Sustainable design is about working toward a goal closing the loop between our product needs and our wastes. Whether that means buying higher durability products, recycling our old products into new ones, or creating new products which are designed to be reborn into new versions of themselves at the end of their lives, good sustainable design embodies a closed system. Sometimes it's a little hard to get your head around how elegant such a system can be...In order to drive that point home, Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, two of the original Biosphere 2 scientists have created the Beachworld aquarium environment. These sealed glass spheres contain micro-organisms, algae, plants, snails, worms, and shrimp which are balanced initially in their inputs and outputs, and will maintain a biological equilibrium given only heat and sunlight. The systems are totally sealed, and need no external air, water, or food. And to sweeten the deal, they cost a good deal less than some more artsy versions. If you're looking for something to motivate you to stick with composting, or to teach your kids about why they have to put their paper in the recycle-bin, instead of the trash, these might be the ticket.
:: Beachworld Aquariums [by DM]