What I Learned on My Summer Internship at the EPA

By Alex Gorsky

My internship at the Environmental Protection Agency was a whirlwind of excitement and opportunity. I was able to meet so many interesting and important people.  Not only did I meet directors of each of the EPA’s program offices, I also got to meet Administrator Lisa Jackson. At the beginning of my internship I went and heard Ted Danson speak and also got him to sign his new book, “Oceana.” I also got to write a couple of articles for the EPA’s Greenversations blog, attend two conferences related to aging and the environment, as well as the regular office work many interns have.

Even though I did so much over the summer, I still have a lot of work to do when I return home. I want to bring the things I learned on the job back to my home and school. For instance, there are many great programs that my school can take advantage of provided by the EPA’s OnCampus program. I am going to try to take the knowledge I have gained while working here and bring it back to my school in order to get it more environmentally friendly, which can help save money. At home, I can educate my family and friends about health and environmental issues, like simple ways to avoid heat stroke during the hot summer months. Even though my parents have chosen to “green” their house, such as making efforts towards recycling, there are some more things that they could do to further improve their overall environmental efficiency. For example, having a rain barrel to collect rainwater and use that to water plants during dry seasons. I will also look with them to find proper ways to dispose of medicines and electronic devices.

There are a bunch of easy things you can do to help the environment, and you don’t even need to work at the EPA to do them! Turn off the lights in a room you aren’t using, take public transportation to work, instead of turning the heat up put on a sweater, use a push mower instead of one powered by electricity or gas. The opportunities for environmentalism are endless! Look at EPA’s Pick 5 for the Environment for more examples.

About the author: Alex Gorsky was a summer Intern in the Office of Public Engagement. He is a senior at Beloit College majoring in Environmental Studies.

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