Become a Sustainability Ambassador!
About the Program
- Beyond Plastics Team
- Sustainable & Inclusive Food Team
- Carbon Neutrality Team
- "Integrated" Sustainability-in-the-Curriculum Team with a focus on People + Planet
Paid Positions Available
- Team Leader for the Beyond Plastics Team (beginning in January 2023)
- Team Leader for the Sustainable & Inclusive Food Team
- Co-team leader for the "Integrated" Sustainability-in-the-Curriculum Team with a specific strength, interest, and background in the social & economic dimensions of sustainability
- 1-2 federal work-study positions working on focused projects advancing the work of one or more teams
Unpaid/Volunteer Positions Available
- Team member positions on all teams
Sustainability Ambassador Team Member Expectations & Commitments
- Attend a 2-day training on the Thursday and Friday before classes begin for the fall semester (August 25 & 26 in 2022)
- Tabling for 1-2 hours each Thursday at the campus farmers market and other high-traffic locations during September & October (as your schedule allows)
- Attending one weekly team meeting for 1-hour
- Following through with whatever responsibilities you choose to take on during the weekly team meeting
- Attending events and programs that your fellow Sustainability Ambassadors organize (as your schedule allows)
Apply to become a Sustainability Ambassador
Apply online by August 5. Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis throughout the summer of 2022.
The Beyond Plastics Team
The Beyond Plastics Team will be led by returning Sustainability Ambassador Katie Gudzik (Theater Arts ~ Performance ’22), who participated on this team throughout the academic year 2020-21 as a team member and led the team during 2021-22. A new team leader will be sought to begin in January 2023.
First established in 2019, the Beyond Plastics Team has had many successes at SUNY New Paltz including:
- Educating and engaging the campus on moving beyond plastics including hosting Judith Enck of Beyond Plastics as a guest speaker in the spring of 2020
- Switching from mostly plastic bottles to mostly aluminum cans in the beverage/vending contract (also check out this full case study)
- Adopting 100% reusables at Peregrine Dining Hall during COVID-19 during the 2020-21 academic year
- Adopting a reusable container program with a fee for single-use paper products at Element 93. This is anticipated to expand to the Student Union Building in the fall of 2022. Investing in one reusable container collection vending machine system at Element 93. A second collection system has been purchased for the Student Union Building in the fall of 2022.
- Developing Beyond Plastics-related and other sustainability and social/economic justice recommendations for apparel and textile procurement and other products at the campus Bookstore. During 2020-21, sustainable transformations at the Bookstore included carrying the fair-trade Alta Gracia clothing brand and three new clothing products featuring recycled content and increasing metal (not plastic) water bottle options.
- Advocating for microfiber plastics filters in residence hall laundry systems and installing the College's first microfiber plastics filters in the Department of Theater Arts' Costume Shop laundry machines.
Key past partners have included Campus Auxiliary Services, Sodexo, the Bookstore, and the Costume Shop of the Department of Theater Arts.
The Beyond Plastics team will continue to partner across campus to transition the campus beyond plastics. Possible future focus areas:
- Continuing sustainability innovations within the Bookstore, especially with a focus on apparel and textiles
- Engaging campus departments who purchase "swag" and making recommendations for sustainable, plastic-free give-a-ways and non-polyester t-shirts, including sourcing from women-owned and minority-owned business enterprises
- Continued advocacy for plastic microfiber installation in laundry systems across campus, including Athletics and Residence Halls
- Offering feedback on the current status of past Beyond Plastics initiatives to Campus Auxiliary Services, Sodexo, and the Bookstore
- Engaging with fellow students in person on plastics issues
- Other priorities that emerge from YOU!
The Sustainable & Inclusive Food Team
2022-23 will be the second year of the Sustainable & Inclusive Food Team! We are seeking a team leader and team member for this team.
- Successfully advocating for increasing the variety of plant-based low-carbon proteins across residential and retail dining
- Featuring plant-based proteins from across the world during Earth Week 2022 at Peregrine Dining Hall
- Advocating for more Hispanic/Latinx foods that reflect the diversity of the Latinx community across residential and retail dining including a bodega-style hot food bar, snacks, baked goods, and plant-based proteins originating from Latin America
- Continuing to advocate for a diversity of plant-based, low-carbon proteins
- Engaging fellow students on plant-based, low-carbon offerings on campus
- Continued engagement on Hispanic/Latinx food offerings
- Other dining & food-related priorities that emerge from YOU!
Since the Sustainable & Inclusive Food Team will focus on making recommendations to Sodexo regarding on campus food being served, students participating on this team must either live on campus and participate in the campus meal plan OR live off-campus and regularly eat meals on campus (ie. multiple times per week). Please do not apply to this team if you do not eat regularly on campus. Students who appreciate plant-rich, low-carbon diets are especially encouraged to apply.
The Carbon Neutrality Team
Now entering its fourth year, the Carbon Neutrality Team has had many successes at SUNY New Paltz including:
- Updating the campus greenhouse gas emissions inventory through 2021
- Researching best practices and pathways to Carbon Neutrality, including offsets
- Proposing to the SUNY New Paltz President and campus executive leadership through a formal presentation in early winter of 2020 that the campus become Carbon Neutral by 2030, which led to this Earth Day 2021 announcement
The 2021-22 Carbon Neutrality Team will continue to partner across campus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) move towards carbon neutrality. Possible focus areas include:
- Focusing on inventorying historical (pre-COVID and current) “Scope 3” greenhouse gas emissions including but not limited to:
- Student and employee commuting
- Study abroad travel
- College travel
- Identifying strategies to eliminate, reduce or offset emissions including but not limited to:
- Improving emissions-free transportation options and public transportation (ie. the New Paltz Loop Bus)
- Offsetting study abroad travel, when study abroad resumes
- Researching GHG emissions offset strategies and identifying a strategy and philosophy to offset hard-to-eliminate emissions
- Investigating Internal carbon pricing strategies and life cycle costing
- Engaging the campus community on carbon neutrality goals and pathways
- Finalizing the 2021 GHG emissions inventory in the spring of 2022
- Other carbon neutrality priorities that emerge from YOU!
"Integrated" Sustainability-in-the-Curriculum Team
This is a new team co-led by returning Sustainability Ambassador Roy Ludwig who has a background in geology, environmental science, and secondary education. We are seeking a co-team leader for this team with strengths in the social and economic dimensions of sustainability to co-lead this team with Roy. The team will focus on integrating sustainability across the curriculum focusing on all three dimensions of sustainability: social + economic + environmental. How it goes about advancing this will emerge from brainstorming sessions among all team members in early fall of 2022.
Apply to become a Sustainability Ambassador
Apply online by August 1. Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis throughout the summer of 2022.
Please email Campus Sustainability Coordinator Lisa Mitten at email@example.com with any questions about this program.