What do you do in your current role?
As a Social Media Intern, I research and write stories about small environmental projects for The Ground_Up Project blog and help people follow The Ground_Up Project’s progress and mission.
What do you really enjoy about your work?
My favorite part about working for The Ground_Up Project is researching. There are incredibly inventive businesses working on environmental issues, and their projects are so innovative and elegant that they’re fun to just read about (and fun to write about, too). I often drive people crazy because I can’t stop talking about an especially exciting story. I love learning about and letting others know about all those clever people out there and what they’re doing.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt so far?
Before working on stories for The Ground_Up Project I never realized how many different ways there were to view and respond to the same problem. This has become especially clear while researching all the different solar projects that work off-the-grid. Previously I would think that a solar panel is a solar panel, but each project has its own flavor and style in the way they use solar power and work with communities. It’s inspiring and encouraging to see how similar projects can make themselves stand out.
Why do you like working with The Ground_Up Project Team?
The Ground_Up Project team really cares about getting people involved and interested in the environmental movement. I can see this in the way we choose projects for the blog: we look for stories that are not only promising and influential, but will be fun to read and will engage people with a new way of viewing issues. That’s not just what the blog is about, it’s part of what The Ground_Up Project is about in general. Nothing happens without getting people involved and interested.
Do you have a favorite sector? Why?
I particularly love the agricultural sector. As a food lover, animal lover, and lover of the outdoors, there’s no better area for me than farming. Most importantly, I recognize that many different environmental problems, from climate change to water pollution, stem from farms, so agriculture is a perfect place to address multiple issues at once.
Do you have a favorite project? Why?
Thimble Island Oysters holds a special place in my mind because it was the subject of my first profile, but also it’s such a beautifully elegant project. Kelp and mollusks are such overlooked resources that provide many ecosystem services, both while growing and after harvest. The business is also based near where I grew up on the Long Island Sound, so thinking about the beautiful setting may have something to do with my favor as well.
In your own words, why does small matter?
Small businesses contribute to a robust intellectual marketplace, where the failure of one large entity doesn’t take down everyone else and where any good idea can succeed. I believe there are ideas out there that can successfully address any and all environmental issues, but they just need the opportunity to thrive and show others that new ideas are worth something. That’s the key to how we can innovate and move forward with the environment.
Michael Jacob Lebwohl is an undergraduate at Yale University working towards a double major in Chemistry and Environmental Studies. He cares deeply about all environmental issues, but is primarily interested in sustainable agriculture in all its forms and interpretations. Michael has worked on various farms in New England, and absolutely loves working with farm animals. He also tutors and mentors in various capacity through programs at Yale. While home from school, Michael lives in New Jersey with his family.