The Green Business Council: Green Shanghai’s Newest Direction

An introduction to Green Shanghai’s new chapters: The Green Business Council, Activism Toolkit, and Green Shanghai Print.

Fresh air is blowing through the ranks of Green Shanghai (NYU Shanghai’s environmentalism club).  Current president Daniel Cashdan ‘23 and past-president Neil Patkar ‘22 are blazing a new trail for the club. In an effort to tie student interests and passions to environmental conversations, Green Shanghai is launching a series of new initiatives and opportunities. If one is looking to take their interest in environmentalism to the real world, Niki Gajdosova ‘23 and Freya Varga ‘23 provide an Activism Toolkit. If you’re more business-oriented, or even just want to learn more about how business and environmentalism are intrinsically aligned, you should look into the Green Shanghai Business Council. If you’re a writer or a reader, Peyton Playle ‘23 has a spot for you at Green Shanghai Print.

NYU Shanghai has a wide array of students, studying to become experts in their respective fields. Although the cause for a greener future is weighing heavy on many minds, an initiative to integrate the ideas of sustainability into real-world business practices is the motivation behind the Green Business Council’s creation.

The Green Business Council wants to take this energy and wield in the pursuit of a greener world outside the scope of NYU Shanghai by instilling its members with the notion that “going green” will not hurt the bottom line of whatever career they pursue.

Here’s a small glimpse of what Cashdan stated, is to come: a seminar demonstrating how net operating costs are actually lowered by constructing green buildings or converting them given by a green real estate expert; a talk given by Sherie Tu (@thrivingonplants) on how to construct a green lifestyle brand and how to be a green entrepreneur; and, seminars on LEED Certification given by experts at the United States Green Building Council.

Cashdan affirmed that “it’s our duty to make our lives more sustainable and carry that practice wherever we go.” On a closing note, he wants to reiterate that the Green Business Council welcomes anyone and everyone who cares about our environment, and wants to carry that passion with them through their careers.

Niki Gajdosova has been getting things ready for the fall semester, focusing on assembling an Activism Toolkit. She has this to say on what she’s been up to:

“It [Activism Toolkit] steps beyond education and provides tools to anyone both in and out of the club to make small simple changes in their lifestyle to get more motivated about green issues. This is both for large-scale activism and small-scale. The virtual aspect of the toolkit makes it universally accessible to anyone regardless of location.”

The Activism Toolkit team has been hard at work trying to take full advantage of what online clubs have to offer. The projects coming down the pipe focus on how one can take action directly by changing their lifestyle. The team will also be holding seminars on how to change your diet to become more sustainable, and how to adopt more sustainable fashion practices, specifically taking action against fast fashion.

Similarly, Peyton Playle and Yi Ming have been hard at work as Editor-in-chief and Director of Green Shanghai Print, preparing for a peculiar fall semester. Positions for staff writers as well as freelancers are available. The paper is meant for people who have a passion for writing as well as an interest in environmentalism. Peyton explained her motivation to run this print:

 “My goal in this is to give people a voice. People can submit articles which they’re very passionate about as well as regular pieces by staff writers.”

What does this mean for NYU Shanghai?

A reorganized Green Shanghai allows for more opportunity. The club leaders are heavily motivated to make a change in the school and in the world. They want you to be a part of this change. They hope that this reorganization leads to a membership boost so that the voice of environmentalism can grow within our school and city. The club, although young, has already had a storied history of successes at NYU Shanghai. To name a few: a range of small projects pushing NYU Shanghai, with the support of faculty, to distance itself from single-use plastic, holding “plant-a-flower” initiatives, among a number of other examples of green activism.

This sort of green activism is extremely important to the cause of sustainability and has real-world implications in making a greener community. Green Shanghai’s new structure will undoubtedly add to this history. So whether you’re an environmentally conscious businessperson, activist, writer, or all three, Green Shanghai has a place for you to learn, express ideas and opinions, and take action towards making a difference in our world.

This article was written by William Howard, currently based in Washington, D.C. You can reach out to the authors at

Photo Credit: Trisha Ng

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