Eco-Entrepreneur Uses Lean Production Principles to Grow Tiny Forests

afforestt-exampleThis industrial engineer, after working with one of the leading native forest restoration experts, Akira Miyawaki, during a project at the Toyota factory where he was employed, began experimenting by growing a tiny forest in his backyard. Shubhendu Sharma’s experience and success at growing his own small urban forest led him to explore how to apply the same principles that the auto giant employs in their factories, in order to “standardize the process of forest-making,” and in the process, become an eco-entrepreneur.

Shubhendu Sharma’s endeavors in afforestation (which is the establishment of a forest in an area where there was no forest before, as opposed to reforestation, which seeks to regrow degraded forests) have now grown into a full-fledged business, which establishes “wild, native, natural, maintenance free forests.”

The following is a short presentation about his work given by Sharma at TED 2014:

Sharma’s company, Afforestt, is founded in part on the belief that though countless forests have been lost due to human impacts, we can collectively bring our forests back, by creating them anew. According to the Afforestt website, these forests, which are grown using the Miyawaki Technique, can host 30 times more trees in the same space (when compared to conventional tree plantations), with much more diversity in plant species, and can offer CO2 absorption rates and noise reduction at a rate up to 30 times that of conventional forests. In addition, these tiny urban forests can be fully established, with no need to further maintenance, after just three years.

Sharma and Afforestt are working on a web-based platform to share this forest growing methodology as an open source technique, which will include a database of appropriate native species of trees and plants for guidance, as well as the possibility of installing remote sensors in forests, in order to remotely monitor the forest’s progress and the soil conditions for optimal growth rates. Find out more about Afforestt and their consulting services or turnkey forests (which can convert barren land to a green forest in three years) at the website.

[Image: Afforestt]

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!