Next week on the opening night of the Princeton Environmental Film Festival (PEFF), an eclectic group of ten local leaders will be honored by Sustainable Princeton for varied contributions to the economic health and well-being of the Princeton community.
Chosen from 18 nominations by a volunteer review team, the award winners were selected for activities such as protecting and improving the natural environment; reducing waste and/or increasing recycling; educating others about sustainable practices and conserving energy or using it more efficiently.
Nominations were made earlier this month for individuals, organizations and/or businesses that are “catalysts and models within our community and have preserved and improved the natural, social or economic fabric of our town.”
Sustainable Princeton’s goals are to reduce the town’s fossil fuels energy use by 20 percent between now and 2020 and to reduce waste by 50 percent by 2016.
Sponsored by Sustainable Princeton with support from the Princeton Environmental Commission, the annual awards identify and reward Princeton’s best, brightest, and greenest in their efforts to create a sustainable environment. As well as individual citizens (teachers, school administrators, government employees, and religious leaders, among others) the awards recognize businesses.
“This year’s winners really stood out in each of our categories: resident, business, schools and individuals,” commented Sustainable Princeton’s Executive Director Diane Landis. “It is so very heartening to see the diverse types of environmental efforts going on in our community.”
“We want to hold up the winners as role models and show how many different ways a person can get involved in sustainability, from building compost bins by hand to serving on environmental commissions and boards to clearing trails,” said Ms. Landis.
The 2013 Sustainable Princeton Leadership Award winners include Christopher Albrecht, executive chef at Terra Momo, who is known for sharing his passion for food and sustainability with students, teachers and parents in Princeton’s public schools.
Bill Cirullo, principal of Riverside Elementary School, will receive Sustainable Princeton’s Distinguished Service Award for creating and sustaining a school community that is “a model for schools across New Jersey through its gardening education program and other sustainable initiatives.”
A Distinguished Service Award goes to Gail Ullman of the Princeton Environmental Commission in recognition of her long-term role as a liaison between the Princeton Environmental Commission and the Planning Board.
At Community Park School, the efforts of Sandy Moskovitz have been marked. Co-Chair of the School’s Go Green Committee, Ms. Moskovitz has consistently modelled sustainable practices in her own life and is being honored for “inspiring students, parents, staff and teachers to do the same.”
In addition to teachers, students Lauren Gully and Anthony Teng will receive awards: Ms. Gully, a student at the Princeton Theological Seminary, for initiating and coordinating sustainability efforts there and Mr. Teng, a student at Princeton High School and an advocate of the municipal compost program, for his leading effort in building compost bins and “for being a student ambassador for sustainability.”
For her efforts on climate change, Callie Hancock of the Princeton Chapter of The Citizens Climate Lobby joins two local residents who have done stellar work in clearing trails in two local nature preserves: Kurt Tazelaar and Sally Curtis are both Friends of Herrontown Woods, where their work provides improved access for walkers.
Organizations receiving awards are: Mountain Lakes Holding Corporation, for its stewardship of Princeton’s open space and natural resources and Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart for converting to geothermal energy in 100 percent of its academic spaces and other energy efficient practices.
Mayor Lempert and Sustainable Princeton Board Member Wendy Kaczerski, who founded the leadership awards in 2008, will conduct the ceremony on Wednesday, January 29 at 7 p.m. in the Princeton Public Library as a kick off to the Film Festival.
“Each of these winners show an exceptional dedication to their particular efforts and the [awards ceremony] will be especially inspiring because of this diversity,” said Ms. Landis. “Each winner is asked to speak about why they have undertaken their work! It’s a great event.”
Both awards ceremony and the PEFF Film Festival are free and open to the public. For more information, call (609) 454-4757 or visit: www.sustainableprinceton.org.