The NYU Abu Dhabi student government is proactively looking to improve sustainability on campus and launch campaigns aimed at more eco-conscious lifestyle choices for the community. From reducing single-use materials to reducing waste, Erica Wu, the student government’s sustainability chair, shares some of the green initiatives on campus.
The student sustainability committee has collaborated with campus food providers to launch the CUP4CARD campaign that aims to reduce the more than 400 disposable cups that are being used daily on campus.
Community members can participate in the campaign by making a one-time purchase of a reusable cup for their beverages. Community members can exchange the reusable cup for a card, which can be exchanged for a professionally washed cup in their next purchase of a beverage from one of the participating campus food providers. The card, which fits into most wallets or purses, makes the use of the reusable cup more accessible in case community members forget their own reusable cup.
To incentivize participation in the campaign, any personal cups, mugs, including the campaign's resuable cup earns community members a stamp in a loyalty card. On the 11th use, they will receive a free drink.
The reusable CUP4CARD campaign will complement a long-existing system in place where community members can request for a reusable food container instead of paying for a disposable one to take away food. A token coin is given for each returned food container which could then be handed over again next time for a washed food container.
Boomerang Bags Basket
A boomerang bags basket in front of the campus convenience store allows community members to donate unused plastic bags in good condition. Shoppers at the convenience store who have forgotten their reusable shopping bag can then choose to pick a plastic bag from here instead of purchasing a new plastic bag, reducing single-use plastic waste..
Cool Food Pledge and No Waste November
NYU is committed to reducing food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the year 2030. The Cool Food Pledge saw an immediate increase in the variety of vegan and vegetarian options across all dining outlets on the NYUAD campus. The aim is to reduce meat-consumption, which the UN says is one of the most effective ways of significantly reducing an individual's carbon footprint. Industrial meat production generates around 15 percent of all carbon emissions, which is the equivalent to the amount generated by global logistics and all transport around the world.
Along with that, an annual “No Waste November” campaign runs in the dining hall to share the impact of food waste and encourages diners to be more mindful of their serving portions. The campaign aims to reduce waste on campus by educating our community on more sustainability-driven lifestyle changes that can help reduce our carbon emissions.
Other Campus Initiatives
The NYUAD campus has also phased in more efficient equipment and utilities that steers us towards A Greener Community.