Alex Maulden ’16 is working with the Fiver Children’s Foundation this summer to perform a sustainability audit of Camp Fiver, located about five miles from Colgate’s campus in Poolville, New York. She is looking at data from the camp’s operations—energy and water usage, solar energy, composting, recycling, purchasing practices, even cleaning supplies—to recommend more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices that may save the organization money. Her recommendations will detail the cost of proposed changes and factors that the foundation will need to consider when implementing these changes.
She is also working directly with the campers at Fiver to help them understand why they should be concerned about sustainability and how they can make more sustainable choices every day. In Fiver’s work to build strong character in their campers they focus on several key traits, one of which is environmentalist. She is teaching several sustainability classes to the campers and leading tours around camp to show the campers her research and her recommendations to improve sustainability. By educating campers in sustainability issues, she hopes that many of them will leave camp with ideas for implementing sustainability in their home lives.
The project builds on Alex’s developing interest in sustainability and the environment. As a biology major, she has taken Conservation Biology and become very interested in learning about sustainability. She is developing skills that will be important for her continued education by researching concepts, collecting data on energy usage, and analyzing potential alternatives. Her collection of data related to solar energy systems has been especially valuable in the last weeks, both for the development of her project and for potential money-saving options for the camp. Her project is also teaching her about the industries related to sustainability, and giving her ideas about the fields she may want to pursue after she leaves Colgate.