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AUS students complete greenhouse project
The Community Services Division at American University of Sharjah (AUS) inaugurated the first greenhouse on campus on May 3. The AUS Greenhouse Project is an initiative of student volunteers under the guidance and support of the Community Services Division. The project was the first of its kind due to its unique design that was built using 22,000 plastic bottles. Complementing the AUS Farm initiative, fruits and vegetables will be grown in the greenhouse in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The produce will be sold during the "Farmers' Market" in collaboration with AUS Sustainability to generate funds for AUS charity initiatives.
More than 200 students took part in the project who assisted in collecting empty plastic bottles around campus and in the actual construction of the greenhouse.
“The AUS Greenhouse Project has been my dream for the past 3 years. It took us such a long time because we were innovating a new design more suitable to this region and we wanted to use recycled bottles that we collected from the campus. I believe that this is just a start for this project, and it holds great potential for further experiments and learning” said Zulfikar Shahpurwala, student leader of the greenhouse project and a senior majoring in economics.
“The world is going through one of the worst forms of climate change and the over-usage of plastic is one of the main causes. There is a pressing need to find solutions to recycle and replace every form of plastic that we use. The AUS Greenhouse Project has not only put thousands of recycled bottles into use but it has also shown that through efforts of individuals, we can collectively bring a positive change to the environment. I am very glad that we have many students at AUS who genuinely care for the environment. I thank our students for their efforts and hard work in realizing the greenhouse on campus,” said Munketh Taha, Director of Student Development and Organizations.
The AUS Greenhouse Project was supported by staff and faculty members from the Office of Student Affairs, AUS Sustainability and the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences in addition to the support provided by several student organizations. Future plans include conducting experiments in collaboration with the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences to measure the impact of increased humidity and sustained temperature in the greenhouse.