The College Celebrates Sustainability with Green Week 2011
This year, LaGuardia proudly expanded its annual Earth Day celebration into a three-day event. Coordinated by the Sustainability Council and sponsored by the College Association, Green Week 2011 had it all: student presentations, volunteer opportunities, holistic wellness workshops, and even food samplings!
On April 12, students, faculty and staff came together to celebrate Earth Day in style- in green “Join the Green Side” tee shirts, that is. LaGuardia students representing groups such as the Campus Improvement Association, Occupational Therapy Club and Dietetics Program rubbed elbows with guests from Clean Air NY, 511 NuRide, and the Tzu Chi Foundation. Some highlights included a creative collage from the Early Childhood Learning Center, green tee-shirt give-a-ways in exchange for “ecological footprint” calculations by the Sustainability Council, Meatless Monday menu samples courtesy of MBJ and the College cafeteria, and free Reiki sessions from SPARK volunteers.
During the “Green Expo” event on April 13, all participants had their own green agenda. Companies like Grainger and PepsiCo used the forum to promote eco-friendly product lines. A few tables down, Master Composters from Queens Botanical Garden demonstrated worm bin construction while affiliates from MillionTreesNYC took signatures for local tree-planting events. And across the atrium, programs like the newly developed Environmental Science major and the Planting Contest sponsored by Academic Affairs took the opportunity to engage the student body. And members of the recently formed GRASP (Green Actions for Sustainable Practices) student club recruited, handing out re-usable water bottles and pens made of 100% recycled material with the insignia “Go Green at LaGuardia.”
The GRASP club students are: (back) Avani Oguaro, president; (middle left to right) Evelyn Diaz, Solaine Coquillon-Master, Vice President, and Sonny Amaya, Treasurer; (front left to right) Aden-Francis Sinclaire, and Claire Taylor, Secretary.
On April 14, the Green Week 2011 events culminated with “GreenEd Workshops” in the Poolside Café, in collaboration with Global Conversations. President Mellow commenced the day’s proceedings, noting the timeliness of the beautiful weather coinciding with the conclusion of LaGuardia’s annual Earth Day events. Presentations followed from an array of topics including sustainable nutrition and agriculture from the Quantity Food Production course led by Instructor Cindy Pierce, an alternative energies demonstration from a LYCEE participant and high school student alongside mentor Dr. Zahidur Rahman of the MECS Department, and an explanation of the Water Footprint calculator by H2O Conserve Policy Analyst Kai Olson Sawyer.
Additional speakers on the 14 included Dan Miner, Director of BeyondoilNYC.org, Lilia Marquez, RN, who, along with SPARK Co-Founder Dave Gorczynski, demonstrated relaxation techniques and gave an inspiring speech about the power of the human mind, body and spirit; Alison Kling from Solar Map NYC and David Pierce from Con Edison. Rounding off the day were creative presentations from Sustainability Council chairpersons, the Campus Improvement Association, and Information Technology, as well as a sustainable pledge from the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Club.
LaGuardia’s Green Week event was a fun and educational way to promote awareness about sustainability on and off campus, and we hope that the message continues to spread well beyond Earth Day. In a community as vast as ours, it’s always a pleasure to see so many of College’s working parts unite for a greater and “greener good.”
Judi O’Toole is a Chemical Hygiene Officer in the Department of Natural Sciences.