What do luffa gourds and aquaponics have in common?

Updated: Oct 22, 2019

They are elements for sustainable living, topics of discussion for students at DGS.  We return to the basic definition of sustainability frequently throughout the year, as this is a lens to determine if something is a sustainable item or practice.  Sustainably is meeting the needs of individuals today without compromise the abilities of future generations to meet their needs (clean air, clean water, and healthy, nutrient-rich food).


As we peeled off the outer cover of the luffa gourd to reveal its fibrous interior, we discussed how this new item that we are going to sell at the farmers market is sustainable.  The main reason is that there is no waste. When you are done with the luffa sponge, you can put it in the compost. Also, you can grow it in your backyard, so no need for shipping or wasteful packaging.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?!


As for aquaponics, this system is a powerhouse in terms of sustainability application.  Students learn the “why” behind this system as listed below and will continue to learn about the biology, hydrology, and ecology of how it functions.  Aquaponics isn’t a replacement for sustainable, small scale agriculture, but can help meet food demands, particularly in climates where it is hard to grow food

and in cities.


Why Aquaponics for food sustainability and resilience:


-There is no waste within the system - fish waste is converted into nutrients for the plants.


-It is a closed system that recirculates water, so the system requires significantly

less water than  traditional agriculture.


-Food can be grown anywhere - from a basement apartment in NYC to the Arizona desert.  This significantly decreases the shipping of food across the country, thus reducing carbon emissions.


-Because aquaponics is primarily inside, it is resilient extreme weather such as drought, flooding, record heat, and hail.



0 views