Sustainability | Emory University Undergraduate Application Essay

How can we build a more environmentally sustainable society?

Such a broad, open ended question may seem unreasonable for a sixteen year old girl to pursue, but at a place like Emory University, courageous inquiry is literally in the water. When I say ‘literally in the water’ I am referring to the new WaterHub located on campus. The WaterHub is a water reclamation center that uses natural processes to break down organic matter in waste water. And Emory’s courageous inquiry in this field inspired my own. If we could harness the power of nature by re-using perfectly reusable resources to save the environment (perhaps by adapting the WaterHub methods to other situations) we humans would be considerably closer to achieving plausible sustainability.

One part of my own inquiry on water sustainability was the topic of my senior project, “aquaponics.” Aquaponics is a method of aquaculture in which the waste (specifically ammonia) produced by fish supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically (in water instead of in soil), which in turn purifies the water. To create a system that is simultaneously self-sufficient, eco-friendly, and reliant on 90% less water than traditional farming techniques is the ultimate goal for my project….

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