With the 2013 mayoral elections rapidly approaching, environmental issues regarding New York City have been brought up frequently in the media. Both Republican candidate Joe Lhota, and Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio had differing views during the mayoral debate regarding future steps for the city to take towards sustainability. De Blasio has long been an advocate for environmental sustainability favoring the promotion of green buildings, improving air quality, ending government use of styrofoam, and even creating a culture of recycling in our schools. Here at Pratt we know the importance of recycling and are trying to increase our school’s awareness of the benefits of recycling for our environment. In regards to green buildings, De Blasio plans on co-sponsoring legislation, which would implement a set of “green building” standards for New York City. Pratt is also taking initiatives to make our existing buildings on campus more eco-friendly as well, in terms of saving energy and properly using resources. Lhota’s focus regarding New York City’s future of sustainability involves renovating existing buildings to make them more eco-friendly and reducing emissions. Also In addition, he is pushing to make the city’s taxis more efficient, as well as, promoting bicycle use. Pratt has had a long history of supporting the use of bicycles and has recently implemented new bicycle racks around campus so more students are able to store their bikes (not support use of since still not able to ride bikes on campus).
Elections are a great time for people to analyze the candidates and take part in choosing whose plans they support for the future of their city, specifically regarding the environment. It’s also a great time for students here at Pratt to reflect on certain actions we have taken (or not taken) in the process of creating a more environmentally friendly campus. This election will allow the city’s people to decide who’s ideals they believe will take this city towards a more sustainable future, and it is something many students here at Pratt can participate in, so if you are eligible to vote in the state of New York on November 5th. Find necessary registration information here.