Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day at Bryant Park

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day, a day meant to show commitment to environmental protection. Here are some of the ways that Bryant Park commits to the environment every day.

1) Lawn and Gravel
Have you ever been in a New York City thunderstorm with surging gutters and puddles everywhere? These drainage issues are caused because the asphalt, granite, and concrete that cover much of NYC's surface are non-porous; instead of draining into these materials, water is diverted by gravity into the underground sewers. In contrast, our lawn and gravel areas are porous and absorb storm runoff. The lawn and gravel return return water to the water table, and also keep the park looking green.

The lawn and gravel meld beauty and sustainability.

2) Bryant Park Shop Products
You can combine your love of shopping with concern for the environment. Our Klean Kanteens save hundreds of plastic water bottles from landfills. Our baby and kids' Le Carrousel tees are made of 100% organic cotton. Our tote bags (three styles to choose from) last longer than a plastic or paper grocery bag. In fact, our Barricade Cover Totes are recycled from retired barricade covers, and made in cooperation with Urban Samaritan, which gives the homeless job skills and paid work. Helping humans and the environment sounds like a win-win to us!

3) Recycling
This February, Alcoa donated $50,000 to Bryant Park to assist in our recycling efforts. As the park becomes more popular as a lunch and tourist destination, it produces more trash--and more opportunities to recycle.  The park's goal for this year is to recycle 10,950 pounds of aluminum (cans) and 50,000 pounds of other materials like glass and paper.

Our iconic "tulip" cans are stationed around the park for your convenience.
4) Furniture
Did you know that much of the furniture around the park is made of excess skate ramp material? The seating at the Southwest Porch and ping pong area come from Loll furniture, which unites sustainability and style.

The seating at the Southwest Porch is modern and inviting.

5) Food
'wichcraft, which has several kiosks in the park, is committed to using sustainable, seasonal, and local food whenever possible. Whether you're enjoying a pole-caught tuna sandwich or the seasonal BLT with greenmarket tomatoes, you know you're getting a delicious and sustainable meal.

6) Plants
Our plants, which range from decades-old London Plane trees to newly-planted pansies, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This helps to lessen NYC's carbon footprint and ease global warming. Our beautiful horticulture displays provide a source of joy, and perhaps may inspire the next great environmentalist!

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