Union Square became a bit greener on Wednesday.
Grow NYC, a non-profit, environment-oriented organization, returned to the Union Square Greenmarket for its seventh annual New Green City event. City agencies, nonprofit organizations and green-minded businesses gathered to showcase their efforts to make the city more sustainable and to educate New York residents about how to be environmentally conscious.
The park was swarming with people of all ages, which included the activists and organizers running the event, students eager to learn and teachers observing with care.
Wearable Collections, an organization that recycles unwanted clothing to prevent them from ending up in the landfills, was present at the event.
“Normally, we receive anything from 500 [to] 1,500 pounds of wearable fabric and other textiles every week at our Union Square spot,” said Wearable Collections founder Adam Baruchowitz.
Another organization present at the event was You Save Green, a company providing renewable solar energy.
Justin Pietras, employee at You Save Green, said, “Our objective is to sign people up for a free energy assessment and help them understand why it’s a better alternative than other forms of renewable energy,” said Justin Pietras, an employee of You Save Green.
David Magid, the renewable energy coordinator for You Save Green, said people are wasting money and resources by continuing to use other energy sources.
“What we are doing is a win-win situation because we are saving money and reducing the carbon footprint,” Magid said.
Christine Black, founder and executive director of The Sustainable Restaurant Corps, shared how her company aims to maintain sustainability by evaluating restaurants throughout the city.
“We aim to post these ratings on sites like Yelp, Zagat and Open-Table,” Black said. “This will help consumers make better choices by identifying restaurants that operate in eco-friendly ways.”
Jason Marcus of Zipcar, a carsharing company, said the company reduces the costs of renting or owning a car by subsidizing gas and insurance costs.
“Each Zipcar takes at least 20 personally owned vehicles off the road,” Marcus said.
Gloria Adams, a teacher at City College Academy of Arts, visited the event with her
“It is especially important that New York high school students are informed about such matters and engaged in such events because in an energy-driven city, environmental concerns don’t always come to the minds of the youth,” Adams said.
Allie Young, a New York City resident, said she was happy to see New York making an effort to advocate environmental concerns.
“In a city as compact as [New York City], we often tend to forget that what is sustaining us is the environment,” Young said.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 11 print edition. Zuha Jamil is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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