It’s one of our favorite times of the year – when we welcome a new group of smart and talented recent graduates to CET as EcoFellows. The EcoFellowship enables us to train and help develop rising young stars in the field, who in turn help us learn, grow, and further our mission.
This month, our 2013 class of EcoFellows will join us, drawing on their diverse educations and experiences. We’ll be introducing them all here, on our blog. Stay tuned!
Sarah holds a Masters in Sustainability Science from UMass Amherst, and supervised the campus’ Sustainability Internship Program there. She will be applying her talents to help our Outreach and Education team in Pittsfield.
Q: How did you come to choose environmental work as a career?
A: I’ve always been drawn to the hard sciences, particularly those that involve the natural world around us. I chose to work in the environmental field because I wanted to be a part of something that I place great value in. I care about the state of the environment and more importantly how that state affects people. That’s what it is all about; how can people adapt so that both they and the environment can live healthier lives? Working on the answer to that question is something I would like to dedicate my career to.
Q: What will you be doing during your EcoFellowship at CET?
A: I’ll be doing outreach and education regarding waste reduction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy with schools and homeowners in the Berkshires. Time allowing, I will also be helping to initiate a Green Office Program through Green Business Services and get some experience with LEED for Homes.
Q: What do you see as our greatest environmental challenge, as a society?
A: Waste- Both the solid and hazardous waste produced every day and the wasteful mindset in our society. Physical waste is an issue because we’re running out of space to deal with it and a wasteful mindset encourages the use of single-use items that contribute to our waste stream. This mindset also promotes wasteful energy practices like leaving the lights which leads to waste in the form of pollution.
Q: If you could nominate one small act that every person could take to improve our environmental situation, what would it be?
A: Purchase fewer new items. Recycling has always been in the spotlight, but if we start at the beginning of the cycle and reduce consumption, less waste is produced. We can save money and time by simply not buying things that we could do without. Buy it used or borrow it from a friend! This builds community, helps your wallet, and promotes a healthy, sustainable environment.
Q: What does your generation have to offer the environmental movement?
A: New generations bring new ideas and perspectives to face the challenges of today. This is especially important today in the environmental movement because the situation is more pressing than ever. Another crucial component our generation offers is enthusiasm. We have yet to be jaded by the road blocks that presented themselves in the past and that determination is a necessary factor to sustain and perpetuate the environmental movement.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Obsess over Harry Potter! Read the books, watch the movies; I just created a Harry Potter wall in my living room…the list goes on and on. I also like to geocache, cook, and play overly competitive board games with my family.