Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 03:14 am est

Green programs push NYU toward eco-friendly future

Posted on February 25, 2014 | by Caren Doueiry

Via Facebook 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


Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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