Saturday, June 24, 2017

Week 4 - June 24,2017

My fellow interns and I began this week at the Community Harvest Project owned orchard in Harvard, MA. We worked for part of the day there pruning some newly planted apple trees and fixing irrigation lines. We then returned to the farm in Grafton, MA on Tuesday where we continued planting and weeding the fields.

Week 3-June 16, 2017

So this week has been a little crazy. I learned how to work different types of farm equipment and have learned the various ways of planting the different vegetables. We were able to bring some plants home so that we can grow them and taste them. This will help us with understanding the different plants we grow on the farm. We also learned about integrated pest management practices and identified some of the many pests that can be found on the farm. I am looking forward to next week when we will be going out to the CHP Orchard in Harvard, MA to get a tour and learn about growing apples. 

Week 2- June 9, 2017

This week was a lot shorter than the first week. I only worked about 3 days. there was still lots to do on the farm despite the fields being mostly rained out. we did a lot on cleaning and barn chores. the brush piles were cleared from the picnic grove and the picnic tables were moved to be all on top of the wood chips in the middle of the grove.

First Week - June 1, 2017

First Week

June 1, 2017

This week was the first week of my internship at Community Harvest Project and I have had so much fun. I started with the training on Tuesday and then was able to shadow different team leaders throughout the week to see how the volunteer groups are led when in the field. After planting was done in the morning, the other interns and I worked on our afternoon farm chores. These small jobs often included mowing, weeding, cleaning, dumping out the trash bins, and cleaning up the supplies brought out for planting fields.

Week Five of Theo's Internship with Sustainable Princeton

The fifth week of my summer internship at Sustainable Princeton began with signing up for the 2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit by Sustainable Jersey and figuring out which two breakout sessions I would attend. Before attending any of the breakout sessions there was an interesting presentation for all attendees on something called the State of the State report. This report goes over where New Jersey is with regards to sustainability and how New Jersey has improved or worsened in terms of each aspect of sustainability.

  Out of the six sessions available in the morning I chose to attend the one called “Protecting our Natural Resources: Local Action, Regional Impact.” This breakout session was about how local efforts are critical to guaranteeing the protection of natural resources and what one can do to help. For example, a presenter from Jersey Water Works discussed how to plan out and develop green infrastructure on the local level to minimize storm water runoff via impermeable surfaces. Another example was the presentation by a member of Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) on the value of setting aside open spaces within towns so that there are habitats for animals like bees, birds, and butterflies to name a few. Overall this breakout session was a great experience for me as I not only learned a lot about open spaces and green infrastructure but I learned about the procedures for gathering support for such things and planning out their implementation.

Out of the six sessions available in the afternoon I chose to attend the one called “Shining the Light on Solar.” This break out session was all about solar energy and how to both promote and implement solar energy within your local community. This session discussed what steps your community could take to become a nationally designated SolSmart community. SolSmart is a national designation program funded by the United States Department of Energy’s Sun Shot initiative that helps members of communities applying for designation to reduce the soft costs of solar panel installation such as the installation itself, local government administrative and bureaucratic application processes and so on. They do this by assigning a member of the Solar Foundation to the community so that they can get six months of technical assistance to help local governments reduce the soft costs of solar installation on their side by streamlining and simplifying the local laws with regards to solar energy. This breakout session was very informative not only in terms what steps one can take to simplify the local laws to make it cheaper and easier to install solar panels safely but it also taught me about the ways in which you can convince a local community to get involved in an initiative such as this.

All in all, I would say this was quite the eventful week and I am excited to see what next week will bring!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Week four of Theo's internship with Sustainable Princeton

The fourth week of my summer internship at Sustainable Princeton began with work on an application for a grant from the state of New Jersey. The grant program in question is called the N.J. Clean Construction Program and it was established with the express purpose of funding the retrofitting or replacement of off-road construction equipment so as to reduce harmful emissions. The grant program prioritizes construction equipment that meets one or more of the following criteria the construction equipment is old, the construction equipment is highly used, and the construction equipment is being used in sensitive or urban areas. To complete this grant application, I used the data I gathered from calculating the emissions and fuel usage of the Municipality of Princeton’s vehicle fleet for the Sustainable Jersey recertification.
The other major thing that happened this week was the grand opening of the dual port electric car charging station in the local parking garage. There was a ribbon cutting by Princeton’s mayor and there was a ceremonial charging of an electric car. I was there to both take pictures and videos of the event for publication and to help out with the reception afterwards. Personally, I’m really happy about this charging station and hopefully it will make the purchase of electric cars in Princeton a more feasible choice in the future.

Next week will most likely involve three primary tasks. Firstly, the finalized versions of the plastic film recycling FAQ will be completed and sent to the Princeton Merchant’s Association, the Municipality of Princeton for publication on their websites in addition to Sustainable Princeton’s own website and Facebook page. Secondly, we will be attempting to expand the reach of the BYOB plastic film recycling program by increasing the number of drop off points. Our targets for the increase in drop off points around town will be the various religious institutions in Princeton. Finally, I will be doing online outreach with regards to the electric car charging station so that more people know about its existence.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Week three of Theo's internship with Sustainable Princeton

The third week of my summer internship at Sustainable Princeton began with planning out the outreach portion of the bring your own bag (BYOB) campaign which at this point consists of two parts. The first part is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for the Princeton Merchant’s Association. I finished writing the FAQ this past Wednesday although it has yet to be published on the website. The FAQ includes answers to important questions such as what types of plastic film and bags should I recycle, where can I recycle plastic film and bags, what is plastic film, and numerous answers to whether or not a plastic film or bag can be recycled in a given situation.
The second part of this outreach campaign is the creation of a poster for the Municipality of Princeton, Sustainable Princeton, McCaffery’s Food Markets, and the Princeton Merchants Association. This is a poster that will be spread online and put up above each of the recycling drop off points. This poster points out that there is a BYOB recycling point near where the poster was posted and describes what can and cannot be recycled at the drop off point. The rough draft of this poster was finished today and was based off a poster with their permission.

Next week will most likely involve finalizing and distributing the above poster in addition to the possibility of creating another one that goes more in depth on what you can and can’t recycle at a BYOB drop off point.