by Peter Janetos, Summer Intern, Second Nature

(This post is part of a series by the Second Nature team about why we do what we do.)

Having a father who was knowledgeable about sustainability and global climate change never really mattered to me until later in life. It wasn’t until early high school when global warming and serious environmental impacts really got my attention. I took a class my senior year of high school called Environmental Systems; in retrospect probably the most important class I took in high school, and really opened my eyes to global climate change. After the school day was over my head would be buzzing with questions off of topics we discussed in class, and who better to ask than my own father. My questions would deviate off onto other questions and before I could blink we would be having a full-blown conversation starting with GHG emissions ending with politics and our ailing economy. This continued well into college.

Majoring in “the hard sciences” never appealed to me but nonetheless the issues of global climate catastrophes lingered in the back of my mind. I decided to major in Communication because I thought I’d be good at it, with a minor in Kinesiology because it only made sense to me that I take some type of sports related classes. As I went through the first half of my college career, questions would still keep popping into my head about not only climate change but life choices, patterns I never noticed before, people, jobs, my future, and I knew just who to ask. I’m fortunate to have the smartest man I know be my own father and that is really something I shouldn’t be taking for granted but at the same time I do because I’ve grown such accustomed to his knowledge and help.

Last year I took my first science related course in college, called Nanoscience. Nanoscience by definition is the study of Nano sized objects in our environment such as polymer. The class just took a hold of me, largely because my professor was fantastic. This was the first time Nanoscience had been offered at The University of New Hampshire (UNH) and because of that we had a very loosely defined syllabus and we could discuss and debate about which topics we wanted to cover. Much to my surprise we talked mostly about climate change and sustainability. As the course progressed I realized that most of what we covered in class I had already been taught, by my father.

Working at Second Nature has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me. Second Nature has not only raised my awareness for change that I can personally do to reduce my carbon footprint, but my time here educated me on how bigger companies and universities also operate. As for my future goals, I will continue to pursue a career in sports journalism and Second Nature has given me some invaluable tools for this. Learning graphic design will help me create more elaborative posters and just the overall communication in the workplace. Sustainability never used to excite or motivate me, but with the help and knowledge of my father it’s brought me to Second Nature.