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New Paltz is Green!

Campus Organizations

Environmental Taskforce

The SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force (ETF) was created in 2005 by faculty, students and staff members concerned about the serious environmental problems that we face in the world today. They seek to address these issues by moving towards ecological sustainability on campus and by preparing students to address the global environmental challenges that lie ahead.

Founding member, Brain Obach, and members of the task force have collaboratively come up with a way to enhance recycling on campus and were instrumental in helping to develop the Environmental Studies Minor program. The program includes courses in social and natural sciences that are geared towards students with environmental interests.

The ETF also serves as the liaison between the campus and the Brook Farm Project, an educational farm that hosts class visits to educate students about sustainable agriculture and community supported agriculture.

In addition, the ETF has hosted a number of speakers and presented films on such topics as organic agriculture, green building design, global warming and alternative transportation. These programs are designed to raise awareness about environmental problems and to inform individuals about how they can alter their lifestyles in ecologically beneficial ways.

For more information about the Environmental Task Force or to be placed on the e-mail list please call (845) 257-3447 or write to obachb@newpaltz.edu.

The Sustainability Committee

┬áThe Sustainability Committee was created in 2010 in order to develop and implement a Campus sustainability Plan in accordance with the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.  SUNY New Paltz signed on to this national agreement in 2008.

The Sustainability Plan includes goals for expanding environmental education and programming, for improving environmental practices like waste reduction and energy conservation and to ultimately achieve climate neutrality.  This will require that we not only reduce energy consumption and the burning of fossil fuels, but that we transition to renewable energy sources to power the campus.

The college has already shifted to less polluting fuels for providing heat and hot water and implemented a number of energy saving reforms.  The Sustainability Plan calls for the installation of solar arrays and other alternative energy sources that will provide the college with clean green energy.

Although it is a subunit of the faculty governance Budget, Goals and Plans Committee, the Sustainability Committee includes representatives of the administration, students and faculty all working together to make SUNY New Paltz a model of ecological sustainability.

Sustainable Living Collective

The Sustainable Living Collective is a collection of students engaged in cultivating environmental advocacy and awareness in the SUNY New Paltz community. This semester, we are preparing to throw a week long campaign of collective action and group learning known as Sustainable Action Week. The events and activities will be geared towards teaching ecologically responsible behavior and exploring the interconnectedness of various environmental issues such as food production, water privatization, hydrofracking, climate destabilization, energy use (specifically residential use), energy production, transportation, waste and recycling. Workshops, demonstrations, movies, a summit and a farmer's market celebration will make up the bulk of events and activities for the week. The goal of both the sustainable action week and sustainable living collective is to inspire students and community members to create a sense of shared community built on ecologically sustainable values that support local industry, economy, and ecosystems.

New Paltz Students for Sustainable Agriculture

Students for Sustainable Agriculture is a New Paltz student group that works to promote a sustainable food system that is healthy for consumers, farm-workers, and the environment. We seek to raise awareness about where food comes from, and where it goes. Our organization works with local farmers to protect this region's farmland, the local agricultural economy, and the health of the community and the planet. We also seek to empower students to grow their own food sustainably and become more aware of current day food politics.

Students for Sustainable Agriculture is currently involved in a number of campus and community based projects:

  • Working with campus food service provider to bring local and organic food into campus eateries
  • Working with farmers in the New Paltz area to establish an on campus farmer's market
  • Hosting a ongoing video and lecture series focusing on agriculture, community and sustainability
  • Organized food waste collection and composting efforts on campus and are currently working to establish a campus wide composting system
  • Work with community members to organize our local Food not Bombs food distributions in the village of New Paltz.


The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is the state's largest, and most-effective student directed, non-partisan, not-for-profit advocacy organization. The SUNY New Paltz NYPIRG chapter, along with the Environmental Task Force, was instrumental in creating a student recycling coordinator position to help improve and expand recycling on campus. NYPIRG works on statewide and local environmental campaigns that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy conservation and efficiency, and expand recycling programs while training, educating and empowering students to take action on these and other pressing issues.

The Solar Car Club

The New Paltz Solar Car Team is a way for students of all disciplines to work together to raise money and awareness to build a car run off of solar power, and then to race it internationally. As time goes on, we know that we need to work on evolving our green technology, and what better way than to build a car that runs from the power straight from the sun? Working together on this team is key. Even though the sole focus of the club is to build a car, there are other aspects to the club. There's the fund raising and marketing that are two key aspects that are necessary for success of the team. There's much to learn in multiple divisions in this club, and everyone is welcome! In the past years, New Paltz has done very well and brought positive attention to the college. As we compete in more races, we will only build onto the positive reputation that SUNY New Paltz already has.