Major: Woodrow Wilson School
GreenLeader group affiliation and/or Sustainability initiative: Princeton Garden Project Manager, GreenLeader coordinator
How do you define sustainability? To me, sustainability is about understanding the consequences of our actions, appreciating the ways in which we are interconnected with other humans and our environment, and wasting and consuming less.
Why did you decide to get involved in The Garden Project and GreenLeaders? I found out about the garden the fall of my freshman year at Princeton. I already had some gardening experience from a project I had worked on at home in Vermont, so I was excited to continue with this interest at Princeton. I remember meeting the managers of the garden and feeling like I had found a group of people with similar loves for being outside, for sustainability, and for food. I applied for a manager position in the winter of my freshmen year, and was selected to be the General Manager. I then became increasingly involved with the Office of Sustainability, and eventually also became the GreenLeader coordinator that year.
How has your leadership role shaped your experience at Princeton?
My time as manager of the Princeton Garden Project has been a huge part of my Princeton experience. I love walking into the garden, feeling slightly removed from the center of campus, and getting to take a break from school work by playing in the dirt and helping things grow. Through the garden, I’ve also met a number of close friends and gotten to know wonderful administrators on Princeton’s campus. My role as GreenLeader coordinator has allowed me to work more closely with the Office of Sustainability, to meet more students passionate about sustainability, and to learn about other groups’ green initiatives on campus. Through my involvement, I’ve come to understand that Princeton is deeply committed to many great sustainability initiatives, but that those initiatives don’t always permeate campus culture. Things like the cogeneration plant, the solar field, the commitment to use locally sourced food in the dining halls—these are incredible achievements. I wish more students and faculty knew about them. Publicizing these achievements is a top priority in creating more of a culture of sustainability on our campus. It’s really exciting to see that our current campus planning process is being closely aligned with a new sustainability plan. I helped initiate a seminar this semester (led by Dr. Weber, the Director of the Office of Sustainability) that was designed as one way to inform the campus planning process with student voices. The seminar explores philosophical questions about how Princeton can move forward with growth in the most sustainable and ethical manner.