The Hill

This week Earth Day Network sent me to two conferences to take notes, ask questions, and report back to the rest of the team. On Monday I attended a meeting titled: Towards 21st Century Energy Systems In Central & Eastern Europe. This meeting was held by the Atlantic Council located in DC. It was a very cool meeting to be apart of. The first person to speak at this event was the Vice President of the European Unions Energy Department. Here he spoke about what exactly was taking place in Eastern and Central Europe in the energy department. He mostly spoke of the idea that many of these smaller countries like Croatia and Poland are looking to participate more in renewable energy, but so far haven’t been able to find it feasible for their economy at this time. Throughout the conversation Ambassadors came out to speak of their initiatives to find ways to make the energy sources they have, more environmentally friendly, until they are able to afford more renewable energy. However, the most interesting part of this conversation was at the end when the Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Hungary spoke of the Energy Security of Eastern and Central Europe. He stated he had a lot of concern for the lack of attention being paid to these smaller countries within the EU. There is a lot of combative relationships between these Eastern and Central countries with Russia and Italy. Yet, the EU doesn’t seem to do much to pay attention to or help these smaller countries who don’t have the economy to fix these situations on their own. He stated that Russia has created a pipeline that goes straight to Turkey, however, Turkey doesn’t have anywhere to store or transport this gas that is being sent to them. So they are being forced to take dangerous measures in order to ensure that they don’t get trapped with this gas they have no where to put.

The second meeting I went to was on Capitol Hill, titled: New Ideas for Strengthening Partnerships at DOE National Labs.

Inside Rayburn Building Office on Capitol Hill

While I thought this was going to be about efforts the DOE National Labs were making for the environment, it was actually more of an event for smaller businesses to pitch their companies to be funded by the National Labs. While it may not have been exactly what I thought it was going to be it was very interesting. However, during this conversation, all I could pay attention to was the amount of plastic being used. Plastic plates, forks, knives, water bottles, and serving utensils. Many of the speakers spoke to the idea of plastic pollution as they sipped out of their plastic water bottles. I came back to my office after the meeting and spoke with my supervisor about it and she said that another intern went to an event on Capitol Hill and said the same thing. This made me think about trying to create a more sustainable Capitol. I have now begun some research to see if it is feasible for the Capitol’s catering to become more sustainable. Being that they hold numerous events a week, it would be a benefit that they become more environmentally friendly. Hopefully, next week I’ll have more to share about the research I find on the Capitol’s sustainability efforts. Until next time.

Unfortunate Silence

Both sadly and happily I am working on a project, currently, that I am unable to speak of at this time. Being that I have worked on this all week, that means I don’t have a whole lot to share on this weeks blog post. All I can really say about the project is that I am very excited and honored that I have been able to work on it with the amazing Earth Day Network staff. They have been so incredible in giving me the resources and support I need in order to complete  the project with great efficiency and I’m very excited to see where it goes.

As for things that I am able to share, I am happy to say next week I will be attending two meetings on Capitol Hill. One of the meetings will be to talk about energy conservation within Eastern Europe. While the second I will be going to the Department of Energy to discuss new energy policy and tactics for the U.S. It’s going to be a very exciting and informative week and I hope to apply it to my project I’ll be working (hint, hint). Unfortunately, that is all I have to share this time, but until next time. I look forward to sharing what I will have learned at these two conferences.

Let The Research Begin

This week was chock-full of research. Currently Earth Day Network is working on the campaign ideas for 2020 being that it will be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. So this whole week was dedicated to picking two countries and becoming an expert on what they are doing environmentally. I have been looking into Ecuador and Switzerland. These two countries are in very different spheres when it comes to their environmental impact. Ecuador has been known for burning their trash and the government said enough is enough and decided to create a landfill in order for the people to have a slightly better way to dispose of their waste. However, when the citizens heard of the idea to make a landfill, they protested stating that it would be bad for the environment. The government listened to this and decided it wasn’t best to have a landfill, sadly nothing has been changed and they are still burning their trash in order to be rid of their waste. On the other hand, there is Switzerland who have also been burning their trash. However, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Switzerland has found a way to burn their trash into renewable energy! Crazy right! Currently, with Earth Day Network, I am trying to reach out to government officials in Switzerland to get more of a word out about what it is Switzerland is doing with their waste and how to engage the rest of the world into using that system or some sort of version of it that works best for them.

As I continue with this project I hope to learn more about many different countries and I hope to be able to reach out to them in order to get them on board with our Earth Day 2020 campaign. Until next time blog viewers. And just as a final note, I’d like to say how incredibly grateful I am to have been given this opportunity to work in DC for the summer and it is truly thanks to the donors of the grant program at Dickinson that I am able to take part in this. I can’t wait to keep sharing the fun things I’ve been doing!

The First Week

It’s hard to believe that my first week at Earth Day Network is already over. This afternoon, after I got off work, I was scrolling through social media when I saw this image.

Naturally, I laughed to myself for a while as I walked home.

But in all seriousness, I couldn’t be happier working in DC for Earth Day Network. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who was very passionate about helping people and human rights issues, with a side passion for creating an awareness for the environment. However, in doing this internship I’ve already learned a lot and have become almost hyperaware of my actions contributing to climate change and what I can do to change that. I’m extremely excited to say that I have the privilege of helping EDN support the March for the Oceans  this weekend in DC. On Saturday I will be given a press badge to go back stage and will be able to interview speakers like Dr. Sylvia Earle and Philippe Cousteau. I have never been so honored to be even close to these people who have been so impactful in the environmental conservation conversation, but to have the chance to interview them too is a dream come true. I hope to say more about those interviews in my next post, but for now I’m happy to say I’m really excited for the rest of this summer internship at Earth Day Network with such nice and passionate people.