Polluting students’ bodies: did NYU go back on its word?

August 20, 2020 by Joshua
in Education, Nature

NYU announced a year and a half ago: “NYU to Halt Spending on Plastic Bottles by 2020“, stating

The new policy, one of several sustainability initiatives announced today, is expected to reduce waste by over 330,000 plastic water bottles per year.

As part of an institution-wide drive toward creating a more sustainable campus, NYU President Andrew Hamilton today announced that NYU will no longer purchase single use plastic water bottles, effective January 1, 2020. The new policy is expected to reduce waste by over 330,000 plastic water bottles per year.

NYU has reduced carbon emissions by 30% — equivalent to some 59,000 metric tons of carbon annually — since 2007. That reduction is the equivalent of planting all of Manhattan and all of Brooklyn in forest. NYU is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2040.

Today on Reddit, a student posted this picture, stating “Here’s what NYU gave me in Senior House

Plastic and Doof

Plastic water bottles with every meal. Beyond apparently defaulting on the specifics of its commitment, nearly item has plastic. Nearly everything is doof, nearly nothing food. Only two mealy oranges and an apple—shipped from who-knows-where—unprocessed. Why plastic utensils at all, let alone every meal?

Regarding the water, why would NYU choose to spend more money when budgets are tight and students are complaining about paying too much on something coming cleaner, free from faucets, going back on their word?

Regarding the rest of the doof, New York City is struggling under the pandemic. NYU borders Union Square. The farmers market there sells local, healthy food that could help support the local economy, not pollute it. Providing food to students from the farmers market could teach them about food, not doof, taste what food can taste like, and connect with their local community.

Without question, farms that sell there and GrowNYC—the group that administers the market—would help deliver that food. Local farmers struggle but they love people enjoying their food.

NYU’s choice instead will lead its students to become obese, dependent, ignorant about basic health and nutrition, and separated from the local economy and farms.

How else is NYU continuing to pollute?

If NYU isn’t honoring its commitment here—and maybe I’ve misunderstood something—where else might it not be honoring commitments? All summer, passing by NYU buildings that vent to the sidewalk, I felt cold air-conditioned air—all empty buildings unused.

Students deserve a university trying to avoid wasting money, harming the environment, undermining the local economy, supporting polluting, unhealthy industries, and feeding them unhealthy, polluting doof.

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