01:53 PM, July 22, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:09 PM, July 22, 2018

Want to go for urban gardening? Get ideas from environment fair

The undated photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

In the concrete city life, not many urban dwellers get the chance to build their dream garden for lack of space. But this year, the National Environment Fair has brought some innovative ideas and techniques of urban gardening for its visitors under one roof.

Department of Environment (DoE) organised the fair at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, marking the World Environment Day.

A total of 62 stalls from different organisations and institutions are showcasing their innovative and environment-friendly products and projects at the fair.

If one wishes to utilise the small corner of his or her balcony, or wishes to have both a garden and an aquarium but lacks enough space, they can visit the fair to get some ideas.

Farzana Alam Bhuiyan, a student from Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, told UNB about some of their projects, including vertical garden, planetarium, tent garden and so on.

Building a vertical garden, urban dwellers can use their small space to grow plants in several upward rows.

For the aquarium lovers, the university's Fab Lab has showcased their project 'Plantarium' where people can have a small garden and an aquarium at the same place in two sections, said Farzana.

In the upper section, people can plant different herbs which will also support them as kitchen garden. In the lower part, they will keep their aquarium. Connecting the two sections with a pipe, this technique will utilise the waste water of the aquarium as fertilizer and water the plants, she added.

Being inspired from the Rohingya camps in Ukhiya, they brought the idea of 'Tent Garden' where people can make small pockets using the tent plastic and plant small herbs there. This tent garden can be easily hung with the wall, she said.

The stall also showcased gardening ideas for small children, insect box ideas where children can be taught about different insects and butterflies as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

They also showcased ideas to create gardens on the roof of different vehicles like auto rickshaws and buses.

Like this stall, several other stalls are also showcasing different environment-friendly projects aiming this year's theme for the fair 'Live in Green, Protect the Green and Decorate the City-life-Environment'.

Issa Kaiser, corporate officer of Ecospear Private Company Ltd, told UNB about their eco bags which are environment-friendly ones and biodegrade with soil without creating any pollution.

Each eco bag costs about Tk 10 while each eco straw costs about Tk 5, he said adding that the production cost may come down in the future if the production rate goes higher.

He also said such arrangement of fair is a great opportunity for new companies to showcase their environment-friendly projects and products.

Bangladesh Bandhu Foundation in the fair attracted their visitors with their environment-friendly ovens named 'Bandhu Oven' and 'Cost Effective Oven'.

Using these ovens, people can reduce the use of fuel and increase cooking capacity. Those are also health-friendly ovens as they produce less smoke, said Pratam Hajong, a staff of the stall.

Students of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology showcased their projects where they made poultry farm houses and bins using plastic bottles only.

Rayhan Al Islam, a student from the university, said this is how plastics bottles can be reused as well as saving money.

Students from different universities, including East West University, North South University and Stamford University, are also participating in the fair with their projects while many other companies are showcasing their environment-friendly products, including sand blocks and water solution management.

While the week-long environment fair is offering its visitors different solutions and ideas about urban gardening, next to it, the National Tree Fair 2018, organised by Department of Forest (DoF) has brought a total of 101 stalls at one place for its visitors showcasing different plants, fertilizers and other agricultural products.

Visitors were found buying both small and large plants to décor their city life with green.

Shafiqul Islam, a visitor of the fair from Bhaluka, told UNB that it is a good opportunity for the visitors and nature enthusiasts to buy plants according to their taste and facilities.

This fair should be held for two months, during June and July, so that people can cultivate their plants in the rainy season properly, he added.

Among the flowers, orchids have been attracting more visitors.

Zakir Hossain, Sales and Marketing Officer of Dipta Orchids Ltd, told UNB that both indoor and outdoor orchid plants ranging from Tk 400 to Tk 1,200 are high in demand.

Mizanur Rahman, office staff of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), said visitors are getting more interested in their coconut plants from Vietnam. The plants are small in size and can give fruits for up to three years.

Among the fruit plants which are rare in the country like Australian cherry, seedless persimmon, apricot, avocado, olive and others are high in demand. There are also plants of mangoes, orange etc, said Md Selim from Barisal Nursery.

While the week-long Environment Fair will continue until July 24, the Tree Fair is a month-long one. The fairs are open from 9am till 9pm.