Khadija Greenidge Staff Writer
Students, faculty, and staff joined together for the LIU Post Recycling program’s third annual Sustainability Luncheon, in order to highlight the importance of sustainability to reduce the climate change in addition to recycling and “green” efforts.
The luncheon has become an annual event since 2011. Billy Achnitz, a graduate student in the new MS for Environmental Sustainability program, presented Sustainable Pioneer awards to clubs, organizations, students and faculty, who advocate sustainable living.
The two clubs that were honored were TWIce as Nice and The Runway. The identical twin Copresidents, BriaLetã Greene and Tia-Mona Greene, accepted on behalf of their club and president Samantha Vega accepted the award for The Runway.
According to Achnitz, Twice as Nice and The Runway were both chosen to be honored with a Sustainable Pioneer Award because they have both promoted sustainable behaviors within their club. Along with also being very active clubs within Student Life, they have added environmental and sustainability components within their programming.
The Runway held a program called Fashion For Less, which aimed to show students that you could create fashion with reused or recycled materials. This year’s fashion shows also featured the eco-fashion designer Joanna Del Giudice, who crochets dresses, ties, and other clothing out of VCR and cassette tape and plastic bags.
TWIce As Nice most recently did a Flea Market program where students sold items in Hillwood during common hour. Other clubs could sign up for a table to participate in the flea market. The Recycling Program was one of them. The majority of the items sold at the flea market were recycled items or items that were being reused. This program model will also be implemented in future flea market-type programs where students can sell their unwanted belongings as an alternative to throwing them out.
Two students who actively participated in the LIU Post Recycling Program, Environmental Educator, Rechelle Abalos, and Environmental Assis- tant, Kevin Perez, were also honored with Sustain- able Pioneer Awards.
The three faculty and staff winners were Dr. Margaret Boorstein, chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, and Eric Bauer and Amy Rojek of Facilities Services. Each award, pigmented green, was made from recyclable glass.
After an hour of presentation, food was served to those in attendance. During the lunch break, the recycling program reintroduced the Blender- Bike. Just a few days prior to the luncheon, students were invited to make their own smoothies for one dollar, through pedal-powering the blender attached to the bike.
LIU Post is the first university on Long Island to have a blender-bike on campus. Aramark Dining Director, Shawn Carvajal, said, “The idea derived from two admissions officers who thought of powering a light bulb through the power of exercise.”
Somehow the idea changed from a light bulb to a blender. “The Blender-Bike is definitely my greatest accomplishment as part of the Recycling Program; the amount of happiness I receive from seeing people exceeds far past my expectations” said Achnitz. Carvajal and Achnitz hope to sell smoothies and use the profits to donate to recy- cling based organizations.
Scott A. Mandia, Assistant Chair of Physical Sciences and Professor at Suffolk Community Col- lege, ran a twenty minute long presentation about how the super storm Sandy led to a “wake-up call” for action toward reducing climate change. Mandia said that “global warming at the hands of humans caused a one foot increase at sea level.”
Freshman Pre-med major, Jackeline Jurado, said the event was “very informative and educa- tional. It made [her] want to get more involved and make a difference.”
In addition to the Pioneer Awards, recycling scholarships were given. In previous years, the awards amounted to $250 and $600. With the col- lection of over 20,000 bottles the Recycling program was able to produce over $1000 in scholarships.
The Creative Sustainable Expressions schol- arship had three winners. Samantha Vega won the third place, $125 award; Amal Zeidan’s poem won the $250 second place scholarship. The first prize winner of $1000 was Graduate Masters of Art student, Nancy Wong, for her painting of a carbon foot-print embedded with flags of multiple coun- tries pressed into the earth.
“Everyone in the U.S. and other countries try to make a difference by leaving their footprint in the efforts of sustainability,” said Wong. “I felt that depicting my art in this way was best as to representing everyone, even those not painted, in the process of saving the earth.”