The House of the Future
By Mariel Dominguez
A Sustainable Ecosystem
My house of the future would be located in the Temperate Deciduous Forest. You may know this as southern Ontario, where most people live. It has high temperatures, so there is a long growing season, and good, fertile soil to grow plants and trees on. This is why many people live in this area.
To create a nice, green environment around my home, I would locate my house near a forest with lots of native deciduous trees. Deciduous trees are trees that lose their leaves in the winter. I would locate my house near maple trees (I can get their maple syrup), oak trees, and hickories. I would also locate my house near a river to have a nice source of water.
I would plant fruits and vegetables that have been growing safely, because they have been known not to invade. I would grow my fruits and veggies in rotation, so I won’t overwork the soil so it doesn’t lose its nutrients. I would grow some essential fruits, such as apples and lettuce. I would also grow some berries. I would also put a beehive near my house and some flowers too, to get honey. I would put my whole farm in a greenhouse, so I can grow my foods early and be able to eat them for most of the year.
I wouldn’t put any pesticides in my garden, not even DDT. DDT is a broad-spectrum pesticide, which is effective against many types of pests. It seems good, but it kills off harmless insects, that can then kill off an entire food chain. Another reason why I wouldn’t want to use pesticides is because of benzene hexachloride. This is another type of pesticide which accumulates more inside your body going up the food chain. We can eat fruit from soils contaminated from that pesticide. Instead of using pesticides, I would introduce wasps and rotate my crops every once in a while. Rotating crops can confuse the pests, and wasps are the natural predator of these pests.
Atoms, Elements, and Compounds
Toxic Chemicals in the Home
Three items I use in the home are bleach, soda, and pool chlorine.
Bleach is used to clean bacteria and also whiten clothing. It is usually made of sodium hypochlorite, which is a mixture of sodium, oxygen, and chlorine. Soda, which I drink, can give me temporary energy, but it contains phosphoric acids, which can lead to kidney problems and weak bones. Phosphoric acid is made of phosphorus, hydrogen, and oxygen. Pool chlorine is used to treat the pool water and make it clean of bacteria. It is made of tablets which, when put into the water, breaks down into chemicals, like hypochlorite acids and ions (made of hydrogen, oxygen, and chlorine). The chlorinated water could smell weird, could make your skin itchy, and as gas over the pool, could cause breathing problems.
The Characteristics of Electricity
Types of Energy I Would Use
Energy-Efficient House Design
Some appliances I would buy are new refrigerators, front-facing washing machines, and LED TVs. They all have the Energy Star label. The refrigerators have more insulating material and let less cold air out, using less energy to cool your foods. The washing machines have doors on the front, so they use less water and less energy to spin your clothing clean because gravity pulls the spinner down. I can hang the clothing to dry outside. LED TVs use less energy to produce the light on the TV, and the TV can dim dark parts for a richer picture, so there’s less energy to use.
I would also use LED lights because they do not have any toxic chemicals, and can last up to 100,000 hours, plus they can use 90% less energy.
The Study of the Universe
The Smoke Detector
Items I would use in my house that originally came from NASA are smoke detectors and memory foam.
Smoke detectors were first made by NASA to detect smoke and toxic gases for their Skylab project, in the 1970s. Skylab studied how the human body reacted in space, and studied the Sun too. Now, smoke detectors are used at home to detect smoke by photoelectric detection (when smoke passes through the light beam on the detector). I would use smoke detectors in case there is a fire I may not be near, so I can go there as soon as possible.
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