ByMadeleine Somerville

Feb 16, 2016
Biopod microhabitat system

One of the most devastating consequences of the destruction we’ve wreaked on this little blue and green planet of ours has been the extinction of so many flora and fauna. From strange looking dodo birds to great auk’s, and innumerable plant and insect species, the losses are heartbreaking.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, to see a KickStarter aimed at mitigating these losses raise greater than fourteen times their original goal.

BioPod is the creation of biologist Jared Wolfe. It’s a self-contained environment which looks a little like a run-of-the-mill aquarium you’d buy at your neighbourhood pet store – with a few very notable differences. While the typical aquarium is little more than a glass box, BioPod has been engineered over many years of development to use space-age technology to create a micro-habitat suitable for supporting the growth of fresh herbs, a mini rainforest, or to replicate the precise environment needed to support amphibian or reptile life.

Biopod microhabitat system
Image source

Why is this so important? A researcher from Australia’s Macquarie University published a study examining recent extinctions within two vulnerable groups of animals, reptiles and amphibians, and the results were alarming. 200 species of frogs have already joined our friend the dodo bird on the extinction list, and the sensitive nature of frog life means that more are sure to follow. Never before has an individual been given the power to alter the extinction rate of a species, but with BioPod , you can.

If we are to continue destroying their natural habitat, perhaps it’s time we took it upon ourselves to save a tiny piece of it, too. And if preserving a frog species seems like a tall order, use the BioPod to grow perfectly fresh herbs or a lush countertop garden. Surrounding your home with natural spaces has a markedly positive effect on your mood and stress levels – even more so when it’s so easily done.

The BioPod features an app which allows you to easily adjust your microhabitat to suit your needs (or those of your little frogs) and constantly sends feedback and collects data to ensure that the BioPod is running smoothly. A built-in oxygen control, watering system and LED lights mean that with BioPod – you literally hold the whole world in your hands.

As a mother to a very curious little girl, I can’t help but imagine how fascinating it would be for her to see natural processes like rain, sunshine, and plant growth happening right in our own home.

In addition to raising over $350,000 more than their original $30,000 goal, many of BioPod’s Kickstarter packages have been sold out, but if you’d like to get your hands on one of these innovative little worlds, there’s still time. Click here to visit their page, view their video, and learn more about this innovative glass and silver box trying to preserve the natural world, a few feet at a time.

By Madeleine Somerville

Madeleine Somerville is the author of All You Need Is Less: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity. She is a writer, wannabe hippie and lover of soft cheeses. She lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her daughter. You can also find Madeleine at her blog, Sweet Madeleine.