"You can do whatever you want as long as you make our camp more 'green' and you get our community thinking about sustainability and Eco-friendliness, and also solve our problem of attracting bears to our compost pile." That was my job description for the summer of 2014 at Camp Ramah Outdoor Adventure (ROA).

So here's what I did:

Hydroponic Towers:

With 5-Gal of water a week each one of these towers grows 14 heads of leafy greens. Placed at the entrance to the dining hall community members were reminded to think about where their food comes from at the beginning of every meal.

Bear Proof Composting

Bears and summer camps are like oil and water, they don't mix well. I knew that the compost would need to be mixed and stored in a way that bears would not be able to get access to it. After calculating approximately how much food waste the kitchen produced I realized this thing was gonna have to be BIG. Luckily instead of reinventing the wheel I worked with John Anderson, who already had a design for industrial composters, to come up with a solution that could manage our camps waste. John fabricated two composters for us each with a capacity of three cubic yard, I over saw their delivery & maintenance over the course of the summer as well as grading their area to keep them balanced.

Trash Bear:

By involving the entire community and their trash I was able to create a statue of a bear. This project not only got those who were a part of it thinking about their waste but when it was finished it was placed in public for everyone to interact with. The bears "skin" is made from old tent windows, they can be unzipped and lifted to see the trash inside. The bear is made of 100% trash!

No Tree Left Behind:

While planting new trees for every tree you cut down is nice, what happens to the ones that come down? Ya they can be used as fire wood but they can also become functional objects. ROA had to remove some trees to build a new building. I fashioned one of them into a two person throne and another that had snapped in half into a podium for the rabbi to address the community.