New Paltz is green
Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges (2011 edition) features the State University of New York at New Paltz as one of the nation’s significant colleges committed to sustainability and green issues. Inspiration for this guide originated with prospective college students across the country who expressed interest in attending colleges where green issues are taken seriously.
Environmental sustainability and responsibility are a priority at New Paltz. All new construction on campus of 5,000 square feet or larger will be, at a minimum, certified LEED Silver. The new Student Union Building is the most environmentally friendly building on campus incorporating recycled glass in the concrete flooring and a glaze on the exterior glass to reduce heat absorption.
New Paltz has a formal sustainability committee, offers an environmental studies degree and employs a sustainability officer.
Students benefit from pursuing environmental research projects and internships at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; the Estuaries and River Institute; the Hudson Basin River Watch; the Brook Farm Project; the Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Clearwater; Scenic Hudson and the Ulster County Environmental Management Council.
The Students for Sustainable Agriculture promote a sustainable food system that is healthy for consumers, farm workers and the environment. They work to empower New Paltz students to grow their own food sustainably and to become educated in current food politics.
In addition, 100 percent of the College’s cleaning products are green-certified and 95 percent of the school grounds are maintained organically. The College has improved recycling through RecycleMania, increased the tonnage of recycled materials and joined the EPA’s WasteWise Program.
New Paltz’s Interim President Donald Christian uses one of the College’s two 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid vehicles as his official car. They are gas/electric-powered hybrids, which helps the College reduce its dependence on oil and lower the campus’s carbon footprint. These hybrids are part of New Paltz’s fleet of nine electric cars and one electric pick-up truck (used for recycling on campus). Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management John Shupe said they are exploring options to purchase high fuel mileage (40+ MPG) maintenance vehicles to replace the current larger vehicles. “All these vehicles reduce fuel consumption, save operating funds and significantly lower the College’s carbon footprint,” Shupe said.
“At New Paltz our students, faculty and administration are committed to green issues. We recognize the College’s symbiotic relationship with our environment, so it behooves us all to do our part,” Interim President Christian said.