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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Short review about RYEP (free report)

by Nikolay Dagaev | 18-08-2019 04:41 Comments 9 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

As I said, the most important event of this summer for me, as Ambassador Eco-generation TUNZA, was the participation in the youth exchange program of students in ecology — RYEP (Russia Youth Exchange Program).  In my previous report, I briefly described the programme and its results.

And in this report, I want to focus a little more on those aspects of the program that are directly related to the environment and sustainable development goals.

Dartmouth College and new Hampshire

During the program, we attended American colleges, which pay great attention to the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

I heard about Dartmouth College before the trip. It was founded in 1769 — exactly 250 years ago, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. When the authorities of new Hampshire in 1819 tried to nationalize the University, graduates defended the independence of the University and created a judicial precedent, according to which the state can not interfere in the private Affairs of educational institutions.

Dartmouth College is part of the prestigious Ivy League (it includes 9 us universities, including Yale, Harvard etc.).), so we went to one of the most famous universities in the United States.

One of the points of the program was a visit to Dartmouth farm — a place where you can not only enjoy nature, but also learn a lot about the steps of Dartmouth College in terms of sustainable development.

The farm has an apiary, acreage, hydroponics and maple syrup. It was created as an educational project in order to acquaint Dartmouth students and other visitors with modern sustainable methods of agriculture.

My impression of visiting the farm was twofold. Sustainable farming methods are indeed widely used there. But when you see that the energy supply is mainly using liquefied gas, and the production of maple syrup is very expensive (1 liter of syrup requires 40 liters of maple juice), you begin to realize the difference between environmental friendliness and sustainability: this is not the same.

Also at Dartmouth College we visited the Center of life Sciences. There we saw classrooms, a biological exhibition, greenhouses, a "green roof" (when most of the roof of the building is reserved for planting) and even equipment for collecting rainwater. Extremely useful thing, by the way.


July 11 we arrived in Vermont — one of the small States in the North-East of America. Some interesting facts about the state:

1) the State is very small — it is home to less than a million people, the population of the largest city does not reach fifty thousand, and the capital (Montpellier) — ten.

2) the Environment in agricultural Vermont is given considerable attention. For example, a large number of educational institutions are reorganized according to the canons of sustainable development (buildings are rebuilt, the life and work of economic services are changed, etc.), farms use modern eco-friendly methods of growing crops. At the same time, there are many educational projects designed to acquaint everyone with the environment and sustainable development.

The weekend passed quickly, and it was no less exciting time to travel with classmates in Vermont and get acquainted with the environmental programs of the state.

The first in line was sterling College — a small institution (125 students in total), aimed at training in the framework of environmentalism. The College is very well equipped: it has its own farm, where they learn to grow crops, using the latest achievements in the field of sustainable farming. For energy supply, the institution uses only environmentally friendly sources — 70% solar panels, 30% hydropower. In terms of both sustainability and sustainability, the College looks almost perfect, but the problem is that such a sustainable community is very local. To implement such initiatives on a global scale is almost impossible — it is recognized by the employees of the College.

 On Tuesday, July 16, we visited the Shelburne farm. It was founded in the XIX century, but in the 1970s it gradually grew from a farm into a non-profit educational project. The farm is still functioning and even sells what is produced, but only enough to compensate for the costs. On the farm regularly bring students in order to acquaint them with the methods of farming and instill a more careful attitude to nature.

By the way, Shelburn is not behind the times — even on the roof of the Central building, built 130 years ago, there are solar panels that give the necessary electricity. In my opinion, an excellent example of how to reorganize business and optimize it for modern realities.

After lunch, we were waiting for a real job: we were offered to collect the wood brought from a large pile to a smaller pile for transportation. It was easy, and feel a couple of hours in the skin of an ordinary farm worker is also useful — better understand the life of farmers.

On Wednesday, we went to Middlebury College, another University in Vermont famous for its summer language school, which lasts eight weeks.

At the very beginning of the visit, we visited a house built by College students for the Solar Decathlon competition — houses that work only on solar energy participate in it (this energy source is very popular in Vermont). The house is made wisely, a lot of interesting design decisions are applied: for example, the roof is made at an angle that during snowfalls snow from a roof moved down. Students even lived in these houses for some time and they appreciated them, although the usual campus seemed to them more convenient.

We were then shown the Biomass Plant — a facility on the College campus built for steam heating, water heating and delivery to nearby homes.

For the most part, the water is heated there by burning wood: the company brought finely chopped chips, they are heated in an oxygen-free atmosphere, decomposing to gaseous products, then they are burned, achieving greater combustion efficiency. And it would seem that everything is fine — a relatively environmentally friendly production, albeit partially water is heated by burning natural gas. However, there is still one "but".

When we were told about the zero "carbon footprint" of the enterprise, this statement was explained by the fact that the carbon dioxide released from the burning of the tree, the trees also absorb. But the trees themselves emit the notorious CO2 during breathing. It turns out that production is not carbon-neutral, but only has a smaller "imprint" than others burning oil and gas (which is also a big question, because the heat of combustion of wood is much less than that of hydrocarbons).

After lunch in the local dining room, Professor mark and I went to the forest to practice.

We measured trees: type, diameter, whether it is possible to measure (whether it is live). Then by measurements it was possible to calculate approximately total biomass of a tree. This has been a good tool in understanding how forest biomass assessment "works" and what it is used for; for example, it is a very important parameter in the purchase of forests by someone.

Yes, there is no doubt that the visit to Middlebury College was rich and full of various impressions.

On the same day we visited The Chittenden County waste separation facility. It was built in the 80s, when it became clear that the only landfill of Vermont is almost filled, and by law to build a second landfill was prohibited. At the enterprise separate the garbage which is not suitable to processing, from plastic of different types (polyethylene of a high pressure, painted and unpainted, plus polyethylene terephthalate), aluminum, steel, paper (usual paper+cardboard of two types). Personally, I think the visit of such an object is very important, because there comes a full understanding of what is really shared, what is recyclable and what is not. 

Then we went to the compost production facility, where we were told in detail about what it is in General, how compost is produced, what problems arise in the process and how to solve them. It turned out that the company has long been taking food waste from ordinary families and from other companies: for individuals waste up to 30 gallons (about 110 liters) will be free. But since 2020, Vermont is going to introduce a separate collection of food waste everywhere, so it will soon be irrelevant to carry its "food scraps" on its own machine in order to give them for processing.

By lunchtime we arrived back in Burlington — had to get acquainted with the University of Vermont (UVM). We were shown the Central building of the campus — Davis center, it looks very modern, it was recently rebuilt. It turns out that according to the LEED assessment system (energy and environmental design guidelines), the building received a gold certificate. On the way to the next building — Aiken center, which received a platinum LEED certificate, we visited the UVM library, combined with a small exhibition about the history of the University.

Eiken center was interesting before the "green roof": there is no direct exit there, so we went up there by the fire escape.

On the roof, in addition to the plantations themselves, there was a small weather station and several sites for draining rainwater. Part of the rainwater that got on the plants, but not absorbed, goes down, all from the roof is 8 streams, which can then be analyzed to, for example, to understand how much water can absorb plants with the soil or what substances are absorbed and which remain.

  Then we went to the ski resort Sugarbush (Sugarbush). Almost immediately after the arrival, we were shown a presentation on how Sugarbush was gradually transformed from an environmental point of view: free charging for electric vehicles, tanks for separate waste collection, local streams were cleaned, electricity consumption was reduced and, of course, solar panels were built. It was in Sugarbush that I saw what I really wanted to see — a thorough analysis and monitoring of the environmental situation, as well as well as well-thought-out and planned measures to reduce the environmental "imprint". Many businesses and businesses in Vermont are missing either the first or the second.

I am very pleased with the results of my participation in the RYEP program and look forward to the new academic year to start the implementation of my project, which was developed by me on this program.



Shougarbush Midlberry college Shalbern farm2 Shalbern farm Sterling college1 Sterling college Greenhouse Dartmut farm1


Nikolay Dagaev

  • Nikolay Dagaev says :

    Hello sagar koirala! Thank you ))
    Posted 26-08-2019 03:18

Nikolay Dagaev

  • Nikolay Dagaev says :

    Hello Wonhee Mentor! Thanks! Feedback from mentors is very important to me.
    Posted 26-08-2019 03:18

Nikolay Dagaev

  • Nikolay Dagaev says :
    Hello Kushal! Green Cheers from Russia! )
    Thank you friend, that always read my reports.
    Posted 26-08-2019 03:09

sagar koirala

Wonhee Mentor

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Nikolay!

    Thank you for sharing your report on RYEP(Russia Youth Exchange Program). In this report, it seems that you have more focused on the details of the program and how you felt about each session. I'm very glad that you shared what you've learnt from the program with fellow ambassadors. Keep up the good work!

    Wonhee Mentor
    Posted 21-08-2019 14:09

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello nikolay
    I hope you are fine.
    Thank you so much for this report,
    I have gone through your most of the reports. They were also interesting.
    Keep up with great work
    Green cheers from Nepal.
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 21-08-2019 00:42

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Nikolay

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Short review about RYEP. You have been doing really great my dear friend. Congratulations on all your achievement and keep doing great works.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 20-08-2019 22:39

Nikolay Dagaev

  • Nikolay Dagaev says :
    Hello Yerdaulet Rakhmatulla! Thanks for asking! Getting into the program is not so easy, because the competition is high: this year there were 450 applications for 40 places, more than 11 people per place, and personally I have no doubt that next year the competition will be more fierce.
    Criteria for selection of participants:
    &#8212 Age. 18-20 years. If you are 18 years old before a certain date (this year was June 1, 2019) or include 21 to replace &#8212 OK.
    &#8212 Citizenship. Of course, you need Russian citizenship. This seems obvious, but just in case I'll mention it.
    - Stay in Russia at the time of application and at the end of the year of the trip(then you will need to submit the project, but more on that later)
    - Participation in environmental projects / initiatives and the desire to participate further or create new projects upon return to Russia (if before the trip they created the project themselves-it's all great)
    - Good English, not only spoken but also written.
    - Possibility to obtain a J-1 visa. In order to mainly travel to the States, you will need to obtain this visa. Visa parameters can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Russia and on this website: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ru_ru/ru-niv-visatypeinfo.asp#exchange_visitor
    - Ability to stay in the United States for four weeks in June-September of the year of travel. All clear.
    &#8212 The desire to live in a host family in the United States. Yes, it's a requirement, because in a week and a half in Vermont, if you pass the selection, you'll be living with host families.
    &#8212 Return to Russia immediately after completion of the program.
    Perhaps there is a similar program for Kazakhstan. I recommend you to look for information on the website of the us state Department.
    Posted 19-08-2019 04:12

Yerdaulet Rakhmatulla

  • Yerdaulet Rakhmatulla says :
    Great trip! Happy for you, Nikolay)
    What are the requirements for participation?
    Posted 18-08-2019 14:53

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