East Village Y Serious About Going Green
One of the city's busiest community centers in the heart of the East Village is not only going green, but educating a new generation of youngsters to conserve energy, and it is paying off in many ways. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
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Community centers around the city are going green, and the 14th Street Y in the East Village is leading the charge.
At what they called an "open green house," more than 500 people recently turned out to give the center a thumbs up for doing its part to save Mother Earth.
"The community is excited to do something meaningful and that gives them a chance to sense a good change in the world, right here in this space," said 14th Street Y Executive Director Stephan Hazan-Arnoff.
The space at the 14th Street Y has been transformed into an energy-efficient wonderland that is potentially saving the center hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are no plastic bottles there and even the wood is recycled.
"Prior to this initiative, we really used energy inefficient [products]," said 14th Street Y Associate Executive Director Wendy Seligson. "We were using any paint that was available. We weren't conscious of the products we were using."
Now they are very conscious of the products they use and they are also teaching the younger generation to appreciate recycling and conservation.
"My child at 21 months is going green in his pre-school program, which is really exciting," said 14th Street Y member Mara Wedeck.
"I think any small effort that educates them is a really positive thing," said 14th Street Y Director Kiki Schaffer.
Workers at the 14th Street Y are not done yet. There are plans to go green with the 1,900-square-feet roof, which would capture storm water runoff and add to energy conservation.
To learn more about the Y's greening efforts, visit 14streety.org.