Students Create Climate Change Innovations


Courtesy of Lindsey Buggi

Seniors Megan Hamma and Lindsey Buggi pose next to their project for EcoAudit.

Victoria Sananikone, Reporter

For their last project, Doc McPherson’s EcoAudit and Environmental Systems classes created their own experiments with designs that help mitigate climate change. Their efforts allowed them to receive grants from a nonprofit organization called Ecorise,and their projects were revealed in the lecture hall on May 19. The projects represented range from aquaponics, use of solar energy, recycling of nutrients with compost, use of microbes to create energy, the use of hemp and even creation of healthy soil.

“We’ve been working on these projects since January,” senior Lindsey Buggi said. “They are supposed to help climate change and find alternates to not hurt the environment. For ours we did a vertical garden.”

Seniors Lindsey Buggi and Megan Hamma created a garden attached to a wall called a vertical garden which help nutrient filled water flow over a vertical surface to feed the roots that keep the plants alive.

“Vertical garden cost about $400,” Hamma said. “If the 321 million people living in the United States decided to build a vertical garden the country would be saving 77 billion dollars.”

Other projects were created that are designed to cut back on spending so much money on essentials such as electricity.

“We created a dual chamber microbial fuel cell,” senior Luke McDaniel said. “It took around five weeks to make. We had to brainstorm. We wanted something that produced electricity without having to pay for it. It’s a natural process.”

The project was cost effective and can be used in any household.

“The bacteria that is in dirty water produces electrons,” senior Jack Litton said. “What our project does is take the bacteria and the fuel cell and uses it to charge household items. As a side effect it can purify dirty water. It a practical solution for how to make electricity.”

Senior Emma Jones created an aquaponic greenwall that allowed plants and fish to thrive.
“The greenwall grows plants vertically and its self sustaining,” Jones said. “The plants filter the water and the fish provide the nutrients for the plants. Once we got all of our materials it took us about two weeks to make. The process was a lot of sitting around because we had to wait for wood and after that it was just figuring out what we had to do and putting it all together. I wanted to do a greenwall because I think they’re a very efficient way to clean the air and it’s pleasant to have plants and fish.”