The choice of An Inconvenient Truth as LaGuardia Community College's 2007-2008 common reading is yet another example of the college's commitment to a future of environmentally conscious policies on our campus and of our support of the partner communities we serve in New York City. Other examples of college initiatives include:
LaGuardia Community College Sustainability Council
LaGuardia’s newly developed Sustainability Council is a product of the CUNY Sustainability Task Force and is dedicated to reducing our institutional impact on the environment while facilitating long-term sustainable changes on campus. The Sustainability Council consists of administrators, faculty members, and students and confers upon an array of environmentally ethical topics, from recycling and water usage to physically "greening" the campus. The accomplishments of the Council thus far include the following:
- The implementation of a resource recovery program (converting used cooking oil to biodiesel) in the Cafeteria.
- The elimination of Styrofoam coffee cups in the Cafeteria.
- The "Green Solutions" student contest (students were encouraged to submit their ideas for greening LaGuardia to the Council for some highly esteemed prizes).
- The installation of three Zurn pint urinals as a pilot project in the Men's Room near MB15 (pint urinals consume 85% less water per flush than the regular 1 gallon per flush urinals)
- The replacement of conventional faucets with photovoltaic (solar) faucets in the restrooms.
- Next up: plans to install a lighting controls panel in the Poolside Café .
The Environmental Club
The Environmental Club is one of LaGuardia's newest organizations. Its first meeting will be called at the beginning of Fall I, 2007 to select officers and establish goals for the year. The club's projects may include planting trees, Long Island City clean-up days, getting out the information about recycling, trying to curb littering, getting involved with the Long Island City Community Boathouse to work on the waterfront, and other projects.
If you are interested in joining the Environmental Club, contact Professor Robyn O'Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The NY Designs homepage explains that "with funding from NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), NY Designs has begun a special initiative to educate and encourage designers to develop new innovative products using renewable energy technologies." In fact, NY Designs offers seminars open to the public as well as links through the website to green-conscious programs and companies such as Green Home NYC, BASIC (dedicated to the use of solar power in NYC), and the American Wind Association's Small Wind in New York Project. Past seminars open to the public include The Business of Green Products, How to Design and Sell Green Products, and Principles of Sustainable Design.
Environmental Research at the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives
The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives supports historical research into environmental issues in New York City. In 2004, for instance, the Archives published 20,000 copies of the 4th/5th grade curriculum "City Government and You: Keeping New York City Streets Clean since the 1800s." The texts from the Archives used in this curriculum are included on this site under Teaching Resources.
If you have any further inquires, or would like to conduct research at the La Guardia and Wagner Archives, please contact: Tara J. Hickman at 718-482-5065.
LaGuardia's Physical Plant
LaGuardia's current and future capital projects are designed to meet the certification requirements of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design of the U.S. Green Building Council. For example, the new classrooms at Center 3 (the "C" building) will have windows opening to the hallway so classes can benefit from external light, while the Main ("M") building is expected to house solar panels on its roof. Overall, the renovation of all of LaGuardia's facilities continues to focus on providing the college's faculty, staff, and students with a clean and healthy atmosphere for study and work.
LaGuardia's Opening Sessions
The Opening Sessions programs bring faculty, staff, and administrators together at the beginning of every academic year to connect the LaGuardia community to issues facing the college—including the environment. In 2005, the keynote speaker for the sessions on "Educating for Global Citizenship" was Dr. Debra Rowe, an authority on the integration of sustainability into education, and a senior fellow at the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, while this year the theme of the sessions is "Going Green: Responding to the Ecological Crisis."
Earth Day 08 at LaGuardia
Poster from LaGuardia Earth Day 08 (pdf):
Top 10 Sustainable Facts Your Didn't Know About LaGuardia
Earth Day 07 at LaGuardia
[Click to see larger images in LaGuardia's Greening Gallery.]
In 2007 , LaGuardia's three-day celebration of Earth Day began with the showing of An Inconvenient Truth on Tuesday, April 24 in the Main Stage Theater. The program continued on Wednesday, April 25 and included the following:
- "Opening Remarks, Common Reading, and Project Quantum Leap" by Dean Paul Arcario of Academic Affairs
- "LaGuardia's Role in Environmentalism" by President Gail Mellow
- "LaGuardia's Recycling Program" by Eileen Murray of the Office of Housekeeping
- "The Growing Connections and Food Sustainability" by Dr. Richard Quest of Corning Community College
- "Green Roofs in NYC and Sewage in our Waterways" by Kate Zidar of Lower East Side Ecology Center
- "Closing Remarks" by Vice President Peter Katopes of Academic Affairs
Also on the 25th, representatives from different departments, programs, and clubs throughout the school community displayed their work related to the environment in the atrium of the "E" building. The program closed with a second showing of An Inconvenient Truth on Thursday, April 26 in the Little Theater.
The LaGuardia Community College Health and Safety Office
The Health and Safety Office offers practical advice on how to help prevent global warming via e-mail, and is now getting ready to launch a website featuring resources to help stop global warming.
Read more about LaGuardia's environmental efforts in "Green Is for the Environment" by Tony N. Lugo in Livewire 59 (May 12 2007).