By: Alla Kreizman and Sylvia Sirabella

Climate change is an obvious and worsening problem for our planet and humanity. Global warming continues to cause all kinds of disasters including droughts, flooding and extreme weather. People need to begin adapting and changing their views and practices for a viable future for generations to come.

Warming in the Arctic is more severe than on the rest of the planet. The increased warmth damages the ecosystem and endangers species like the polar bear and leads to rising sea levels which threatens many coastal areas including our own. Examples of climate change phenomenon are easy to find, including the late snowstorm this year in March which froze these cherry blossoms.

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This dramatization of an urban community could become the future if more people do not begin to take the issue of climate change more seriously and start to make changes in behaviors, small and large. Attainable solutions that can help combat climate change and its effects include more green spaces, sustainable practices and awareness.

Urban farming has become increasingly popular over the last several years in response to healthier lifestyles and the resulting demand for natural, organic and fresher produce. Additionally, the increase in rooftop greenspace from urban farming can measurably reduce the higher temperatures that many urban environments experience. More importantly however, being able to grow and supply some amount of local produce to nearby communities reduces the need for the transportation of fresh produce across the globe and cuts down on our carbon footprint and the burning of fossil fuels.

But changing ideas and behaviors can be difficult. Even with all of the science and data supporting climate change, many people still deny that the phenomenon is a serious problem that requires further action today. To make changing behaviors and attitudes easier, we believe that The Kitchen of the Future should include an appliance which introduces the idea that growing some fresh food at home is not only good for you but good for our planet. Having a physical reminder in the kitchen, the heart of every home, can make the practice of growing some of our food at home and supporting locally grown produce second nature.

The Urban Cultivator is an example of such an appliance which is available today or both residential and commercial use. It makes the creation of an indoor herb and micro-green garden very easy.

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The Urban Cultivator Residential is easy to use, featuring automated functions that make growing your own produce as easy as possible with digital displays indicating temperature and water levels.

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– Grows 8 varieties of herbs and microgreens at once

– Plumb into city water or use as a standalone unit

– Standard 24” appliance size and depth

– 110v or 220v power

– Automatic watering cycles

– 7 days a week grow support

– Available for purchase in the US

Another similar idea is called the Food Computer and was developed by an MIT scientist, Caleb Harper. He has a similar idea with more ambitious goals. He firmly believes that cities are the future for farming.

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He invented the Food Computer which provides environmental controls, monitors and gives feedback on growing plants and has the capability to record and reproduce specific conditions to attain desired results for the produce. Once a perfect “recipe” for a given product is achieved, it can be shared among users to get the most nutrient rich and flavorful foods. This is not a ready-made appliance; the technology is open source and a small unit for residential use can be built for about $1500.

The potential for the use of these technologies is tremendous. All public and private sectors – including supermarkets, schools, restaurants, hotels and healthcare institutions- can capitalize on this technology to grow local, fresh and organic produce. The implementation of ideas like this can significantly reduce humanity’s carbon footprint and save the planet.

Introducing the idea that some fresh food can be grown at home is just the first step for change on a much greater scale. This can all start with planting a simple seed in your own kitchen today.

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