Throughout my Island School experience, I’ve had a lot of firsts. My first night-time scuba dive, my first short haircut… but perhaps one of the firsts that I honestly never anticipated to experience here was my training as a quasi-plumber expert! Biodigestion is a process that has many useful benefits that range from the reduction of waste materials to the production of renewable energy- none of it would be conceivably possible, however, without proper plumbing and piping. So I sat down with Sam, our biodigestion advisor, where he taught me the ins-and-outs of how to properly clean and seal two pipes to activate a pressurized valve. I learned how to most effectively cut a pipe and intricate gluing techniques. Only 20 minutes ago I thought I knew nothing about plumbing, when I now realize how simple and applicable it is! I’ll be earning brownie points by fixing my friends’ sinks before I know it!

This short lesson is just one example of a critical skill I’ve learned here during my experience. Before my arrival here, I did not only not know what biodigestion was, but I hardly knew anything about sustainable development or waste management. Now I feel as though I will return to New York City with a new knowledge and a mission to integrate biodigestion into our nightmarishly unsustainable lifestyles. I assure you all that I’m not going to be just some Joe the Plumber, and that Evan the Plumber-Filmmaker-Scientist will make some repairs on our leaky societal systems!