New York's Green Expo
Saving Earth starts at home
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
From eco-friendly cleaning products and interior designs to a battery-operated car, New Yorkers learned how saving the Earth begins at home at a Green Lifestyle Expo in downtown Manhattan on Saturday.
The 40th Anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated in a green building known as the Visionaire, a condominium in Battery Park City. The building uses pure air, water, light, and natural materials to create an eco-friendly living space. It is one of several buildings in the area built with energy-efficient and recycled materials.
Expo participants enjoyed an afternoon of healthy food and activities. The event was hosted by Russell Albanese, President of Albanese Organization, Inc., which is best known for its pioneering work in environmentally-sustainable building. Albanese is a major advocate for the eco-friendly lifestyle. He promotes practical ways for everyone to live a greener and healthier life.
"About 10 years ago, we became aware of green buildings and how they can improve the environment," Albanese said. "We came to focus on that and how to be energy efficient and being better for the environment."
On the roof garden of the Visionaire, children planted radish seeds and created solar prints. They also learned about harnessing solar power to make art, and how the sun functions as an energy source.
The overall goal of the expo was to promote a greener lifestyle. David Kistner, the founder of Green Apple Cleaners has turned his chemical-heavy business green.
"The [delivery] car we use is hybrid," he said. "We don't only do green dry cleaning, but we deliver it in an eco-friendly way."
His cleaning company uses liquid CO2, which is ranked as a top product for cleaning clothing environmentally and gently. Kistner's cleaning methods are benign to both human health and the environment.
"There are 30,000 dry cleaners in this country," he said. "Ninety-nine per cent of them use toxic syrups, which is nearly like gasoline."
Transportation is another important part of going green that was on display at the expo. The Tesla Roadster is the sleek, all-electric sports car produced by Tesla Motors. The Roadster is "the only highway-capable electric automobile for sale," according to J.R. Lance Anderson, a Tesla sales advisor. The Roadster is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells.
"Tesla has zero emissions and is a very inexpensive car to drive," Anderson said. "You get about 236 miles per charge and that costs about $5."
Tesla Motors electric car company is planning to introduce an electric luxury sedan in 2012.
Kids were also thinking about ways to be environmentally friendly.
"My school is trying to be as green as possible," said 15-year-old Kyra, who was participating in the expo. "We recycle and we changed the lunch Styrofoam plates to reusable plastic plates."
Green living doesn't stop at using green products and recycling.
"I hate waste," says Tim Button, an eco-conscious interior designer. "Sustainability" and "eco-friendliness" are at the heart of Button's work. His designs feature recycled and eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, recycled glass tiles, recycled rugs, wallpaper, and wood.
"Bamboo grows rapidly, much faster than trees," Button said. "So you are not taking away the lungs of the world, which are trees." Button is a partner of Stedila Design, the interior designers for the Solaire, the Verdesian, and the Visionaire, all eco-friendly buildings in lower Manhattan.
Dino Leva, president of Green Residential Cleaning, was also at the expo.
"I started making green cleaning products for my family because my son had a compromised immunity," Leva said. His products are currently being used at The Solaire, the first green residential tower in the U.S., and the other eco friendly buildings in downtown New York City. The New Victory Theater in midtown also uses Leva's earth- and people-friendly products.
"You need passion and a belief that comes from home," Leva said of going green.
For more information about the Solaire, check out Cecilia Gault's story about the building. And check out Cecilia's blog post about what she's learned for Earth Day on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Blog!
EARTH DAY @ 40
Celebrate 40 years of Earth Day and the fight to keep our planet clean on April 22. Scholastic Kid Reporters explore ways to make every day Earth Day in the Earth Day @ 40 Special Report.
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