Anqi Ni

Organic composite planters

Class of: 2024

Major: Strategic Design and Management BBA

Medium: Slideshow

Faculty: Beau Bree Rhee

Prompt: This is the final project of the Sustainable System class. I continued my dream garden project and created organic composites for my garden, which response to the "cradle to cradle" concept.

In my family, there was an unwritten rule: we saved all the eggshells for gardening purposes because it’s beneficial to the soil, plants and can help deter pests. Organic materials such as eggshells and coffee grounds contain nutrients that make them great soil supplements and fertilizer. Therefore, to achieve the concept of “cradle to cradle”, I came up with the idea of using eggshells and coffee grounds as the container of the plants, which can also be directly planted into the garden. The composite planter can replace the regular plastic planter. They are being recycled as nutrition and contribute to the growth of the plants, rather than just end up in the landfill. I am using sodium alginate and glycerol to make the composite mixture and wait for it to react with vinegar. After two hours the composite can be taken out from the mold and air dry for one day. When it’s completely dried, I poked holes in the bottom of the composite to drain the water. I am choosing mango seeds, lemon seeds, soybean, and garlic as my plants for this experiment. They are all easily gathered and will germinate in a short period of time. When the seeds germinate, I plant the seeds and the planter together into the garden. The eggshell and coffee ground composite will provide essential nutrients for the soil and the growth of the plants. To further develop this project, it’s necessary to exploit the commercial value of organic compost. Similar to what Charles Vigliotti did with his Long Island Compost project, the “zero waste” recycling can benefit the environment, as well as making a considerable profit. With more and more creative sustainable designs on the market nowadays, the future of organic composting seems promising.