Projects Developed by Students, Faculty and Staff Reduce Environmental Impacts and Contribute to Public Engagement on Sustainability Issues
New York University’s Sustainability Task Force today announced its 2010 “Green Grants” recipients. The Task Force, now in its fourth year, received more than 50 detailed proposal submissions ultimately awarding some $75K in grant monies to 14 projects.
"This third cycle of grants to students, faculty and staff really span the breadth of possible topics and environmental issues,” said Jeremy Friedman, NYU’s Manager of Sustainable Initiatives. “The projects will help the University reduce environmental impacts, engage the community, and advance applied research and educational goals,” he said.
A sampling of the projects include: The creation of the “Center for the Sustainable Built Environment” at NYU’s Schack Institute for Real Estate to provide a multi-disciplinary platform to advance sustainable development research and practice in the real estate and construction industries; “Ride Down Memory Lane” the creation of a MP3 self-guided bike tour to educate participants on the history of NYU and promote environmentalism by including historical locations; “Kimmel Herbalmania: Edibles for All” which will use different spaces within the Kimmel Center for Student Life to grow edible plants in containers, collaborating with the university's catering office and chefs to educate on how to use the plants in nutritious and appetizing ways; and “French Fry Oil into Biodiesel Fuel,” is designed to evaluate the NYU Dining Halls’ current recycling of used fryer oil to determine the optimum combination of services and environmental performance from the available vendors, and then educating NYU’s student body about the biodiesel conversion process.
"Green Grants give members of the NYU community the unique opportunity to identify areas of environmental concern and implement solutions they themselves devise,” said Zoe Abram, NYU student and member of the 2009-10 Green Grants Committee.
“I was awarded a Green Grant in 2008-09 for my project “Community Agriculture Club,” notes Abram. “Coming out of that process, I can say that this year’s grants are really exciting, and I am impressed with the thoroughness with which the applicants have thought through their plan,” she said.
“This year’s application process was very rigorous, requiring an initial letter, a full proposal, and then a finalist round in order to arrive at this superb set of projects,” said Friedman.
Each proposal was also evaluated on its likely impact on the campus environmental footprint, its ability to be self-sustaining or institutionalized after initial funding, and its feasibility and potential for successful implementation.
The establishment of the Sustainability Fund is part of NYU’s Green Action Plan, which was announced by Michael Alfano, NYU’s executive vice president, in October 2006 with the goal of reducing NYU’s impacts on the environment and saving energy. At that time, the University announced the purchase of 118,000,000 KWh of wind energy, the largest of any university in the U.S. or any institution in New York City.
For more information about the Sustainability Task Force, to learn more about the Green Grants, and for updates on last year’s completed projects, visit the website.
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