Aloha! What – is – UP? 😀

Pardon my burst of enthusiasm. As usual, work has been hectic. Now that I finally got my hands on a new blog entry, I’m almost tempted to write a novel! 😉

In the past months, Joe and I have our hands deep in sustainability-related projects. We’ve been working on our own humble startup that does business development for environment-related services. The project that currently heads our list – which means taking up almost all our work hours – is an aquaponics startup.

What’s that, you say?

Aquaponics simply means a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. Here are some definitions from Wikipedia:

  • Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.
  • Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish.
  • Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

    In the aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the animals.

In a nutshell, aquaponics produce very little – or no – waste, while at the same time churning out meat and vegetables. Awesome eh? There’s just so much to learn along the way, and we do thank God that we get to do meaningful work that impact lives in a real (i.e. filling hungry tummies) and positive way. 🙂

Apart from work, Joe and I have been pretty busy with moving too. My family will be upgrading from a 4 to 5-room HDB flat, and we’re gonna be living on the ground floor for the first time! We’re all really excited about this because there is a considerable amount of recess ground area at my family’s new place. This means my dad can grow the plants that he’s always dreamed of. He’s quite an avid gardener and nature enthusiast.

Moreover, we’re planning to increasing our composting capacity (i.e. bigger bins) and even setting up our own mini DIY indoor aquaponics in our kitchen. It’s quite a big DIY family project on its own, especially when we are still relatively new to its technicalities.

Nevertheless with a simple aquaponics setup, we hope to grow and consume our home fish and vegetables. No pond or soil needed. Simply search “aquaponics” on YouTube and you’ll find plenty of brilliant ideas. 🙂

Here’s one of our favourite videos:

The whole experience of moving also got Joe and I thinking about our future dream home. We’re truly passionate about all things green, sustainable and cost-saving. Some of the ideas ping-ponging in our minds include green walls, natural wind flow (no need for aircon!), rainwater irrigation, natural toilets and pool (i.e. using plants to cleanse waste water), aquaponics, our own home composting facility, herb and vegetable garden, electricity-saving appliances, natural lighting etc.

Sounds like a mouthful, but they are really just the tip of the iceberg on sustainable living! 🙂

On the sideline, we have been ignoring or neglecting our bins almost 100% of the time, and they have been faithful in magically turning our household trash to compost.

The view from our apartment door - our two DIY compost bins followed by our potted plants

Notice how the level of material in our bins have decreased drastically over time. We have also used the remaining space in our bins to store some of my dad's potted plants. The left compost bin currently contains new material to be composted - junk mail.

The right compost bin: there is little compost leftover as we have used some for our new chilli plant. We also composted some leftover fried fish in this bin! Amazing results.

As aforementioned, we added a chilli plant to our current collection of potted plants. This happened when my dad ate a really spicy chilli and decided to grow its seeds so we can enjoy some good homemade belachan anytime. (If you haven’t been growing your own plants, you should!)

Our new chilli plant! We're still waiting for it to fruit though 😉

Check out the rich, dark compost used to grow our chilli plant. The chilli plant seems to be the healthiest and strongest plant amongst the rest for now! (Ermm.. ignore the plastic sweet wrapper. Someone must have tried to compost it by mistake.)

That’s all for now! Can’t wait to share more once we’ve moved! Feel free to contact us or follow our updates via:

Have a blessed weekend ahead! 🙂

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