This is my first week of my summer internship at Sustainable Princeton in my home town of Princeton, New Jersey. Sustainable Princeton’s mission is to make the Princeton community more sustainable through the reduction of its energy consumption from fossil fuels and the waste sent to our landfill. In my opinion, the internship has been off to a wonderful start. I’ve currently been working on helping Sustainable Princeton update the Municipality of Princeton’s Sustainable Jersey certification. Sustainable Jersey is a state wide non-profit organization whose goals are to provide tools, training and financial incentives to assist communities in creating their own sustainability programs. The Sustainable Jersey certification program is a rigorous assessment that if passed, lasts three years and shows achievements towards creating a sustainable community. The current section of the certification I am working on is calculating the emissions released by the Municipality of Princeton’s fleet of vehicles, as well as the average fuel efficiency and annual fuel usage of the vehicles.
This week I also attended one of the Princeton Environmental Commission’s monthly meetings. This was very interesting as it allowed me to learn about the sustainability developments around town such as the creation of Princeton’s first charging station for electric cars and the potential environmental impacts of some new development planned by Princeton University. Attending this meeting was also quite interesting as it gave me a glimpse of a future career as a sustainability officer would look like both through observation and participation.
I’m really excited about next week as I am going to liaise with the Princeton merchant association and the local grocery store MCafferys to help local businesses divert their plastic waste in the form of plastic bags and plastic shipping materials from the landfills to a recycling program. This is because MCafferys is taking all this plastic to be recycled for free!