At the end of 2014, 17-year-old Georgia Lala took on the notable challenge of starting her own sustainable business - and it's going from strength to strength.

Root Aquaponics sells aquaponic units to schools and homes throughout the country, based on a design which Lala built and trialled herself.

Aquaponics is an ingenious food production system. It involves aquaculture, which is the raising of aquatic animals including snails and fish in tanks, being combined with hydroponics - growing plants in the same tank for a symbiotic effect. This is a great method by which people can grow food in limited space.

An inventor at heart and from a young age, the young woman wants her business to raise local awareness of sustainability in the home.

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Lala went out of her way and ran a sustainability in her local community of Stonefields. It featured stalls run by Auckland Council, NZ Coastline, the Diabetes Project, Wastewise, Waicare, Stonefields School, Diocesan School and her own business. The expo attracted hundreds of people from the surrounding area.

Root Aquaponics want people to hear more about the often-unheard-of method of cultivation.

"We want everyone to have access to fresh produce. no matter where they live or the environment around them," says Lala.

"We want to defy pre-existing ideas of agriculture, because aquaponics proves that growing your own food can be both stylish and sustainable."

Lala is now speaking in schools about sustainability in the 21st century, how students can contribute heading into the future, and the possibilities in aquaponics.

Root Aquaponics Trust, which Lala has started as part of her business, means 50 percent of the profits made from selling the aquaponic units goes towards funding students to donate to schools.

Check out Georgia Lala's business at http://www.rootaquaponics.com

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