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June 29 2022 3:06 PM ˚
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Green On : Alternative gardening made possible

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Green On’s systems are constructive contributions to the sustainability movement, redefining luxury as something that embodies the product's social and environmental credentials. (Image: Handouts from Green On)
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Have you picked up gardening as a hobby during lockdown? Daydreaming of reaping your fresh tomatoes and kale day by day? Tired of grocery plastic-wrapped vegetables? Love gardening but despise getting your hands dirty? اضافة اعلان

Green On, a social enterprise, found an answer to each of these questions by developing ready-to-grow, LEGO-like comprehensive kits that can be micro-implemented in households and customized to the medium, end users are accustomed to.



Saeed Albawab, Green On’s founder and an architect, wanted to employ the aesthetics of aquaponics into his work in architecture.

“Because nature is vast and abundant in resources, there was a need to integrate both its aesthetics and function in architecture,” Albawab said about innovative architecture and design stepping in to revolutionize indoor farming for urban spaces.

Albawab  continuous research influenced him to take up aquaponics as a hobby in 2014; he bought simple equipment sets to work on a prototype in his garage. He then moved to Saudi Arabia in a small apartment where he felt something was lacking in the atmosphere, which prompted him to build his own advanced system, using laser-cut glass which he installed in his living room.

He came to know that aquaponics is a process that brings to the table more than one profession. While the system fulfilled his needs and his guests praised the overall aesthetic, the down side was, it cost a fortune. “Not everyone can afford it, but everyone should have it,” he said.



Green On’s systems are constructive contributions to the sustainability movement, redefining luxury as something that embodies the product's social and environmental credentials.

“We want to include end-users in a beautiful, productive and sustainable lifestyle without making sustainability too centric and affronting. As a matter of fact, they not only contribute to protecting the environment, they also do their lungs a favor by breathing cleaner air,” he said.
The products are a solution to the problem of urban sprawl, reversing the effect of residential complexes crawling over the arable land and forcing the agri-viable lands to crawl back over the cities.
Furthermore, they reduce the time between harvest and consumption, subsequently boosting the nutritional value of the end product.

The products are a solution to the problem of urban sprawl, reversing the effect of residential complexes crawling over the arable land and forcing the agri-viable lands to crawl back over the cities. They also signal a paradigm shift in food security as “vegetable crop yields are being transported to the city-based aquaponics, allowing farmers to focus more on staple foods like wheat, and by doing so, promoting interdependence between farmers and citizens while also feeding the growing urban populations,” Albawab elaborated.



Green On's aquaponics are the ideal alternative for those with living arrangement constraints, since they do not interfere with people's use of space and do not compromise the overall design style.

There are several high-quality products in development, yet their Green Wall is the jewel of their products. It is a DIY, step-by-step, system of interlocking blocks that enables the user to design any aquaponics, hydroponics or traditional farming, making up an architectural wall without the use of installation equipment, making gardening attainable to anyone who wants to make it a part of their life.



The startup has been supported by several donors over different intervals, the latest of which is Oxfam, through the EU-funded project JOin UP.

“Oxfam’s support has been able to drive our final product forward by building our manufacturing capacity and contributing to the production lines and equipment,” said Albawab.

Operating in a startup which combines manufacturing and agriculture was challenging, he said, made them “feel the heat of both industries”. He also spoke of the difficulty of fully manufacturing in Jordan.

“As Green On expanded, we wanted to provide people the opportunity to learn, evolve, and grow, and indirectly ensure that the money spent leads back to the local economy,” Albawab concluded.

As Green On moves on to its next phase, it helps people turn a corner and never come back to buying old and withered vegetables.


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