Green is the new black. Consumers are caring more and more about what products do to the environment, and the world of architecture is no different. Architects, engineers, and consumers are looking for eco-friendly alternatives to conventional systems. Solar power has been the go-solution for environmentally-minded consumers for years, but we’re just starting to tap into the power of water. Here’s a breakdown of the best aquatic solutions for eco-friendly living.
Aquatic Air Conditioning
A dip in a swimming pool can make the most oppressive summer days a little bit more bearable. Of course, you don’t need to strap on your bathing suit in order to benefit from water cooling systems. All you need to do is include a large body of water in a normal living space to incorporate an eco-friendly cooling system. Forget your power-hungry air conditioner — water will readily suck up energy (in the form of heat) from the surrounding air as it gradually evaporates, leaving your living space comfortably cool.
Home Aquatic Gardens
When you think of gardens, you probably think of dirt, fertilizer, and pulling up weeds. Planting tomatoes and squash is great and all, but you shouldn’t limit yourself entirely to plants. Environmentally-minded farmers are experimenting with eco-friendly aquatic gardens that can raise fish livestock. Green Sky Growers’ in Florida, for example, has transformed the roof of their building into a tilapia-filled greenhouse (or should I say “bluehouse?”).
Why build a swimming pool when you can turn your backyard into a vibrant pond? After all, concrete is so passé. Pond aficionados around the world (especially those in Europe) have recently discovered the wonders of natural swimming pools. They’re pretty much the exact same as normal swimming pools, except that they use plants and fish rather than eye-stinging chlorine to clean the water. You kind of have to get past the ick-factor if you want to swim in one of these, but if you do then your eco-friendly swimming pool will add life to the environment, rather than taking it away.
You might think that home aquariums hog a lot of power, but if you set them up correctly they will use much less power than your TV or computer. LED aquarium lighting is all the rage these days, because they use a tiny fraction of the power and produce much less heat than conventional light bulbs. You can also cut down on the amount of energy your aquarium soaks up by building a planted salt water tank. The plants in these freshwater tanks generate more than enough air for the fish population, so there’s no need to keep a pump running 24/7.