What do you get after hundreds of phone calls, thousands of emails, some added faxes, and many late nights? An Energy Conference! One of the biggest tasks that have been assigned to me here at ECA has been to coordinate their 2013 Sustainable Energy Conference. The conference took place November 6, with approximately 170 people in attendance. The conference featured upcoming ideas and movements that are taking place all around the greater area of Philadelphia regarding sustainability, energy, and low-income individuals. There were 5 sessions- Accelerating Sustainability on the Municipal Level, Energy Efficiency in Philadelphia; What’s New?, Affordable Housing in Philadelphia; What’s New?, Storm Water Management, and LIHEAP and Crisis: How Can We Fix It?. All five sessions had numerous experts in these fields presenting their ideas and knowledge on their topics. A question and answer session at the end of each session allowed the attendees to ask their own questions about the subject matter.
Planning this conference from start to finish was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. It required a lot of patience and persistence, but in the end, it was worth it to see it all come together. Since the conference in November, I have begun conducting weatherization workshops to low-income individuals to teach them how they can weatherize their homes to help keep the cold air out and the heat in, all while saving money and energy. These workshops will continue through the winter, helping many people in the Philadelphia area stay warmer.
Alyssa Burkot graduated from Salisbury University in May 2013 with a BA in International Relations and minors in Environmental Studies, Conflict & Analysis and History. Originally from Sinking Spring, Pa, Alyssa has studied abroad in Morocco and India. She has also traveled extensively throughout Europe. These travel experiences have given her world perspective and awareness of environmental problems.