Creative Civic: Lawrence Township's "Living Local Expo" - UN Climate Report - Video Feature
Last Saturday (3/29), NJ Arts News filmed the impressive Living Local Expo in Lawrence Township, with help from five Drew University students. The expo included 75 vendors, demonstrations, and workshops on organic farming, green design, curbside composting, energy and water conservation, and much more. The Drew undergraduates will be producing news videos on the expo as part of the university’s Civic Engagement course on Community and Nonprofit Vocations.
Our current video, "NJIT Professors Seek Smarter Buildings," features Architect Martina Decker and Environmental Chemist Som Mitra. They're envisioning new architectural design elements that have immense potential for reducing our use of carbon-based fuels to heat buildings.
For example, they project that flexible solar cells and batteries in window shades could harvest and store the sun’s energy. Professor Decker anticipates window shades that react to changes in temperature and allow a smaller percentage of solar heat to enter a building in hot weather and a greater percentage during cold weather. With Doctor Mitra’s thin, flexible batteries, such building materials could be marketable in the next several years. Professor Decker's shared her ideas on at the 4/3 TedX event at NJIT.
The increased urgency of the major report by the UN panel on climate change released Monday, though daunting, is a step in the right direction. While immense changes in weather patterns have been observable for years, the authority of this definitive report might encourage citizens to think in new ways about human needs and resources.
(Tim is a senior and history major at Franklin & Marshall, currently taking electives in Economics and Philosophy at Drew.)