GREENING at the 14th Street Y

On this ECO MONDAY post Earth Day, we’re reflecting on the work we’ve done over the last 3 years to become a greener, more sustainable building.  Today we’re sharing with you our greening timeline, which we hope will grow more and more as we find ways to be a more sustainable contribution to our neighborhood and community.


Jewish Greening Fellowship, a project of the Isabella Friedman Center, established by the United Jewish Agency

Associate Executive Director, Wendy Seligson, Facilities Manager Ann Marie Grace,  and LABA Artist David Tirosh selected as fellows to participate with 18 other professionals from NY Jewish Organizations

The Y embarks on an Energy Audit with funding from JGF

The Theater installs a new lighting grid utilizing reused lights and piping

256 compact, energy efficient lights are installed on the 1st floor

Low VOC paint is used to repaint the 3rd floor, which is then expanded to other floors in the building

Thermostats and controls are installed in the theater and on the fourth floors to control the use of the heating and cooling system in the building, saving energy

The bright yellow lobby chairs are installed, they are made from 100% recycled materials


The theater begins its wood recycling program using the wood from the dismantled stage to build a storage unit, provide wood to renters for the creation of their set pieces, and donates the rest of the wood to “Broadway Goes Green”, an initiative that uses donated wood from shows to create wood chips for city playgrounds.

The Y engages in the energy audit process to identify new ways of reducing energy in the pool, with heating and cooling systems and lighting throughout the building

A dishwasher is installed in the kitchen on the 4th floor

The Y discontinues the use of Styrofoam and other paper products in favor of cups and plates made of recycled materials

Facilities management begins using washable, reusable rags to clean windows and other surfaces

The Y switches the printing of its’ catalogues to 100% recycled FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper

Low VOC paint is used to repaint the 3rd floor, which is then expanded to other floors in the building

Non-toxic cleansers are introduced


We get funding for a GREEN ROOF for the roof above our Theater

The Preschool begins a unit of study on the environment, looking at natural materials

The Afterschool program begins using recycled paper for homework

The Afterschool program embarks on a study of the building for sustainable practices, including the electrical usage and the alternative of solar energy

New Country Day Camp learns about the environment on the Staten Island Campus

New Town Campers plant and tend to a garden on the roof

The Y staff Green Team begins meeting

A building-wide recycling program is started

A Wearable Collections bin in our lobby

The Y collaborates on our OPEN green HOUSE with organizations like Solar One, GrowNYC, and local, sustainable businesses.


-We begin composting in our building through IESI.

-The Afterschool program begins using compostable cups for snack

-We produce our “That’s Why I Go Green” song with a lyrics contest for kids.

-We’re a part of Ethikus “Shop Your Values Week

Let us know if you have ideas for a greener Y!

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