are then introduced into the ReGreen before shutting the lid. The enzymes accelerate the composting process by giving the microorganisms the food they need to break down the organic waste into nutrient-rich dry-compost in a matter of weeks – as opposed to the months it usually takes for waste to turn into compost. Once a composting cycle is complete, the ReGreen can easily be rinsed under running water and cleaned with soap!

The ReGreen Tiny Compost Machine is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020.

Designer: Shihcheng Chen

This sustainable packaging design is made from discarded pineapple leaves that grow into a new plant!

Single-use plastic is one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution – it makes up for more than 50% of the plastic waste problem. I am constantly looking for innovative packaging designs that can inspire the design community to continue building on sustainable solutions and I am adding Sprout to that list! It is an environmentally-friendly packaging that aims to contribute to the growth of local plants. I also love that the design is interactive – you can learn about the seeds and plant them instead of discarding the packaging!

Sprout’s plantable feature ensures that its life does not end right after consumption; its purpose continuously changes before, during, and after use – it’s where circular economy meets sustainable design. Each seed was selected after intense research to pick those that are non-invasive and would be seamlessly embedded in the Pinyapel material. Pinyapel is a specialty paper made of discarded pineapple leaves and was the result of an initiative led by the Design Center of the Philippines to give local communities and resources a boost. Mangulabnan ensures proper composting and planting is possible by using organic soy ink for the printing as well as an edible starch wrapper to further protect the food item inside the package.

This also addressed the issue of agricultural waste accumulating in the country, especially since the Philippines is one of the largest producers of pineapple fruit in the world. Sprout’s design will help eliminate unnecessary waste and encourage locals to actively contribute to the preservation of the diverse Philippine flora. Through the use of design, consumers can interact better with the product, giving them a sense of fulfillment and responsibility, as well as reinforce a positive behavioral change to further avoid littering and other harmful habits that

Designer: Pat Mangulabnan

This smart indoor garden uses hydroponics to grow vegetables while matching your modern home!

With the pandemic leaving most of us to our own devices, some of us knew we had no choice but to get good at cooking. My spice cabinet is overflowing because of it. Getting more and more familiar with herbs and the punch they pack in flavorful dishes, the popularity of horticulture has also increased. More and more people are installing indoor garden systems into their homes because they provide an easy, accessible way to bring the flavor of fresh herbs to every dinner plate. Grobo Premium is one such indoor garden system that utilizes smart technology and hydroponics to harvest vegetables and herbs inside the comfort of your own home.

Since Grobo Premium is a smart garden system, the weight of having to learn about horticulture is lifted from the user’s shoulders. All that’s required for plant cultivation with Grobo is planting the initial seed and filling/draining the water as the days go by. Since hydroponics generally takes a more hands-free approach to gardening, the makers behind Grobo Premium chose it for their smart indoor garden system. Hydroponics is a type of horticulture that grows vegetables and herbs without soil, opting instead for mineral-rich solutions, oxygen, and water to cultivate plant life.

Once the user plants the initial seed, an eleven-liter water tank that rests at Grobo’s bottom feeds the seed with water while a nutrient-dosage unit balances out the pH levels to achieve optimal sprouting conditions. Inside Grobo’s main body, dual intake fans keep the amount of air balanced for the plants to then grow towards the eight LED lights that provide ample sunlight and energy. Through an accompanying app, Grobo allows you to track your plant’s progress so even when you’re away, you can always come back home to fresh herbs and vegetables for dinner.

Designer: Grobo

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This indoor micro-algae farm mounts to any wall to grow the superfood right at home!

Coral and algae have a symbiotic relationship, one that biomimicry design can depend on as a model. Coral reefs provide algae with a safe environment to grow along with the compounds needed for photosynthesis, while the algae produce oxygen and supply coral reefs with the nutrients needed to keep their ecosystems colorful and healthy. The algae convert carbon dioxide into nutrient-rich biomass, allowing coral reefs to still thrive even in nutrient-poor waters. Following this cycle and applying it to human life, the health benefits of consuming algae cannot be overstated. In order to incorporate algae, a nutrient-rich superfood, into our homes and daily health rituals, Hyunseok An’s design team Ulrim designed The Coral, an indoor micro-algae farm that looks as good as it is for you.

Using algae to convert carbon dioxide into energy, The Coral implements the use of a bioreactor to support its micro-biological farm. The bioreactor provides a controlled environment for the algae to enact photosynthesis and produce the nutrients that are then contained within the wall-mounted cell blocks for future consumption. Each cell block is like a microcosm of stagnant ponds covered with a healthy coating of algae, the only difference being that The Coral is a controlled environment. This controlled environment allows each cell block to successfully perform the symbiotic relationship that occurs in nature as we witness take place in coral reefs. Each of The Coral’s 16 cell blocks contains two-grams of algae that darken as the algae grow. Once a cell block reaches its darkest blue-green, typically over the span of two weeks, it can be consumed and taken in as a daily health supplement, as the cycle is then replenished and continued.

The Coral’s gradient look is biomimicry at its best as it’s the result of a living micro-algae farm moving through the natural process of photosynthesis. Algae is quickly gaining traction for the nutrient-packed superfood that it is and in designing The Coral, Ulrim hoped to bridge the health benefits gained from algae with our daily habits and lived-in spaces. By creating a means for harvesting algae in any home, The Coral provides a sustainable means for attaining enduring overall health.

Designer: Ulrim

This modular vertical planter comes with automatic irrigation for millennial-friendly gardening!

Many of us urban dwellers don’t have the time and space to enjoy indoor plants. CitySens is a vertical garden that is specially tailored for such a restricted space home, which helps its inhabitants enjoy greenery indoors without any hassle. The design is an easy to assemble contraption, comprising a base, pot modules, and a handful of frame pieces that can be assembled in a range of options to configure a vertical garden with shelves to any individual/family need or available space.

There is an underlining requirement of space-saving gardening equipment that people with not just space but time crunch need at home without worrying about their plants’ health. This need is met here because the planter itself can take care of the greens’ nutritional needs. Of course, there are many types of indoor growing solutions with automatic irrigation tech on the market, but since the CitySens combines vertical planters, plant shelves, and self irrigation systems in one, it is a concept worth its weight in green. Very unique in terms of versatility and performance, CitySens brings nature into our city homes (sans gardens) and adapts to the needs of everyday changing lifestyle.

CitySens comes with a range of plants designed to grow in its hydroponics system (which grows plants without soil). These plants are specifically designed to meet the individual tastes and available light conditions. The plants in the CitySens thrive on a closed, circulating irrigation system that reportedly saves up to 50-percent water and mineral salts compared to traditional irrigation systems. Interestingly, this planting system does a nifty little bit more – it can sync with a smartphone for regular updates of plant health and cares for the growing plants in your absence for over a month. Yes, that’s the level of independence the CitySens can offer. If you want a gardening system capable of maximizing the greenery and improving the air quality at home, CitySens can make for a good viable option.

Designer: Lúcid Design Agency

This first ever nature preserve in Hong Kong brings the beauty of biodiversity to the concrete jungle!

If you live in a city, nature might sometimes feel further away than it really is – and when you don’t have a car to take you up the coast to the mountains in a matter of hours, that distance feels even longer. Different institutions like museums and zoos are capable of taking us out of that urban haze for the moment, but soon enough, their icy exteriors, contemporary layout, and revolving doors spit us out onto the sidewalks, reminding us that our city ‘jungles’ still mostly consist of concrete. In Hong Kong, however, a nature preserve, built by LAAB Architects and PLandscape cozies up and beneath skyscrapers to change the urbanite’s relationship with nature.

LAAB Architects and PLandscape have teamed up to create The Nature Discovery Park, a rooftop nature conservatory that takes an educational approach to provide city dwellers with a much-needed escape to nature and lessons for younger generations in preserving their own city’s biodiversity. In order to embrace open-air facilities like restaurants and learning centers, the Nature Discovery Park is situated on the roof of Hong Kong’s harbor cultural center K11 MUSEA. Adaptive to unpredictable weather and air quality, the park’s main greenhouse utilizes telescopic sliding glass doors to facilitate naturally ventilated, alfresco learning experiences. The structure’s frame is constructed from steel and aluminum, while the interior attributes its furnishings to wood that was harvested from sustainably managed forests. The nature preserve’s own gardens are dotted and sprawling with plant boxes of Hong Kong’s prevalent biodiversity. Teeming with sweeping branches and long-leafed bushes that seem to overflow onto the grass walkways, guests of The Nature Discovery Park can follow the curated landscape, learning about the city’s natural life along the way. Finding its center between luscious greenery and butterfly gardens, the prefabricated greenhouse was installed on-site to avoid wasteful construction practices and keeps a hydroponic nursery, providing a no-soil means for horticulture.

The main keep of the nature preserve is also home to a farm-to-table dining experience and herbarium museum that showcases Hong Kong’s rich array of natural biodiversity and plant life native to its Victoria Harbor shores. The Nature Discovery Park is Hong Kong’s first biodiversity museum and sustainability-themed education park, offering workshops, tours, and interactive experiences related to both the vibrancy and diversity of Hong Kong’s ecological presence. Much Like The High Line in New York City, Nature Discovery Park’s gardens are curated and maintained to fit their city’s environment and allow guests to physically immerse themselves with the surrounding natural abundance.

Designer: LAAB Architects x PLandscape

These tables with built-in gardens is the perfect gardening hack every home needs!

Living in smaller spaces often requires a lot of rearranging. I probably switch up my studio’s design on a monthly basis all in order to fit the ideal furniture to make the most out of the little space I have. Despite my efforts, I usually end up having to choose one item between three different pieces of furniture simply because my studio won’t fit more than that. This often makes it difficult to merge functionality with style. Of course, I’d much rather go for the loveseat over the desk, but where would I do my work? BloomingTables, dubbed “the world’s first living furniture line,” creates household tables that double as indoor gardens to cater to that exact dilemma.

It seems nowadays that people are trying to get closer and closer to nature, even in their own homes. Biophilic design is on the rise once more, and many of us who live in smaller spaces want to embrace nature indoors too. BloomingTables is a new biophilic desk design that embeds living plantlife into each table, just beneath the transparent, glass surface. BloomingTables comes in four variations: desk, coffee, entryway, and side tables. Each table is equipped with an acrylic tub that keeps the plant life, soil, and water in an airtight, designated space so that we won’t ever have to worry about leakage. The acrylic tubs are filled with layers of gravel and activated charcoal to absorb water and also to avoid the chance of overwatering the plant life. Once the soil layers are filled, we can then create our own arrangement of succulents, ferns, herbs, or even pebble art, ideal for those who like to cook, but don’t have enough room for both a desk and herb garden. The transparent glass surface adheres to suction cups and can be lifted to water the plant life below.

Each pinewood table comes in varying sizes, but come equipped with the same features, including a waterproof tub for soil and a twist-to-open drain valve on the off-chance your plant life is overwatered. BloomingTables, depending on the size ordered, can support up to 400lbs, which means this table design has successfully merged functionality with style. Everything from the painted steel hairpin legs and sheet of 6mm tempered glass, to the endless array of possible biophilic designs, echoes BloomingTables’ commitment to bringing the beauty of nature indoors.

Designer: BloomingTables

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This prairie-inspired modular planter puts the charm of the savanna grasslands on your desk!

What is a planter but just a simple container for your plants? Aditi Kedia’s Prairie Planter reinterprets these containers as landscape-elements in their own right. Designed to look almost like an abstraction of a prairie-grassland landscape, the modular planters stack over one another, resembling mounds of red soil. When paired with succulents or cacti, the Prairie Planters come to life, looking a lot like a savannah landscape! “By adjusting each unit in different orientations, one can play with the shape and placement. The design takes inspiration from how things in nature grow on uneven, unexpected surfaces”, says Aditi, who designed the planters as a part of an Instagram-based design challenge.

The Prairie Planters sport a rather fascinating geometric design, almost looking like a Minecraft landscape. The planters can either be used individually, or stacked atop one another. When stacked, they efficiently manage irrigation, as the planters on the top help drip water into the planters below. A water tray sits at the very base of the planter stack, allowing you to pour water into it so the lowest tier of planters can absorb moisture when the soil runs dry!

Designer: Aditi Kedia

These automotive designs doubling up as planters are the surreal future in an after-pandemic new normal

COVID-19 totally shook up our world, it obliterated life as we know it, forcing us to rethink our way of living. Life in a pandemic is a unique adventure (let’s be positive) that unfolds new lessons and experiences every day, life after pandemic? – I wonder what that will be like. Designer Nicolas Abdelkader envisions what the post-pandemic world could be like, and he has proposed an innovative project for it – “The Urgency To Slow Down”. The Urgency To Slow Down is basically a collection of photos featuring “augmented planters”, wherein our means of transportation such as planes, ships, cars and etc double up as planters, and are able to hold trees, plants, shrubs, and basically greenery of any sort! He imagines a world wherein walking and bicycles are our preferred means for traveling from one location to another, and in such a world these Automotives are rendered useless! Hence, he aimed to transform these pollution-creating objects into designs that would benefit the environment. For example, the above-showcased image is probably one of my favorite renderings from the collection, where Nicolas created an airplane with beautiful gardens growing and rising from open fuselages. This collection of digitally-edited photos is his personal plea to slow down energy consumption, and his vision for the new world that we could create once this pandemic ends – a world that is healthy, green, and well taken care of, and a world that only we can build with our conscious efforts and precautions!

In Nicholas’ vision for the future, these fossil-fuel consuming machines become unused (as moving vehicles), and in fact function as augmented planters, as little havens of greenery and nature!

Almost everyone uses cabs, they’re an easy and convenient form of transportation, and of course a major contributor to air pollution. However, in Abdelkader’s imagined post-pandemic world, cabs are now obsolete. So, he placed green shrubs and bushes with delicate little flowers growing from them, on the roof and at the front of the cab.

Motorbikes and scooters are no exception to Abdelkader’s predicted fate for automotives. He designed a motorbike with little plants and a flower bush, right in between the seating section and the handles.

Personal cars are another major source of air pollution. However, hopefully, in the future, we will prefer our own personal feet for moving from one place to another! And for such a scenario, Abdelkader designed a very green car. The roof and front section of the car are adorned with a mini garden complete with some pretty flowers!

Military tanks, trucks, or any other army issued vehicles can be included in this project as well. The designer added some mini trees, sunflower plants, and other shrubs to the already brown and green machines!

Abdelkader has taken into consideration all means of transport, whether it’s air, land…or even water! Shrubs and plants sprouting from this imposing container ship is surely a jaw-dropping sight!

Abdelkader integrated tall trees into the backside of trucks, transforming these intimidating pollution-causing monsters into sweet miniature gardens!

Okay, hats off to Abdelkader, because this photo is pretty innovative and unique! He created a SpaceX rocket with little trees and grass erupting from it. Because, apparently I guess space travel is off the list as well, in the new post-pandemic world!

Modern indoor gardening solutions that make gardening easy, accessible, and millennial-friendly!

Gardening is an extremely therapeutic activity, and though I may not engage in it all the time, the few times that I have, I found it really delightful and soothing. Growing, tending to, and being surrounded by plants is intensely satisfying, all your worries slowly fade away, and you are simply enthralled by nature. However, not everyone has access to outdoor gardens, especially with the pandemic locking up most of us in our homes. Indoor gardening is a modern solution that works perfectly in our modern homes. From indoor planters to a coffee table with a hidden miniature garden, and even a gardening wheel, we have a myriad range of options when it comes to growing plants within the comfort of your home! These unique, innovative, and thoughtful designs promise to take care of all your indoor gardening needs. And I don’t know about you, but I’m really considering trying one of them out, I wouldn’t mind adding indoor gardening to my daily routine!

KAGURA was created by Chaozhi Lin so that environmentally conscious people can curate their very own self-sustaining indoor gardens no matter where they live. KAGURA’s system is comprised of three main working parts: a container for food waste, an elevated light structure, and three soil pots. The food waste container is located on one side of the indoor planter and turns your leftover food scraps into compost for fertilizer. Composting is a method used to decompose organic solid waste and fertilize the soil for gardening. The slim, attractive light fixture is situated directly above KAGURA’s garden pots and provides the mini garden with nourishing light-energy. The indoor, gardening system is completely self-sustaining and conveniently sized in order to fit into any kitchen or living space. The system itself works after food waste is dumped into the container on the left-hand side, fertilizing the soil contained in the trio of modestly sized pots, each of which provides energy for plants to then grow and thrive.

You love plants, plants love light, you love light, you’ll both love the Mygdal plant light! Nui Studio’s revolutionary lighting solution not just because the luminaire is a completely self-sustaining ecosystem where the plants can grow undisturbed, but also because of its one-of-a-kind electrically conductive glass coating. It actually streams the electricity invisibly along the surface, so there’s no need for a cable connection between the power source and the LED. Bring even windowless spaces to life with a plant light!

SOLE, a home gardening system, poses first as a small coffee table only to reveal a hidden, self-maintained, miniature garden for city dwellers who want to fill their homes up with some natural greens, but not the fuss that typically comes with them. More people are moving into cities, which means that access to home gardening is decreasing since natural light is harder to come by and smaller apartment spaces, like efficiency studios, are preferred. Thankfully, SOLE’s coffee table was designed to take up as little space as possible in order to fit into even the smallest of studios. Indoor urban gardening is usually practiced by using grow box containers that require a lot of window ledge space and natural sunlight – both of which can be hard to come by in city apartment searches. In order to make home gardening possible in any city-living space, SOLE maintains the perfect climate, temperature, and nutrients for you and your chosen plants so long as they fit inside the coffee table’s extensive body.

The Eva hydroponic fixture offers neglectful plant owners a no-effort solution in which the plant cares for itself – by merging an indoor garden with an aquarium! The Eva planter creates an environment in which the plants can survive without human help. How? By creating a symbiotic relationship between the fish and fauna that live inside it. The fishes produce ammonia as a waste product, which can become toxic in large amounts. As it happens, ammonia contains nitrogen, which is necessary for photosynthesis and helps with plant growth. In the garden above, the roots break down the ammonia, and the resulting waste product, nitrites, then become food for the fish. Simply put, it’s the circle of life — with only two organisms.

Millennials seem to take some heat from older generations for how often we’re on our phones and how disconnected from the world we are because of it. In order to make some sense of that tension, Park bridged a connection between the natural and mobile worlds. Botanist consists of three divided parts: touchscreen, connector, and the probe stick. The probe stick scans and analyzes your houseplant’s soil in order to communicate what the plant might need, which is displayed on Botanist’s screen. Through a speaker and touchscreen, the user is informed of the houseplants’ soil, pH, light, temperature, and humidity levels on easy-to-read, circular, gauges. The touchscreen then provides additional information, relaying how the user can maintain the plant’s health levels or cater to them. The connecter is what allows the information gathered from the probe stick to travel to the touchscreen. On its touchscreen, Botanist also lets users file their houseplants so that they’re easy to find and take care of.

Solace is a scalable and sustainable solution to grow food in small spaces. It has a system that uses wick moisture with a biostrate grow mat and automatic lighting which makes it easy for beginners to start their home gardens. The appliance is also integrated with an intuitive app that guides you through germination, growing, and harvesting phases. The circular design increases the functionality of the product by utilizing available space instead of spreading out further. The growing light also serves as a lovely ambient light or night light – the design has a simple yet futuristic aesthetic – a lot like the Dyson circular fan actually. It has a detachable rechargeable battery and I think if it ever goes into production, the team should consider making the battery solar powered so it makes Solace even more sustainable.

The ceiling, pendant, and floor lamp called Ring is a European Product Design Award-winning interior light fixture designed by Jackie Luo and Wilfried Buelacher for Lampenwelt. The lighting fixture is ultimately a simple design, thanks to its hybrid of design attributes from both integral parts of this product: the common houseplant and lighting accessory. The lamp itself can be hung as a pendant lamp, but can also function as a floor lamp when not suspended from the ceiling. If the pendant lamp is the decided lamp, then the pots for houseplants can either be positioned in the center of the lamp’s ring or entirely done without. A centerpiece for Ring provides the placeholder for plant pots to hang from but can be opted out for a straight, iron bar. Alternatively, users can insert a spotlight that works to enhance the light coming from Ring, which can be used for any variation of the lamp. Thanks to the subdued yet infinite nature of the lamp’s circular head, houseplants are free to drape and grow as naturally as they please.

The Kikkerland Automatic Self-Watering Plant Globes is a nifty gardening tool that slowly waters your plant over a duration of three to four days. Made from hand-blown glass, the globes release water into your planter. You simply have to unscrew the cork and pour some clean water into the globe, turn it over to ensure the water streams out of the release hole, and place the globe in the planter. Tap the globe a few times, so that the water begins to flow out, and your plants are well-hydrated for a couple of days at least! Not to mention, these little gardening globes look really adorable and cute!

Wazai, from Abilliant, is an award-winning, wirelessly autonomous gardening assistant for your plant and comes with an app that allows you to care for your houseplants while you’re away from home, earning iF World Design’s 2020 Award for Product Design. According to each plant’s individual needs, Wazai waters your plant automatically and advises you of the best location for optimal sunlight. Wazai comes with two main components. The first, the inner pot, is what the user fills with fresh soil for the house plant to mix into, then the inner pot clicks into the bigger pot. Wazai runs using alkaline batteries that will have to be changed once every six months and the plastic used to produce the pot is UV-resistant, waterproof, and complete with a drainage system. Aligning the inner pot with the larger pot’s lock-and-click mechanism, the user can then pour around two liters worth of water into the larger pot from any angle. Then, Wazai takes over.

OGarden is the indoor gardening system that makes growing fruit and veg a breeze! By bringing the produce into the home, you are no longer reliant on the weather, therefore having greater control of the entire process. An incredible 90 plants can be grown simultaneously, with 60 plants flourishing within the wheel, and a further 30 seedlings growing in the cabinet below! OGarden features a rather unique watering system that controls the plant’s water intake; the rotating wheel gives each plant the optimum amount of time to take in the water, allowing them to thrive, whilst a secondary reservoir that’s coupled with a pump provides the developing seedlings with water.