Tim - thank you so much for the support and your note! This is Nikhil, with Back to the Roots. Love the quote too btw - totally agree with it - it's all about the why and how - not the what!
Re: manufacturing, some stuff we're working on:
1) Working our butts off to get this produced domestically - where we have absolute control over every manufacturing process and can make sure it's the safest product possible!
2) We totally love people making their own units at home and hacking stuff together - the more people that do that the better! However, we have the strong belief that only a certain small % of the population will actually do that, and to inspire & educate the rest, you have to create a unit that is easy and simple and fun enough to use such that it lowers the barriers to try it out! That's why we're producing a custom designed kit - to really be able to go after that other huge segment of the population that won't spend the time to custom make something! Hopefully we can get people excited through this kit to rethink their food/gardening, and inspire them enough to take on their own larger projects and make it a larger part of their day-to-day lifestyle.
3) Re: sustainability, we are going to push to use only the best materials - and are willing to pay for them! The parts that are plastic will be the most pure (additives are what often create toxicity), FDA approved, & BPA free plastics. We're also setting up a really cool industrial recycling program where we pay people to ship their units back to us when they are done so we can recycle these at proper industrial recycling facilities to make sure there is no waste from this unit.
4) We are exploring all types of materials right now - including recycled plastics where applicable!
5) Working off a lot of stock units - airpumps & tubing especially- so that we can find items that are already domestically manufactured and we dont have to waste the $ or resources in building custom molds/tools.
We're totally open to more ideas/suggestions to create the best product possible - would love your feedback! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you again for your support and interest!