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.
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.
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?
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.
This article is the first in a series on Green Grants: The People Behind the Projects. Below is an interview with Jason Pessel (NYU Stern MBA ’15), who received a Green Grant for his project, Reefill. Reefill is a network of stations that gives members access to cold, filtered tap water throughout NYU’s campus and the greater NYC community. This year, Reefill memberships are free to all NYU students.
GG: Where did you get the idea for your Green Grants project?
JP: It started as an idea when I was walking through Manhattan. There’s no water fountains that you can find or anything–they just don’t exist in the middle of Manhattan. So I bought bottled water, and I was with my cousin and he started screaming at me, saying “That’s tap water! What are you doing? You are making all this waste!” So I started researching and realized that like 50% of bottled water is tap water, and disposed water bottles lead to problems with plastic in our oceans. In doing that research, before I was even at NYU, I realized when we buy bottled water, we are just buying tap water–it’s chilled and filtered, and then they are putting a fancy label on it and we are spending a lot of money on it and it is creating all this waste. But tap water is pretty much everywhere, so why couldn’t we find another way to make chilled and filtered tap water on-the-go that’s easier for people to access? So that kind of became the idea.
September 18-24th marks Climate Week NYC where dozens of fun and informative events are held around the city to celebrate all things sustainable. If you’re too busy to scroll the the long list, I gathered some of the events to check out.
Concert for a Sustainable Planet. The concert will future music from Beethoven’s Eroica and from contemporary composers like Yo-Yo Ma, Ronen Shapira and Merlijn Twaalfhoven. Monday, September 18. Carnegie Hall, 7-9:30 p.m. Read more
Feeling overwhelmed about the prospect of having to sort through dozens of clubs’ newsletters? Have a love for the environment?
Luckily, NYU has a thriving eco-community open to all students and faculty that’s easy to join. I’ll sort through all the lists and Facebook groups and give you the best green-focused clubs to join (in no particular order).
EcoReps is a great way to be a leader in your dorm without having go through the hassle of a hall council election. Plan monthly themed events like February’s Unplugged or Zero Waste Month to get residents into recycling and conservation.
I personally love the EcoRep community, you get close with the other EcoReps in your dorm and bond with others as soon as you find out they’re an EcoRep.Read more