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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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
ENERGY: Switch - Produced by Harry Lynch and Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker, 2012 98 min
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.
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
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
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.
What’s more beautiful than the fall colors that adorn Princeton each autumn? Leaving those leaves where they can do some good. Consider them an asset to the soil and plants. The Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC) recommends 6 things you can do to take advantage of leaves:
- The simplest thing to do is to rake or blow leaves into your woodlot, if available, or in an obscured portion of your yard such as behind shrubs.
- Mulch leaves with a mower so they can disappear back into the lawn. The fragmented leaves can also be raked onto flower beds as a mulch—a technique particularly appropriate for owners of small lots. Some leaves, like those of silver maples, crinkle-up and all but disappear into the lawn on their own, even before mowing. For thick, persistent leaves like those from a red oak, a corral or the mulch mower approach will keep them from blowing back into the yard. Though a mower with a mulching blade would be optimal, all power mowers should do an adequate job.
- Spread leaves on garden and leave them there to hold in moisture, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool in the summer, and slowly release nutrients. Planting tomatoes, for instance, requires nothing more than parting the leaves to put the new plants in. The leaf mulch reduces rotting of any tomatoes that touch the ground.
- Create a leaf corral. A corral or circle of wire fencing will help contain the leaves and keep them from blowing around. A readily available fencing is 3 feet high, green, and comes in rolls at the local hardware store. The corral is essentially invisible when tucked in a back corner of the lot. A U-shape may be preferred so that leaves can be raked right into the enclosure rather than lifted over the fencing. The leaf pile quickly reduces in size over the winter. The leaves can be left to decompose, acting like a sponge to catch the rain, and releasing nutrients to benefit the health of all trees and other landscaping in the vicinity. Contrary to popular notions of composting, it is not necessary to laboriously turn the pile. Leaf piles do not create odors.
- Use leaves to control weeds by raking them towards the fence line where they can serve as a mulch to keep down weeds that often dominate there. Dump leaves on any other weeds or groundcovers that are getting out of control. A thick layer of leaves discourages weeds. For weeds or groundcovers strong enough to push up through the leaves, first place overlapping pieces of cardboard on the undesired plants, then use the leaves over top to hide the cardboard. Both will decompose over time.
- If the leaves must leave the property, bag them.
Taking these steps will reduce flooding, water and noise pollution, energy consumption, and municipal costs.
Click here for the PEC's Princeton's Guide to Fall Leaf Management for more information.
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.
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.
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!
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!