Hundreds of students, faculty and staff visited the annual Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Sustainability Fair on April 20 in Richard Harris Terrace.
“BMCC’s Sustainability Fair shows our commitment to the exchange and implementation of the best ideas and practices to promote healthier environments, lifestyles and resource conservation,” said Thomas Ching, Chief Administrative Superintendent of BMCC Buildings and Grounds.
The event, held two days before 192 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day, featured activities and exhibits, an eco-themed film series and demonstrations from environmentally friendly groups and organizations. Guests included the New York City Police Department, the New York City Fire Department and Upstate Greek Yogurt, a food producer from upstate New York that sources its dairy products from a cooperative of more than 100 local farmers.
Student involvement in sustainability
Among the student volunteers at the fair was BMCC Early Childhood Education major Maria Espinosa, who said the Sustainability Fair is a chance to learn more about how to conserve natural resources we might take for granted. “I also think it’s important for people to teach their children about the issues facing our environment at an early age,” said Espinosa.
BMCC Public Health Professor Yuliya Shneyderman was stationed at a self-cleaning fish tank and water garden. She and other Public Health professors handed out tiny soil starter pots seeded with basil and cilantro plants. “It’s important for students, especially those in an urban setting to understand where their food comes from,” said Shneyderman.
Science major Joshua Hunter said the Sustainability Fair raises awareness about global warming for students.
“I try to do my part by recycling, limiting the number of plastic bottles I use and carrying my own bag to the grocery store. Those things add up,” said Hunter.
At another table, Engineering Science majors Moheb Salmoun and Mayurny Cordova were busy demonstrating a miniature solar energy panel project they’ve been working on with Science Professor Rafael Niyazov. The solar panel’s innovative feature is a built-in mechanism that tracks sunlight
“The goal is to capture more light, and thus more energy, so it’s more efficient,” said Salmoun.
Ongoing sustainability efforts at BMCC
BMCC’s rooftop of the 199 Chambers Building will soon be home to the city’s largest array of solar powered energy. The project is just one of the steps the College has taken to reduce its carbon footprint.
Over the past five years, the college has made material investments in green-enhanced infrastructure and sponsored green workforce training initiatives for students and staff.
In the last year, BMCC recycled 71.5 tons of office waste, 16.25 tons of bulk metals and obsolete furniture, and 12.25 tons of mixed plastic, glass and metals.
The College also uses green cleaning products, purchases recycled paper products, has a green roof at Fiterman Hall and has reduced energy consumption on campus by 23.5 percent, compared to the 2012 baseline.
To learn more about BMCC’s Sustainability efforts and projects visit: