Energy & Waste Are Represented in Princeton Pubic Library's Environmental Film Festival Official Selections

 The Official Selections have been announced for the Princeton Public Library's 9th annual Environmental Film Festival (PEFF). Amongst the line up of thought provoking and notable films are selections that explore the implications of the energy and waste choices that are being made around the world.

Here's a run down of the films that focus on energy and waste:

Friday, March 20th

7:00 pm

WASTE:  Just Eat It - Directed by Grant Baldwin and produced by Jen Rustemeyer, 2014 75 minutes

Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. But as Grant’s addictive personality turns full tilt towards food rescue, the ‘thrill of the find’ has unexpected consequences.

Sunday, March 22nd

1:30 pm

ENERGY:  Oil and Water - Produced and directed by Francine Strickwerda and Laura Spellman-Smith

Oil & Water is the true story of two boys coming of age as they each confront one of the world’s worst toxic disasters. Hugo and David were born on opposite ends of the oil pipeline. Hugo comes to America to fight for the survival of his Cofan tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon, while David leaves the U.S. and goes to Ecuador to launch the world’s first company to certify oil as “fair trade.” Their journeys lead them to explore what could be a more just future, not just for the Cofan, but for all people around the world born with oil beneath their feet.

Monday, March 23rd

4:00 pm

ENERGY:  No Pipeline: Say the Friends of Nelson - Produced by Julie Burns, George Mccullough and Anna Savoia, 2014 29 min

The effects of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) are felt far and wide. “No Pipeline” looks at a community in Nelson County, Virginia fighting a gas pipeline which threatens the beauty of the countryside and change the way of life they have come to love.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers George McCollough and Anna Savoia. 

6:00 pm

ENERGY:  Switch - Produced by Harry Lynch and Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker, 2012 98 min

Every energy resource — fossil, nuclear and renewable — is undergoing profound changes. This sweeping transition is the subject of “Switch” and travels the world to discover how it most likely will happen, with a focus on the practical realities and balanced understanding about changing the way we use energy, to realize the many economic and environmental benefits of efficiency.

7:30 pm

ENERGY:  Above All Else - Produced and directed by John Fiege, 2014 95 min

In this first-hand account of activists on the front line of the climate fight, one man risks it all to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, “Above All Else” follows David Daniel, a retired stunt man and high-wire artist, as he rallies neighbors and activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline.

Tuesday, March 24th

4:00 pm

ENERGY:  The Walking Revolution - Produced by Every Body Walk, Rigler Creative, 2013 30 min

Cities were once designed on a human scale. As more and more people took to the roads, the suburbs quickly became the new frontier. After 75 years of planning that produces a sedentary lifestyle, a radical redesign of our cities and open space has begun. Parks and paths are making a comeback to create truly walkable communities through partnerships between residents, businesses, developers, municipalities, urban planners and health care providers.

Thursday, March 26th

10:00 am

ENERGY:  Switch - Produced by Harry Lynch and Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker, 2012 98 min

See above.

12:00 pm

WASTE:  Racing to Zero - Produced by Diana Fuller directed by Christopher Beaver, 2014 59 min

By substituting the word “resource” for the word “garbage,” a culture can be transformed, and a new wealth of industries can emerge, presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste.  The film examines how the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020, and tracks San Francisco’s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising, engaging and inspiring race to zero.

7:00 pm

Screening Location: Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts, James M. Stewart '32 Theater 185 Nassau Street, Princeton

ENERGY:  The Overnighters - Produced and directed by Jesse Moss, 2014 100 min

In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck when hydraulic fracturing in that region unlocks a vast oil field in the nearby Bakken shale. Upon arrival, however, busloads of newcomers step into the sad reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep – the town lacks the infrastructure to house even those who do find gainful employment. A modern-day “Grapes of Wrath,” the film engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of re-invention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the practice of one small community when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job seeking strangers.

Saturday, March 28th 

6:30 pm

WASTE:  Trashion Show

Walk that red carpet in an outfit made from...trash! Well, recyclables anyway! And we are offering some design help in creating your outfit this month, with two workshops lead by Princeton Day School teacher Olivia Rutigliano. The workshops are intended for children, teens and college students. Workshop Dates: Saturday Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the Princeton Public Library. Details here.


Sunday, March 29th 

11:00 am

WASTE:  Divide in Concord Produced by David Regos and Jaedra Luke directed by Kris Kaczor, 2015 82 min

Jean Hill, a fiery octogenarian, is deeply concerned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—the world’s largest landfill. She spends her golden years attending city council meetings and cold-calling residents. Since 2010, she’s spearheaded a grassroots campaign to ban the sale of single-serve plastic bottled water in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. So far, her attempts to pass a municipal bylaw have failed. As she prepares for one last town meeting, Jean faces the strongest opposition yet, from local merchants and the International Bottled Water Association. But her fiercest challenge comes from Adriana Cohen, mother, model and celebrity publicist-turned-pundit, who insists the bill is an attack on freedom.  When Adriana thrusts Jean’s crusade into the national spotlight, it’s silver-haired senior versus silver-tongued pro. In the same town that incited the American Revolution and inspired Thoreau’s environmental movement, can one little old lady make history? A tense nail-biter of a vote will decide.


For the full line up of the selections, check out the PEFF website and don't forget to follow on Facebook. Hope to see you there!



S.H.R.R.E.D TEMBERFEST is Back! Princeton's Biggest Recycling Event

Mark your calendar for Princeton's annual S.H.R.R.E.D TEMBERFEST taking place Saturday, September 20th from 10 AM to 2 PM at multiple locations. This annual event organized by the Public Works Department and provided by the NJ Clean Communities Grant & the NJ DEP Recycling Tonnage Grant, is a great way for Princeton residents to recycle many household items rather than send them to a landfill. Shred your personal documents - 10 am - 2 pm, Witherspoon Hall Parking Lot, Witherspoon St.

recyclingHousehold goods & Clean Clothing - 10 am - 2 pm, Witherspoon Hall Parking Lot, Witherspoon St.

Rain Barrels $30.00 per barrel (small quantities available), Witherspoon Hall Municipal Plaza

Recycle home medical equipment - 10 am - 2 pm, Witherspoon Hall Parking Lot, Witherspoon St.

Electronic & computer recycling - 10 am - 2 pm, Witherspoon Hall Parking Lot, Witherspoon St.

Dumpster discards & Donate bikes - 10 am -2 pm, Valley Rd & Witherspoon St.


Backyard compost bins will also be available for the subsidized price of $30. Backyard composting is a great way to divert food waste from being sent to the landfill.  According to the EPA's 2012 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization Report, 21% of waste going to municipal landfills is food waste. We can put that waste to a better purpose by composting and putting important nutrients back into the soil. Limited bins are available so arrive early.

Rain barrels will also be available for the subsidized price of $30.  According to the EPA, lawn and gardening take up about 40% of water usage during the summer months in the Mid-Atlantic. Rain barrels help conserve water and energy. It takes energy to treat and transport water to consumers. To learn more about rain barrels, check out this FAQ from the Rutgers Water Resources Program.

Also taking place on this day, is the Mercer County Improvement Authority's Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Electronic Recycling Event. Mercer County residents can bring hazardous waste and electronics for recycling and safe disposal.  The event takes place at the John T. Dempster Fire School 350 Lawrence Station Road, Lawrenceville.  Go here for details on what materials are accepted.

Not able to make it S.H.R.R.E.D TEMBERFEST or to the MCIA event, check out the Princeton Municipal website for more information about recycling.

Princeton Composts: Do You? Curbside Organic Waste Collection Sign Up Now Online

Online registration for the "Princeton Composts" Curbside Organic Waste Collection is now available via the Princeton municipal website.  We hope you will sign up today for this award-winning program...and get your friends and neighbors to sign up too! red arrows in apple shape on yellow background over green lettering indicating "Princeton Composts"

There are many benefits to the town's curbside composting program.  Its very easy to do, and a great way to learn how waste can be turned into a usable product, reducing its environmental impact. Curbside composting also saves money for the town due to increased recycle rates and lower trash dumping fees.  In the first six months of the program, residents saved over 60 tons of waste from landfill, equaling $7,500 saved in municipal trash disposal costs!

Weekly organic waste collection costs just $65/year.  For more information about the program, see the municipal website sign up page, or contact Janet Pellichero, Princeton's Recycling Coordinator, at 609-688-2566.

Your street may win a prize if everyone joins the Princeton Composts program.  Of course, shorter streets, like Regatta Row (three of four homes signed up) do have an advantage, but the program may look at a block by block competition in the future.

Here are the top three streets for Princeton Composts sign-ups as of mid April:

  • Jefferson Road - 20
  • Dodds Lane - 14
  • (Tie) Mount Lucas Road and Hawthorne Ave - 10 each

Help your street move to the top of the list by  joining the Princeton Composts program and asking your neighbors to join too.  Thank you to everyone for your support of this great program!