Lauren Gully (M.Div., 2014) was among ten local leaders who were honored by Sustainable Princeton, a nonprofit organization focused on practical solutions to reduce energy use and waste. The award winners were selected for activities such as protecting and improving the natural environment, reducing waste and/or increasing recycling, or educating others about sustainable practices. Gully received the 2013 Sustainable Princeton Leadership Award for initiating and coordinating sustainability efforts at Princeton Seminary.
“I was really surprised and honored when I found out that I was selected as an award recipient. It was a humbling experience to meet others in the town who are working toward the same goal. I was proud to represent the Seminary and the community,” said Gully.
Gully has been serving as the Seminary’s sustainability coordinator since May 2012. In her role, she works with staff and students to expand the campus’s sustainability efforts. Some of the initiatives she helped implement include expanding the community garden at the Charlotte Rachel Wilson Apartment Complex, transitioning the Seminary to single stream recycling, implementing a composting program, ensuring that more organic and local produce is available in the dining hall, and establishing the Tiger Transit loyalty program, which rewards students, faculty, and staff for riding frequently.
“The joy that I find in nature, in composting, and in being in the garden—tied to nature and experiencing God and living things in the world encourages me to think responsibly about the environment,” she said.
Gully’s interest in sustainability initiatives began when she was attending college at University of California, Berkeley. By attending UC Berkeley, a leader in stewardship of the environment, Gully said she received an education in sustainability. She learned about stewardship and why caring about the environment is important.
In the coming months, Gully looks forward to working with Green Faith, a nonprofit organization that helps religious institutions and seminaries become green. She also hopes to implement a TerraCycle program, which upcycles and recycles traditionally nonrecyclable waste into a variety of consumer products.
On the ordination track for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Gully wants to incorporate her commitment to sustainability into her ministry.