Parks Celebrates A Happy And Sustainable ‘Hallogreen’
On Friday, October 28, the Arsenal celebrated its first annual HalloGreen energy awareness and sustainability event. The focus of the event was to encourage employees to think about the ways in which they use energy at Parks and how they can change their daily routines to be more energy efficient, along with how to have a more environmentally-friendly Halloween.
Throughout the week before the event, the Arsenal’s Green Gurus (point people who promote resource conservation at Parks’facilities) handed out Thumbs Up tickets to fellow Parkies who they saw saving energy at work (for example, turning off their computer and monitor at the end of the day). These tickets were then redeemable for homemade treats or Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs generously donated to the event by the New York Power Authority. While enjoying homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies, Rice Krispy treats and Pumpkin Kugel, staff learned about the Energy Incentive Alignment Program (EIAP) and how they could help lower the Parks Department’s energy footprint. (EIAP establishes an energy budget for Parks, allowing our agency to keep budget surpluses for energy saved and requiring us to pay for energy overruns). They participated in a costume swap that was held to encourage the re-use of old Halloween outfits, learned how to make Halloween decorations with items from around the house and discussed with their colleagues different ways they were practicing green behaviors at Parks and at home.
The event brought about 100 people to the Gallery and 37 new Green Pledges were made, bringing the total Parks staff to pledge to 874. Green Pledges are volunteer goals that Parkies make to create a positive impact on sustainability at the agency. Some examples of pledges made during HalloGreen include Jordan Pender’s (Partnership for Parks) goal of using a reusable cup, bowl and silverware and bringing lunch from home at least four days per week and Denise Edens’ goal of using fewer lights in the office by utilizing the natural light her office gets in the morning.
At the end of the event a raffle was held for two toilet tank banks, which are water displacers that can be used to decrease the amount of water used when flushing a toilet, saving both water and money. The winners were Paul Fontana from Recreation and Leah Worrell from Partnerships for Parks.
Sustainable Parks Plan
The HalloGreen event represents just one of the ways in which Parks is fulfilling the goals it set in its Sustainable Parks Plan, released in July 2011. The Education and Outreach chapter of the Plan lays out goals and milestones for increasing staff awareness and training around energy efficiency as well as other subjects such as recycling.
You can access the Plan on the Sustainable Parks section of the Parks website: http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/sustainable_parks/
Want to make a suggestion about this topic or other sustainability issues at Parks?
Submitted by Rebekah Morris, Sustainability Initiatives Intern
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”