Contributed by Solange Fortenbach

courtesy of

On February 6th, a culmination of academics and environmentalists congregated in NYU Law School’s Greenberg Lounge to discuss and learn about the ways in which racial diversity is, and, needs to be increased in the environmental movement.

The event, hosted by Green 2.0 and the Institute for Policy Integrity, consisted of two panels and a few introductory speeches by Richard Revesz, Dean Emeritus at NYU Law; Lisa Coleman, NYU Chief Diversity Officer; and Robert Raben, founder of Green 2.0.

Green 2.0’s mission is to uplift both women and people of color in the workforce. Raben stated, “the closer I get to the epicenter of power, the more I see how messed up it is.”

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For those of us who are aggressively eco-conscious, it can be difficult to bring awareness to our less “green” friends. We’ve all been there: you’re out to lunch with a friend and they pull out a cringeworthy, disposable plastic water bottle. It’s great to urge those around you to make more sustainable choices, but remember, it’s not always easy to break lifelong habits.

Instead of shaming them and shoving a million facts about carbon emissions, global warming and waste etiquette down their throats, try a more subtle approach to integrating sustainability into the conversation.

Here are some easy ways to help your friends and family become more sustainable without them even knowing it!

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Welcome to Green Grants: The People Behind the Projects. Below is an interview with Emily Hirsch (NYU Wagner School of Public Service, MPA Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy), who was awarded a Green Grant to install a dishwasher in the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life for her project, Bronfman Goes Green. 

Emily Hirsch, Bronfman Goes Green

Emily Hirsch with the newly installed dishwasher at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. The dishwasher will reduce waste and foster sustainable practices at Bronfman.

Green Grants (GG): Where did you get the idea for your Green Grants project and why did you see a need for this project? 

Emily Hirsch (EH): When I started working at the Bronfman Center, I was responsible for office management and I noticed how many paper goods we went through in a week. I’ve always been passionate about the environment, so I started thinking about ways we could reduce our paper good usage. Since this is the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, a dishwasher became more complex due to keeping it kosher.

Kashrut (Jewish dietary law) in its strictest form does not allow meat and milk to be combined in any way. This makes a dishwasher complicated because we can’t use the same cutlery for both meat and dairy and would also need separate dishwashers and sinks. Our solution was to pick either a meat or dairy dishwasher for the [Green Grant]. We serve more dairy meals than meat meals and a dairy dishwasher would have the most impact on our community to reduce the amount of paper waste we went through.

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Contributed by Gabriela Pino 

green dishwashing gloves

courtesy of flickr

A few years ago when I started school at NYU one of the hardest transitions for me was residence hall living. Faced with strange faces, new freedoms, balancing life and academic responsibilities; the adjustment was a challenge. Once I settled into my new environment I began the see my residence hall as my home. I enjoyed personalizing my space with photos and decorations and strove to keep my new oasis tidy and clean. Read More →

This Monday we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. who bravely pushed for racial equality half a century ago, and whose legacy inspires people stand up for justice every day. While it is nice to have a relaxing day off from work and school, a great way to honor MLK is to volunteer! There are tons of service opportunities around the city happening tomorrow, and some of them are particularly focused on bettering the environment around New York City.

NYC Parks has a few event’s happening tomorrow, including a forest restoration event tomorrow

morning at Ferry Point Park. The scenic Bronx park is an important part of the community, and has locations that were a part of the Million Trees NYC project. Come and help clean up debris and better the area for it’s residents!

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Whether you’re staying on campus for January term or visiting for the weekend, there are plenty of green ways to spend your time in NYC.


Courtesy of Wikimedia

Brooklyn Winter Flea

Brooklyn Flea gathers some of NYC’s finest artists and clothing collectors to sell sustainable products. If you have last minute holiday shopping or just want to treat yourself for the new year, Brooklyn Flea is a NYC favorite.



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2017 was a great year for films. We got a million different Marvel movies, another Star Wars and finally a Wonder Woman. Besides blockbusters, some of the best documentaries about sustainability were made by passionate environmentalists like Al Gore. So when it’s family movie time, instead of watching Love Actually for the 10th year in a row, why don’t you try one of these fabulous new docs?

Courtesy of Vimeo

What the Health

The controversial film was released earlier in the year made people consider adopting a vegan lifestyle. The documentarian explored links between a meat- and dairy-heavy diet and serious diseases like obesity and diabetes. Some have argued that they may have stretched the truth. You’ll have to watch for yourself and decide what’s the truth.

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2017 has been an exciting year for the Office of Sustainability, check out some of our highlights!

Residence Halls Competed in NYUnplugged

For the second year in a row, Lipton Hall saved the most energy and raised awareness about conserving energy through the NYUnplugged residence hall energy competition. Residence halls put sustainable ideas into action by replacing their lightbulbs with LED, lowering their thermostats, and making delicious smoothies with a bike-powered blender. 

We #MarchedForScience

Earth Month includes several interesting programs and activities. In addition to our Educating for Sustainability lecture with waste experts Robin Nagle and Dr. Cassandra Thiel, members of our community held events on meat consumption and food justice, religious perspectives on the environment, and urban ecology. Dr. Jane Goodall spoke at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Jane Goodall Institute!

On Earth Day, 150 members of the NYU community, representing the Office of Sustainability, students organizations and activists, and President Andy Hamilton packed a DC-bound bus with beautiful posters and a desire to see evidence-based policy through the March for Science. The day was filled with marching, teach-ins, and an event with former EPA employees.

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Welcome to Green Grants: The People Behind the Projects. Below is an interview with Jon Chin (NYU Steinhardt, Graduate) and Kitty Liang (NYU Stern, Undergraduate) of Open Kitchen, an initiative of Share Meals that received a Green Grant. Open Kitchen is a series of community classes that brings NYU students together and teaches them how to cook. Stay up-to-date with upcoming events here.

Jon and Kitty

Jon Chin (Co-founder of Share Meals) and Kitty Liang of Open Kitchen

GG: Where did you get the idea for your Green Grants project and why did you see a need for this project? 

Jon Chin: Another Steinhardt Master’s student [Leanne Brown] a couple years ago did her thesis on developing a $4 per day cookbook, so I thought it would be great to take that and put it into practice. Our first Open Kitchen class was led by her, and we were able to get students the culinary and shopping skills that they needed.

NYU is this weird and tricky thing. It’s in the middle of NYC, so the cost of living is extremely high. This is the first time students are living on their own and also a lot of them probably aren’t coming from high-cost living areas, so it’s really tough for them to be able to budget correctly–to pay for tuition, clothes and especially food–and I know that if students aren’t eating well, then they’re not performing well. So one really great way to build a stronger community, to build a better NYU, is to make sure our students are eating well. I want to show students a) how to cook for themselves–if they can cook at home, they can reduce their grocery budget by a lot–and b) how to cook healthily. We might be feeding ourselves, but we might be feeding ourselves the wrong things, and that does disastrous things for our health and for our energy and performance. I want to build a better NYU through food.

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Contributed by Alesha Bradford

It’s the holiday season once again, which marks a time of giving to loved ones and those in need. Perhaps you’ve practiced an environmentally conscious lifestyle for some time now, or maybe you’ve just started the journey!

For the old and new, these are some green gift ideas to give or do that’ll get everyone in the sustainable-spirit and start the next year on a green note.

Courtesy of Static Flickr

Buy gifts from a sustainable source

If you’re willing to do some research, buying a gift from a sustainable source is a great way to support eco-friendly companies. To find out about a company’s practices, you can look on their “FAQ” page on their website, check their product descriptions or even contact a representative if you’re still unsure. Asking these questions not only encourages informed consumerism, but will also lead to companies making this information more accessible to the public so they can more easily make environmentally-conscious shopping decisions.

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