In a world increasingly threatened by freshwater shortages and environmental imbalances resulting in lack of rain and flooding, it has become paramount that we as a civilization pay more attention to the way we use water not only in the course of our daily lives but also in other activities like gardening. The Pet Tree project was created by the Hakan Gursu Foundation which uses the expertise of Turkish environmentalist and green-design innovator Dr. Hakan Gürsu. The project basically aims at allowing people to reuse their disposed PET bottles and reuse them to create a vertical garden in their backyards or terraces. The system uses 5 liter PET bottles as flower pots and planters to create a vertical garden or an alternative organic plantation growing system that uses drop watering to maximize water resources.
To form a multi-leveled geometrical setup as an alternative to regular, space-hogging planters, the PET Tree projects uses PET bottles sliced in half to serve as the main planter pots while the other half of the bottle is recycled and used to create other plastic components in the design. one mm thick stainless steel is used to craft the main support body of the system while the protective membrane is fashioned out of welded CA (cellulose acetate).
The vertical pot arrangement allows the system to use an innovative irrigation cycle which can help keep many levels of pots and planters hydrated using a smaller amount of freshwater. By using a dripping system, all the PET planters can be irrigated using the same water which filters down to lower level, is collected at the bottom and then pumped to the top level again to be reused in the drip. This allows plants to optimally soak up all the nutrition in the soil that is otherwise wasted and helps gardeners extend their water sources and feed more plants using a little amount of water.
By extending a garden vertically instead of horizontally, the PET Tree system also allows users to make the most of the space available to them and the system thus allows people to transform their backyards, balconies, terraces and spare rooms into vertical farms that can be used to grow seasonal veggies and herbs. The system, when used on a larger scale, can be used to promote the production of organic groceries in cities short on space like New York, Hong Kong and Singapore which have to import a large part of their vegetables and herbs from other places. When incorporated on a larger scale, the PET Tree system would enable producers to reuse plastic PET bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills while maximizing their city’s water resources and producing organic vegetables and herbs for sale in local markets.