NASA is teaching sustainability to everybody who is interested in listening. The Space Agency isn’t actively posting YouTube videos on-line, showing people how to be greener, but it is setting an example. NASA is teaching sustainability by showing the general public how astronauts and future colonists can survive in harsh environments using scarce tools.
Cady Coleman, an innovation lead, and NASA astronaut said that the way in which astronauts are using their limited resources has an impact on general-use technology. The public has a lot to learn from the astronauts, especially when it comes to improvising and re-using.
Take for example food. Astronauts are grateful whenever they have the opportunity to eat something green, freshly harvested. A couple of years ago they discovered a way to grow lettuce in space and they cherished the leafy plant like a divine gift.
Their LED-based technique led to the development of vertical agriculture back on Earth. Some proponents even said that the vertical, LED-based agriculture will prove to be a crucial part in feeding the ever-growing world population.
Plus, an indoor farm that reuses water is more space and cost efficient. Also, it leads to an overall greener planet, so why not try out the ideas of the space-dwelling humans.
Speaking of water, which in some areas of our planet is in a very short supply, people could learn a thing or two from the astronauts. NASA is teaching sustainability without even realizing it when it comes to efficient use of the precious H2O.
On board the ISS, the crew is forced to come up with innovative ways of obtaining drinkable water. So they use various filtering techniques that turn urine, sweat, and air liquid like moisture into potable water.
According to Coleman, some people are disgusted by the idea of drinking filtered urine, but the astronaut is claiming that the taste is not at all awful.
Furthermore, there are so many regions on the planet in which the inhabitants are forced to drink from contaminated, muddy waters, that the idea of a working filter would be divine intervention for them.
Naturally, after testing it out and making sure that the technology is safe for public use, the Space Agency shared the plans of the filter with various companies that are now producing portable filters on a large scale.
NASA is teaching sustainability to the people even when it comes to waste management. The Space Agency is rather reticent to the idea of throwing garbage in space, so they are melting the wrappers of food and the plastic water bottles creating tiles used for shield strengthening.
Image source: Pixabay