Future of NYC: Sustainability Opportunities & Challenges in Building a Green City
Nowadays everyone is talking about global warming, climate change, CO2 immersions, water and air pollution, recycling, etc. But what do we really know about it? Are we doing anything to prevent it?
Even though New York City is home to over 8.5 million people it has started to be a model of environmental responsibility. Every day more and more people are beginning to think about their own and the next generation’s future and are recognizing the challenges of preserving an environment that is so fragile. Our government, schools, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals are taking part in programs which are taking sustainability to a higher level.
Participating in The Future of NYC event showed me the significance of what it stands for. The speakers not only demonstrated what the immediate repercussions of our actions are in the short term; they revealed how, as self-driven individuals, all of us can not only make changes to our own lives by contributing in ways we could never have imagined, but also help to inspire others so that as a whole community we can make the world a better place in the long term! It became clear very quickly that there are so many benefits New Yorkers don’t know of, and this month’s meeting was all about this.
The event was organized by Be Social Change and this month’s speakers were: Mitchell Grant (Operation and Building Manager at RXR Realty), Christopher Collins (Executive director as Solar One), Andrew Hoyles (Organic Outreach Manager at NYC Department on Sanitation, Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability), Jacqueline Lyoussi (Executive Director at White Roof Project) and Dart Westphal (Interim Executive Director at Support Center for Nonprofit Management/Partnership in Philanthropy). Mitchel Grant is a great example for NY and worldwide landlords and building management companies. His main focus is energy conservation, sustainability and operational efficiency.Christopher Collins puts all his energy into complex commercial and environmental litigations, civil rights, securities and many other areas of law. Andrew Hoyles is specializing in diverting organic waste from the trash at the home, community, and citywide level since 2009. In his current position as the Organics Outreach Manager for the NYC, he works to stoke resident participation in NYC’s curbside Organics Collection Program. Jacqueline Lyoussi joined the board of the White Roof Project in 2012, transitioning to Executive Director in May of 2015. As a lifelong activist in human rights issues, Jacqueline’s passion and dedication for environmental justice and community service initially drew her to the simple, yet effective concept of white roof coating. Dart Westphal has been committed to making sure the development and improvement of open space is recognized as an essential part of the mix.
These people are a great example of what a community can do by protecting our planet. They challenge everything and everyone! Not only do they themselves make the impossible seem possible but they inspire all around them to feel like they can do the same.
Here are some helpful links where you can find more information on new programs which are available to you:
- Urban Green Council
- Zero Waste Challenge
- NYC Center for Materials Reuse
- Big Reuse
- Million Trees NYC
- Green City Force
- WE ACT
- Eco Anchor NYC