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New Tree-Growing Device Inspired By Bird Poop

A company out of Holland recently used bird poop as the inspiration for a new device designed to grow trees in eroded, arid and rocky environments.

Some of the most efficient and successful technological designs are those that imitate the processes Mother Nature has been using for millions of years. This type of design is called “biomimicry” and it’s a great way to solve environmental problems cheaply and effectively.

The Groasis Waterboxx was introduced by AquaPro Holland, a private company founded by the inventor Pieter Hoff. The device is modeled after the way that birds will pass plant seeds through their digestive system, depositing them on top of (not under) the soil with a healthy dose of natural fertilizer wherever they might be flying at the moment. The excrement forms a protective covering for the seed, and prevents water in the soil from evaporating.

In a similar way, the Groasis Waterboxx is an “intelligent water incubator” that produces and captures water from the air through condensation and rain. The condensation is caused by artificial stimulation and the water is captured because of the design of the device, without using energy.

Even in harsh climates, growing trees on rocks or in deserts is not a problem. Planting and germinating — protecting the tree through the planting period until it gets its water from the capillary — is the problem. That is what the Groasis Waterboxx solves.

Check it out!

The device was tested for 3 years in the Sahara desert by the Mohammed I University of Oujda in Morocco, with astounding results. According to the Groasis website, “trees that were planted during the summer with the Groasis Waterboxx survived well. The trees planted were measured and showed an average growth of more than 90 percent in length within the first year. The test without the Groasis Waterboxx was watered on a weekly basis but 90 percent of the trees still died.”

Gizmag reports that “this fecally-inspired device could ultimately be responsible for reforesting billion of acres of parched land, and it just won Popular Science’s Best Invention 2010 award.”

Related Reading:
Grow “Trash Trees” For Birds Treasure
Tree Farming Social Enterprise Wins SVN Innovation Award
Five Ways To Show Trees The Love

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.


+ add your own
7:24AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

What a simple but effective piece of technology!

7:14AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Perfect! The more trees on this poor earth, the better!

1:33AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Thank you

12:45AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:18PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Such an ingeniou idea, no wonder it won Popular Science's Best Innovative Award for 2010.
I hope it is an idea that can help reforestration around the world.
Thank You Beth for the article.

6:36PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Very good.

5:04PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Good to know that some folks are still
making an effort to come up with
earth friendly devices. Thanks for

1:32PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Excellent! :)

2:48PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

very cool thank you

10:59AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Time to start planting everywhere.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

thank you about time someone said all this but can I add another the possible cruelty involved in ge…

Face to face , I think is the best but I guess maybe it's better than nothing ?

Great information, thank you for sharing!

I'll stick with oranges.


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