Green programs push NYU toward eco-friendly future
February 25, 2014
Bestcolleges.com recently named NYU one of the top 50 green universities because of its environmentally-friendly initiatives, such as its recycling program and its reduction of on-campus greenhouse gas emissions.
One of NYU’s campus projects is the Office of Sustainability’s Unplugged competition. The competition, closing at the end of February, is intended to motivate students and faculty to reduce power use in residence halls. The winning residence hall will win tickets to see recording artist Bonobo.
Rubin residence hall is currently in the lead with a 10-percent energy reduction followed by Coral Towers residence hall with an 8-percent energy reduction.
Rubin’s resource manager Kody Trauger said residents who participate in the challenge are entered into a raffle for a gift card.
“One of our RAs developed a program in which residents were encouraged to give up one electronic device for the week and post a video showing themselves unplugging it,” Trauger said.
Residence halls and student-run clubs are also starting initiatives on campus that contribute to making NYU greener.
Residence halls have been making simple changes to improve the environment apart from the competition. For example, Rubin has recently rearranged its bin setup, placing recycling bins closer to trash room doors to increase the rate of recycling.
NYU club EarthMatters ensures that students know they are part of a supported group effort.
Joe Silver, CAS senior and vice president of EarhMatters, said the club has initiated recycling in residence halls and has applied for green grants to raise awareness of different green initiatives.
“Many students want to lead greener lives but are often frustrated by an apparent lack of impact they can make on their own,” Silver said.
EarthMatters has also hosted speakers to talk about their work and research. One example is Jim Hansen, leading climatologist and former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
NYU green clubs seek initiatives such as EarthMatters’ Earth Month, during which clothes swaps and movie screenings are planned.
Stern freshman Aya Issa appreciates NYU’s efforts to remain green.
“It is admirable how NYU has been striving to sustain the environment in the middle of a city that hosts a great number of people,” Issa said.
CAS sophomore Mohit Mehta said he has noticed green efforts around campus.
“It’s good that NYU students are environmentally aware, and that the school administration takes the trouble to segregate waste,” Mehta said.
Silver said the efforts are positive, but NYU should work harder.
“I know many of us won’t rest until we are number one,” Silver said.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 25 print edition. Caren Doueiry is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]