04 May 2012, 09:44 BST
Kyocera is well known for its solar panels. But the Japanese company greens up its own buildings in more ways that with solar. The company also grows "Green Curtains" on trellises around its buildings "to shade windows and outer walls of manufacturing and office buildings at 19 locations in Japan."
This, of course, cuts energy use in the buildings, since it keeps them cooler in hot summer months when people might be tempted to turn on or turn down energy-demanding air conditioners. Also, it just looks nice, doesn't it? And I imagine it helps air quality around the building a bit, as well.
On top of the energy-saving benefit of these green curtains, they also feature healthy edibles!
"The goya (bitter gourd; a traditional summer vegetable of Okinawa), cucumbers and peas that form the Green Curtains are harvested by Kyocera employees and commonly served as part of a special lunch menu in employee cafeterias," Kyocera writes. "Goya, which is rich in nutrients, is widely used as an ingredient for the prevention of fatigue in the hot summer months in Japan. Moreover, the employees enjoy watching the plants grow and harvesting the vegetables."
And, taking the awesomeness one step further, the company has a Green Curtains website that shows people how to grow their own green curtains.
Cool stuff. It's really just common sense stuff like this the world needs more of.
Source: Clean Technica