Our environment is important and crucial to us because It is the one that provided us with air, water, food, and other needs. Hence, it is vital for us to be conscious of the eco effects we laid on our environment. For instance, studies have shown that cargo ships pollute as much as 50 million cars. Hence, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to reduce cargo ships emissions by 50 % by 2050. One of the main measures was to invest and explore other green energy sources to propel and power cargo ships instead. One great example is the Super Eco Ship 2050, a cargo ship concept that promises zero-emission, due to be launched in the year 2050.
Upcycling shipping containers
There are many other ways in which the shipping industry can also hugely impact the environment positively. One of the most impactful ways people can do is by upcycling shipping containers. According to statistics provided by the US Department of Transportation in 2012, more than 700000 loaded shipping containers are abandoned each year in the US. These containers are mainly left in various ports. Therefore, rather than leaving these abandoned containers behind to gradually fall into ruins, why not recycle these abandoned containers to alternate usages efficiently?
Shipping Container Port. Photo: Ishant Mishra (@ishant_mishra54) on Unsplash
Shipping containers to Container homes
Today, the most popular way to upcycle shipping containers is to turn them into container homes. By doing so, steel structures are not wasted without a purpose other than collecting rust and dust. Moreover, by utilising all these steel structures, this, in turn, saves a lot of the usual material cost. The usual material cost would have included the purchase of cement and bricks. Lastly, container homes leave a lesser environmental imprint as it can be torn down or moved away easier than traditional buildings.
Shipping-container home in Costa Rica. Photo: Benjamin Garcia Saxe
Other ways to upcycling shipping containers
Other than container homes, shipping containers can also be upcycled for many different purposes. From office containers, worker accommodations, kintergarten to pop up stores, exhibition spaces, and much more endless possibilities. These are all possible due to the shipping container’s material, size, and shape, which makes it incredibly sturdy and versatile. Overall, upcycling shipping containers aren’t just environmentally friendly, but it is a long term sustainable solution to all the remaining unused containers worldwide.
Pats Schoolhouse. Photo: OSG Containers
Container Greenhouse / Farm
One more eco-friendly way of upcycling shipping containers is to turn them into greenhouses, also known as container farms. This new type of greenhouse is created inside of shipping containers that are installed with LED nurture lights, fertilisers, and climate control technologies. With all these technologies in place, it contributes to adjust and replicate any climate to efficiently grow a wide variety of products such as lettuce, fruits, and herbs. This is especially crucial as the world starts to explore more sustainable methods of yield farming.
Some of the benefits of container farms include mobility and cost price to build. Mobility is crucial as container farms mean it can move or be placed around, without commitment to a dedicated piece of place/land. For instance, it can be placed behind a restaurant where it produces fresh ingredients direct to the kitchen. Likewise, it can also bring food access to places that are not necessarily possible/easy to grow fresh products. These container farms can also be specialised to grow unique plants for remote researchers and scientists to observe.
Nosh Produce container farm. Photo: Innovate360.sg
Inside a container farm stationed at Dubai. Photo: iGrow