posted 2012-03-22 00:10:46

Hunter Green Scene

New green projects are afoot as Earth Week approaches

Kaitlin Mckendry

Staff Writer

As the temperature begins to warm, Hunter’s green happenings are heating up right along with it. This March, student green projects are popping up all over campus. With April (along with showers) will come some electrifying events in celebration of Earth Week 2012. I am here to keep you up to date with the projects you should know about, the hydration stations you should be drinking at, and the events you definitely want to be a part of.

Ever wondered where the “fees” section of your tuition and fees goes? In recent years Hunter has started allocating some of those funds every semester to support green initiatives at Hunter. That’s right, folks, you have been pitching in! It’s called The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) and it is comprised of money allocated from the student activities fee. If you are mad to find you’ve been pitching in to a greener Hunter (maybe you hate breathing?) it might make you feel better to know that this fee allocation was, in fact, decided by democratic process. Back in 2009, members of the Sustainability Project sought to re-allocate the money that had previously funded a discontinued Hunter publication, for TGIF. In May 2010 students voted upon the issue on a USG ballot, with approximately 94 percent of voters supporting the start of a green program at Hunter.

That’s all well and good, but where is all of this money going?

One project is headed up by student Danielle Amodeo, president of the Hunter Sustainability Project and member of Paths to Animal Liberation, who is working with help from TGIF to teach students about vegan living. Her undertaking, which began in February, consists of a series of vegan cooking demonstrations and giveaways. Perhaps you have seen her making vegan cookies in an apron on the 3rd floor of Hunter North, or giving away coconut milk in Hunter West. If you haven’t tried it, it is time to check out Amodeo’s ridiculously delicious, “I can’t believe it’s not real cheese”, vegan grilled cheese: she will be on the 3rd floor of Hunter West on April 16 giving them out.

Maybe veganism isn’t your jam, and that’s okay! What about biking? The latest undertaking TGIF is funding is the Hunter Bike Project. The goal of the project is to make Hunter College a more bike friendly campus, and encourage more people to opt for this sustainable mode of transportation. Danny Ovyrn, the student behind the project, has just begun using his funds to make a difference at Hunter. The first event Ovyrn planned was a free bike maintenance class. The class took

place on Mar. 6 in the lobby of Hunter West, and it was as informative as it was fun. There will be more introductory maintenance classes coming up as well as some advanced classes, according to Ovyrn. The classes will focus on bike maintenance, safety and adwvocacy. In other words, whether you’re a novice biker or the finest city cyclist around, there will be an event that’s fun for you! Ovyrn also hopes to organize group bike trips this coming spring that will go throughout the city, Jersey and beyond.

For those of you who have wisely invested in reusable water bottles, congratulations, your forward thinking is finally paying off. It’s time for you to take a visit to one of Hunter’s brand new Elkay Hydration Stations! Made possible by TGIF, these state of the art systems offer those with water bottles (or any container, really) refreshing, chilled and filtered water. As someone who always totes around a reusable bottle, this is exciting news.

Speaking of water, the 2012 senior class legacy gift is going to be a filtered water fountain, so long as students donate a suggested sum of $20.12. While it doesn’t seem particularly necessary to have a special commemorative fountain, especially when TGIF has allocated funds for the Elkay Hydration Station project, those of you who see it as indispensable can donate your Jackson and twelve cents (to be exact) on Hunter’s main website.

Also, incase you were unaware, Earth Week starts on April 16. Hunter is celebrating by participating in a “No Impact Week,” a one-week carbon cleanse which is aimed to make individuals realize how “no-impact” living can have a positive effect on quality of life. Each day of the week will be dedicated to a different challenge of green living, everything from composting to making sure you turn off the water while brushing you teeth. Students can expect to learn a great deal about sustainable living and the ways in which one can be a greener citizen – which is what we all want, I’m sure. If you are interested in taking part of “No Impact Week” register online at http://noimpactweek.org.

While we’re at it, do you have a green idea that makes Hunter purple go green? TGIF can make it happen! To find out more about the application process and criteria, check out cunysustainablecities. org.

Hunter College is continuing to become a sustainable place, one student at a time, and there is nothing stopping you from getting involved. Stay green.