Ecolife Conservation focuses on sustainable methods like their aquaponics system, which allows communities to establish sustainable food systems and provide economic opportunities to underserved communities across the world.
Issues caused by conventional agriculture
"Although it's the most common form of agriculture, conventional agriculture uses synthetic chemicals in the form of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to nourish and maintain crops," they explain. "Conventional methods require high amounts of these chemicals as well as energy to generate crops."
"In addition to this, conventional agriculture places greater importance on getting as much as possible from crops rather than simply producing what communities need. This approach is a large factor in conventional agriculture's negative impact on the environment. It contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), soil erosion, water pollution, and can even harm humans."
Sustainable agriculture - preventing extinction and supporting communities
Because of the large scale of conventional agriculture's large-scale harm, they have placed their focus on sustainable agriculture. "About 30% of all available land on Earth is used for conventional agriculture, which damages and destroys wildlife. Considering that habitat loss is the main driver of species extinction, it's clear that this approach to farming needs to change," they remark.
Sustainable agriculture methods, such as their aquaponics system, allow communities to grow important produce without the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides. This makes all crops grown using sustainable practices safer, healthier and prevents further pollution of lakes, streams, and watersheds.
Transitioning to more sustainable and efficient methods of food production can help combat food insecurity in communities around the world. "We can safeguard our natural resources and improve community health by providing people with the means to grow nutrient-dense produce while using less land and water," they say.
The modular aquaponics response kit (M.A.R.K.)
At Ecolife, they realized that there was a need to relieve the environmental stress caused by conventional agriculture while reducing global food insecurity. Based on this realization, their modular aquaponics system was designed. The modular aquaponics response kit (M.A.R.K.) allows users to grow fish and plants in a fraction of the space, resources, and energy needed for conventional agriculture. In fact, our aquaponics systems are solar powered, making the energy they do use clean and renewable.
"The M.A.R.K. combines aquaculture – the raising of aquatic animals – and hydroponics – the cultivation of plants in water with added nutrients – to provide communities with sustainable food production. Bringing these methods together creates aquaponics, a sustainable agriculture method that reduces the amount of water and land space needed to grow produce by 90% when compared to conventional agriculture."
In an aquaponics system, even waste produced by fish is converted by bacteria into nitrate, the most accessible form of nitrogen for plants. This nitrate is then consumed by the plants, which accelerates the plants' growth and purifies the water for the fish. This creates a closed-loop system that circulates nutrients within the aquaponics system, eliminating runoff.
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