Student Profile: Misha Semenov '15

Misha Semenov
Posted on January 23, 2015

Major: Architecture

GreenLeader group affiliation: Greening Princeton and Greening Dining

How do you define sustainability?: I quote (in the least cheesy way possible) one of my favorite proverbs, attributed to various sources: “the earth was not given to us by our parents but is loaned to us by our children.” I think that's really the belief that has to guide our actions: that we are all stewards of this precious earth we're lucky enough to have been born on, and it's our job to make sure that future generations can continue to enjoy and live in harmony with nature. True sustainability requires sacrifice, but it also gives us, if we live it to the fullest, a deeper gratitude for what we have and a stronger connection both with the planet and with the many generations of people before and after us.

Why did you decide to get involved in Greening Princeton?: I've been what you might call a militant environmentalist ever since I was little, teaching my peers how to recycle and compost. When I got to Princeton, I was frustrated that our recycling and resource use were far less advanced than back home in San Francisco, and I became determined to do something about it. In the process of getting involved, I've also gotten deep into the local food movement.

How has your leadership role shaped your experience at Princeton?: Leading Greening Princeton with Olivia has been an absolutely incredible experience. Being at the head of the group has taught me a great deal about the importance of integrating and motivating members, and it's really shown me the power of a small group of people working hard together. Our success in launching Single Stream recycling has been one of the major highlights of my time at Princeton, and the people I've met through GP are some of my best friends here.