Recycling Photo Contest

Last week, the LIU Post Recycling Program sponsored a photo contest.

Take a picture of your recyclables and win a prize!

Every person that submitted a photo received a reusable water bottle and was entered into a raffle for a $25 gift card to the LIU Post Bookstore.

The winner of the gift card was Amal Zeidan, who submitted a picture of her recyclables in the trunk of her car. She said:

“My family and I make it a point to always recycle and never throw out bottles, magazines or newspapers. We even reuse glass jars – anything that can be recycled, we believe should not go to waste.”

Winner 1

On the way to the grocery store

Winner-1

Amal won a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card for submitting the above picture

Shaking

By: Carolyn Cresci, Winner of the 2014 LIU Post Recycling Scholarship, Sociology Major, Class of 2014

She grew up anxious.
Crying,
gasping,
panicked,
sweating,

Shaking.

She was fourteen. Her parents tried to help her but she closed herself from their love.
So she shook.
The therapists tried to help her, but she wouldn’t speak.
They couldn’t find her triggers. Everything triggered her.
And so she shook.
The medicine stopped her shaking but it also stopped her will to try.
So she stopped the pills, and continued to shake.
She was twenty. She got on a plane and went far away, shaking the whole way.

She woke up one morning and forgot where she was. This tent in the African savannah was not her warm bed in which she shakes.
So she shook in her sleeping bag.
But she could not hide in a tent, the way she could hide in her home.
So she stood up, and grimaced as the sun hit her face.

What is this world? She wondered, seeing the trees and the mountains and people around her. How did I get here? She asked, but received no answer.
She trembled,
But suddenly she had to know more.

She was welcomed into the home of many, not one of them questioning her silence. They spoke to her in foreign tongue, and took her silence as an opportunity to teach. They grew silent together. They showed her to explore when she was scared. Njoo, they said. Come, learn. Do not hide. See the simpler things in life –
Drink water, child. Boil it for yourself.
Visit the neighbors. Bring them milk from our cow. And when they feed you in return, you thank them, my child. Use your voice. Friends are a blessing, so make them.
Cook, child. Filter the pebbles from the rice with your own two hands. Peel the potatoes with a dull knife. Light the fire to create a stove. And be sure to save the soap you used to wash the fruit, for we will use it for our dishes and our laundry tomorrow.
Take time for the little things, child. The smallest of tasks are the more important.
And when she began to tremble, they taught her to pumzika. Rest, my child.

She returned five month later.
Her parents greeted her at the gate, welcoming them into her arms,
and she entered them gladly.
They all stood frozen, waiting for the shaking.
But the shaking never came.
She looked up at them and smiled, her face glowing with the aftermath of the warm sun,

“Change,” she said, loudly and clearly,
“I am the change, and I have brought it home with me.”
A year has gone by, and she is still the change. She has taught it to her home.
When she does the dishes, so she does them by hand, conserving water.
Do it this way, mother. She teaches. It has not always flown so freely from these faucets.
Recycle your bottles, father, for others are impacted by your trash.
Take home your leftovers, brother. Eat them for lunch tomorrow, for each meal is a gift.
Carpool to school, my dear friends. The gasoline you pump into your car flows freely through the oceans far from here, destroying many important ecosystems.
Every person in this room is richer than half of the world, my fellow students. Do not cry over loans, because someone was eager to give them to you.

Invest in health, both yours and the health of those around you. Actively use your education, empower the women in your life. These things will decrease poverty throughout the world. Use the privileges you were born with, and the privileges you have gained for yourself, to bring life to another. You have been put on this Earth for a reason, and we must keep its nature as well as its people together.

Never forget that you are the change. We are all the change. And once you have embraced it, you must teach others. For the most important part of change is guiding the way, so that more change will happen after you.

Do not shake, my friends, for there is a whole world out there in need of your strength.

Celebrate Earth Week at LIU Post

EARTH WEEK 2014

TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014

Sustainability Dinner WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014

Authentic SustainabilityWEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014

Recycling Photo ContestThursday, April 24, 2014

TEDx

Friday, April 25, 2014

RelayForLife

Getting to The Red Carpet: My Journey With Blue Wrap

By: Joanna Del Giudice, Owner, Uniquely Dipherent by Joanna Stella,      LIU Post Alum (BFA, 2011, MA, 2013)

I am an artist, teacher, and entrepreneur. During my free time, I am determined to save the world with my art, one stitch at a time.

One day, as I was browsing the web for different art opportunities, I stumbled across “Project Blue Wrap,” a name that reminded me of the popular TV show Project Runway, which, incidentally, many people had encouraged me to be a part of. However, the time restraints set forth in each competition wouldn’t have worked for me as it takes me over 100 hours to complete one full ensemble with the crochet technique that I use.

Intrigued by the name, I decided to check it out and discovered that it was indeed a competition that I could enter. The competition entailed using hospital blue wrap to make a dress and the chosen finalists would have their dresses featured on the runway at DC Fashion Week in Washington, DC. According to Inova, the hospital system that sponsors Project Blue Wrap, “blue wrap is a recyclable plastic fabric that is used to maintain the sterility of its contents – most often, surgical instruments and kits. None of the blue wrap used for Project Blue Wrap has ever been in contact with any patients and would otherwise be recycled.”

Immediately after researching this new opportunity, I reached out to a friend who works at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital to see if she could inquire about having them sponsor me, in addition to providing me with recycled blue wrap. Mather Hospital agreed and I acquired about 6 sheets. This proved to be easy; the hardest part was yet to come.

For me, the most difficult part for this competition was coming up with a design concept. In each of my works, I always like to have meaning, so ultimately, I decided to be inspired by the Forget-Me-Not flowers. I chose them because they were my college roommate’s favorite flower and her father had recently passed away, so I wanted to make a dress inspired by her.

I cut up the blue wrap into thin strips (that way it would act as yarn) and I began crocheting…

As the deadline approached, I literally utilized all of my free time. In fact, I began making parts of the dress in public, like a performance artist. For instance, I cut up one of the sheets of blue wrap while on the train to NYC for a concert. I also crocheted some flowers while I was sitting in line waiting for the concert to start.

In order to be considered as a finalist, there also were certain size requirements. This was to ensure that if a model were to wear it on the runway, it would fit regardless of what size she was. I began to search for females in my area who would fit those size requirements that way I could have the dress fitted properly. After all that work, I did not want to chance having my dress being disqualified over a size requirement. I had late night fittings and early morning fittings to work around everyone’s schedule. I was going to do whatever it took to make this dress “runway-ready.”

When it came time to finally mail it, I was both nervous and excited. I had never mailed one of my recycled crocheted dresses before and it had to go a fairly far distance. I had to mail it to Washington D.C. and the dress would have to be physically looked at and tried on. After mailing it, I emailed the woman in charge of Project Blue Wrap to let her know that my dress was on its way. She emailed me back to let me know that she had received it and that everyone in the office loved it. In fact, she said people were stopping by just to get a look at it. What a great feeling that this statement gave me!

However, there was another week to go before the finalists would be officially announced. My mother reassured me that I had to have been one of the winners after receiving such a lovely email. Turns out, the day before my 24th birthday, I received an email congratulating me that my dress would be featured in the kick-off event at DC Fashion Week in Washington, D.C.

The email also stated that I was the recipient of two tickets to the runway event for the kick-off of DC Fashion Week and that I would have two spots reserved for a guest and myself. I immediately called my friend from Mather Hospital and I made the trip to Washington D.C. with her because if it wasn’t for her help, then I would never gotten the blue wrap needed to make my dress.

Project Blue Wrap was such an amazing experience. I ended up sitting in the front row and I watched my dress be the first one to make its way down the runway at DC Fashion Week.

The most valuable thing I learned from this experience was that I do have the potential to get somewhere with my art.

The ultimate goal I have for my art is to one day make it to the red carpet. I want my art to be front and center, as the red carpet signifies a much larger audience. Eventually, I want that larger audience to view my art and learn about the importance of recycling and protecting the environment. Having someone from the entertainment world wearing a dress of mine and having it photographed would definitely make a statement.

I want to make that statement with my art.

blue-wrap

 

Coming Fall 2014: Environmental Philosophy

PHI 28 Flyer FINAL-page-001For more information, contact Professor Glenn Magee at glenn.magee@liu.edu, or call the Philosophy Department at 516-299-2341.

Win a Scholarship for Your Sustainable Efforts

The LIU Post Recycling Program, in conjunction with Sustainable Post, opened this year’s Sustainable Creative Expressions Award competition today. The winner of the contest will receive an LIU scholarship for an amount of up to $1,000. (Award amount varies dependent on available amount of funds.) Since 2010, the LIU Post Recycling Program has funded this scholarship with proceeds from the five-cent deposits for recycled bottles and cans on campus.

All LIU Post Students (graduate, undergraduate, full-time, or part-time) are eligible to participate by submitting an original creative work based on the theme for this year’s contest “Be the Change. Make a Difference.” Using the theme, students are asked to create a piece of work that reflects how they have changed the world and how they are making a difference, whether their work relates to LIU Post or the world at large. Works may include written word (essay, poem, short story, etc.), visual art (painting, drawing, photograph, dance, mixed media, graphic design, collage, etc.), or audio visual (composition, video, animation, etc.), but are not limited to those options.

All submissions must be turned into the Office of Student Life and Leadership Development at Hillwood Commons, room 102, no later than April 18, at 4 p.m. For additional information, contact William Achnitz, sustainability coordinator at LIU Post at 516-299-2623 or william.achnitz@liu.edu.

Scholarship-Winner

Last year’s winner, Nancy Wong

Press release via LIU Post

Recalling Climate Change

By: Sarah Pomerenke,Environmental Educator, LIU Post

Journal Entry: 30 October 2040.

Yesterday, when we were all having dinner, Tim asked me: “Mom, I just learned in my earth science class that at the beginning of this century there was a major problem with climate change. Why don’t we have this problem anymore today?”

I started to tell him that when I was his age, in about 2012…2013…back when I went to college for my undergraduate degree in international relations…a big debate went on about whether or not global climate change was in fact real.

Some argued that large amounts of carbon dioxide were being added to the atmosphere and in turn this created an artificial greenhouse-effect. Therefore, average temperatures on Earth began to rise. They also believed that if humanity did not act rapidly in addressing climate change, then the changing atmosphere would disrupt all life on earth.

Sea levels would rise, floods and droughts would become more frequent, and devastating storms would become more powerful. All of these were issues that the majority of scientists at the time said would be a consequence of growing climate change. Many climate activists even argued that global warming was the biggest threat humans had ever faced in their relative short time on Earth.

However, there were also many opponents to this idea. They believed that rising temperatures were simply a normal phenomenon in the Earth’s natural cycle. These people advocated that climate change was the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on humans and that it was only meant to scare people. Therefore, they believed that humans did not need to take action in order to address it. Furthermore, climate change opponents believed that there was no reason for taking drastic actions to address climate change since it would only devastate the economy and put us at risk to endure yet another recession.

I recall very fondly saying to Tim, “You see, Tim, this was a very critical point in our history. At this time in my life, the United States in addition to the rest of the world endured a very deep recession and the U.S. population struggled for many years as the economy recovered.”

I also told him that many people were simply overwhelmed by the immense size of the problem itself that the fear of not being able to address it was enough to paralyze them.

I continued on with my story by telling Tim about the years of 2014 and 2015 when I did my masters in Geology. During this time, the debate about climate change shifted from a debate to whether or not it was real to a debate about what to do in order to address it. This shift was mainly caused by a series of devastating storms as well as the trend of the “Precautionary Principle.”

In 2011, the first storm hit. Hurricane Irene, which did so much damage to infrastructure, particularly infrastructure located right next to the water, was the first sign I remember that storms were getting more powerful and damaging our region. However, people were not too concerned about it. The next year though, in 2012, that would change.

Hurricane Sandy was the first truly devastating hurricane I can remember doing major damage to communities and infrastructure. While some people just lost power for a few days, many others lost their cars, their homes, and many of their other belongings. Some people lost everything. I remember it literally ook months to bring certain communities back to “normal”…whatever that was…

“This wasn’t the end though…” I told Tim.

Hurricane Sandy had only been the first hurricane in a series of hurricanes, each one stronger than the last.

Two more devastating hurricanes barreled into Long Island over the course of the next two years following Sandy.

They were Hurricanes Marie and Kim…Kim by far being the most devastating. I remember thinking during the aftermath, “When will we learn?”

After Kim though, major changes had happened to the communities adjacent to the water. Most people were convinced that drastic steps had to be taken in order to stop climate change. The destruction of these storms led to this trend called the “Precautionary Principle” – a principle that basically states it is “better to be safe than sorry!”

In other words, the principle describes that even if we are not 100% certain of the effects that climate change will have on humanity it is still better to do something about it rather than nothing.

At the time, this approach made sense to most people because after all it is human nature to try and prevent something regardless of whether or not  it may or may threaten our lives or the lives of our children. Therefore, most people started to believe that it would be more costly to do nothing than to try and prevent more harm. After all, waiting to bear the consequences of nature fighting back was proving to be very costly.

After I graduated with my Master’s degree, the United Nations offered me a job. I became a member of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. At this point in my life, Americans as well as the rest of the world expected the worst and therefore were more than ready to combat climate change. It was almost as if countries were looking for a strong hand to guide them and tell them how to counter climate change. This kind of attitude made it very easy for me and all other members to establish a whole range of international treaties that completely changed the lifestyle we had grown accustomed to at that time.

The first treaty,which got countries talking about climate change, was the Kyoto Protocol.It had been written more than two decades earlier; however, the U.S. Congress refused to ratify the treaty for many years. Therefore, getting the U.S. to finally sign the Kyoto Protocol was considered a major success at that time. The Kyoto Protocol was eventually signed by every country in the world which essentially meant that every country agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 15 to 20 percent.

Surprisingly, and quite unexpectedly, it only took a few years for almost every single country to reach this benchmark. Unfortunately though, this one treaty was not enough to stop climate change.

During this time, we also realized that the problem of climate change was much greater than we originally assumed and really the only way to address it was by creating a more sustainable way of life. In order to do this, we had to completely rethink many aspects of how we lived life – the way we consumed, the way we produced waste and the way we lived our lives.

The problem of consumption was our first priority because at the time the United States only made up 5% of the world’s population yet we were using 30% of the world’s resources, hence creating 30% of the world’s waste. It was estimated that if we had continued this way of life, then we would have needed between three to five more planets just to sustain life on Earth. Since we obviously only have one, our first priority was to change peoples’ values. Instead of a consumer culture, we formed a culture that focused on  human interactions. In other words, family and friends were prioritized over goods and services. These things were not influenced by policy, but instead by establishing new trends.

The next problem we worked on was the way we produced waste back then. Originally, we had to reduce the amount of waste that we produced as a country. Being that the U.S. created 30% of the world’s waste, this was absolutely imperative. This was extremely important because not only was the waste during this time toxic, but those toxins often times went into the atmosphere and changed our climate. Not to mention, our air, water, and soil were becoming contaminated as a result.

In the end, we developed a system that recycled basically all of our materials – 99% in fact. This feat took many new innovations and thanks to many smart people, we were able to construct things like toners that disappear completely from the paper after a certain amount of time and plastic that was entirely made from biological sources. In other words, we created a system that closed all of the loops. It was literally an endless cycle, something that the great mind, William McDonough had stated was possible in his pioneering books Cradle to Cradle and The Upcycle.

Everything we now produce and consume can simply be reused or just go back into the soil with no harm being done to the environment or to human health thanks to these innovations.

The last and final piece to creating a sustainable future was to change the infrastructure that we had all become too familiar with. In order to do so, we had to start from scratch. People supported this idea because most of their homes had already been destroyed at least once by one of the previous storms. At this point in time, it was a very easy sell. They were looking for change. Therefore, during the planning phase of the many projects that I had worked on, old ideas from my college time came in handy.

I used ideas from Callenbach’s “Ecotopia” when others and I created a blue print for this new system. We established living areas in high-elevation zones and recreation areas in low-elevation zones. These recreation areas consisted of beaches and parks that were open for the public to use. The living areas I worked on included many homes and dense populations; however, people were still able to live comfortably. Furthermore, we prohibited private cars and replaced them with an electric train system that enabled every person to reach their destination within a reasonable amount of time. Most towns also were designed to allow people to walk everywhere that they would need to go, typically locating things like shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment within 1 mile of each household.

Lastly, we worked on building a cleaner energy system, which ended up consisting of mostly solar energy, wind energy and other energy sources utilizing the sun and the sea. We also put a policy in place that prohibited any object that produced carbon dioxide from functioning. Only when it was absolutely necessary could a person apply for a special permit to use that CO2-emitting device.

Tim stopped me at this point in the story, “Didn’t people do it anyway though? I’ve learned in some of my history classes that many American businesses polluted anyway despite not having a permit.”

I continued on by explaining that people who were caught adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere without a permit, were actually charged with an environmental felony which held up to ten years in prison.

“That is how the infrastructure that you know today came about Tim,”I said.

“Quite frankly, you are lucky to live at this point in time where society is much happier because we learned to place value on things like human interactions rather than valuing only consumption.”

“The people before me created the consumer culture that I grew familiar with in the 20th century. However, I was part of creating a new, much more sustainable society in the 21st century that you are now lucky to live in,” I told Tim.

After I finally finished explaining the story about how the human race had overcome the problem of climate change during the 21st century, all of our dinners were cold and Tim managed to muster just one question:

“Mom, do you think humans could ever overcome the problem we have today regarding the lack of resources?”

*Disclaimer: This is not an actual historical account of climate change. It is written under the pretenses of what the world could look like in the year 2040 from the perspective of the writer.