Homes and gardens

Green lessons for India

Here are eight innovative green products that can be used across India.

Green wall

Also known as living walls or vertical gardens, green walls are a common feature in Singapore. A green wall system grows into a living green skin over urban spaces such as roofs, building facades, walls, structures and interiors for better microclimate cooling. Supporting over 500 tested plant species; it is one of the most water-efficient systems in the world. Green walls have a customisable framing structure that allows versatile installation to fit any shape and size. Most green walls also feature an integrated water delivery system. These walls also act as an insulating system and keep the house/building warm.

Singapore-based firm Greenology boasts of greening over 16,000 m. sq. of walls in projects across the world. Greenology Glow Lights have been specially designed for optimal plant growth and are essential in low or no-light environments.

Benefits: Reduces heat gain, improves air quality, increases the property’s value, improves health

Bamboo flooring

The fastest growing woody plant on earth, bamboo is an ideal substitute to traditional hardwood. Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. Solid bamboo flooring is a durable, eco-friendly alternative that is gradually gaining popularity. It is made using bamboo stalks that are harvested, cut into strips, and then laminated into flooring planks. Bamboo flooring comes in many variants – strand woven, embossed, hand scraped, hand sculpted.

Benefits: Eco-friendly, durable, water-resistant, easy to maintain

Recycled plastic tiles

OCTApavers are paving tiles/bricks made using 100 per cent recycled plastic materials such as bags, bottles, etc. A product created by Taiwan-based Show Fuu Plastics, these tiles are eco-friendly and can be used on grass even with automatic irrigation systems installed underneath. The pavers provide enough room for grass growth and allow rainwater to percolate the soil. Their polygonal interlock connecting structure provides structural stability and they are 70 per cent lighter than concrete pavers. The pavers are made using injection molding – a process that requires 80 per cent less energy and release less carbon dioxide. They are ideal for rough surfaces and enrich the hydrological cycle by improving the surrounding environment, and also mitigating against high temperature conditions. The tiles are suitable for parking spaces, driveways, commercial areas.

Benefits: Encourages recycling, light-weight

Growpro

It is a smart flower pot that notifies users when to start and stop watering your potted plant. Growpro has been created by etc.lab - an initiative by Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s school of design and environment. The product is aimed at preventing issues caused by over-watering the plants, such as mosquito breeding due to stagnant water collected at the base. When the soil in Growpro is dry, the pot will tilt, indicating that the plant needs to be watered. Once the soil has been sufficiently hydrated, the product will tilt back to its upright position. The tilting motion is activated by a counter-weight in the pot and requires no electricity to operate.

Benefits: Conserves water, maintains plant health

Herb Science

Another product created by the students of the School of Design and Environment, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Herb Science is an interactive urban gardening kit that is inspired by the art of chemistry experiments. The product is designed to promote urban gardening within families by providing them with a new user experience. It is an educational product that encourages more interaction within family members while cultivating the passion for gardening. Gardening essentials are divided into different test tubes similar to simulate the act of carrying out an experiment. The kit also comes with an interactive user guide and a flat packed test tube stand.

Benefits: compact, encourages gardening

Cellwood

It is a patented eco-friendly material that was invented by Singapore-based Microcell in 2008. Aimed at reducing the rate of deforestation, Cellwood is a great alternative to wood and wood plastic composite (WPC). The material is made by foaming and hot-pressing. Fibre-glass layers are added to reinforce the strength and rigidness. The product is non-toxic, heavy metals-free, and is formaldehyde-free. Completely recycled and reusable, it’s a co-polymer product that possesses a wood-like look and similar properties too. Cellwood can be used as a raw material, building material, for flooring applications, landscape and sculpted features.

Benefits: Non-toxic, waterproof, recyclable

Anti-virus paint

A new paint variant by Nippon, the VirusGuard is specially formulated with Silver Ion Technology, giving it anti-virus, anti-bacteria and anti-fungi properties. It’s bio-proof, environmentally friendly and has excellent stain removal properties. It is primarily used for premium interior coating such as the decoration and protection of internal masonry surfaces like cement, plastered walls, brickwork, and fibreboards.

It’s highly recommended for the interiors of childcare, kindergarten, clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities.

Benefits: Virus-resistant, washable

Botanicaire

An air purifier that uses specialised plants and microbes to remove contaminants in air, Botanicaire has been designed specifically for homes and offices. Created by Singapore-based company - In Vitro, the purifier used a special cocktail of special bacteria known as the Nuvoc microbes and the product is said to remove 99 per cent of indoor air contaminants within an hour. Apart from removing the common contaminants such as dust and odour, it also targets toxic gases known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs.)

Benefits: Self-watering system, pre-filer for dust, all natural air purification

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 5:03:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/Green-lessons-for-India/article14644291.ece

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