Sustainability and Green Initiatives for Students Skip Navigation

What Students Can Do

"We have a generation of students that are fantastically interested in sustainability."
– Jeffrey Herbst, 16th president of Colgate
Achieving sustainability is critical for the future for which you will be the leaders. Start leading the way now!

Students’ Sustainability News

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What You Can Do

Check out these green tips and our Green Living program to help create sustainable habits! Also, check out some of these great resources:

Annual Events

The Office of Sustainability hosts several key events annually. We are always looking for passionate and talented students to join Colgate's sustainability effort. Here are a few events you don't want to miss:
The Green Summit
Colgate's longest-running annual event that takes place each October. The Summit is a collaborative think tank that brings the Colgate community together to exchange ideas and plans of action for making our campus more sustainable.
RecycleMania is an annual recycling competition involving hundreds of colleges and universities. During eight weeks each spring (February–March), Colgate joins the effort to reduce waste, increase recycling, and raise awareness of conservation issues across campus.

Since joining RecycleMania in 2010, Colgate's recycling rate has improved from 16 percent (2010) to 22 percent (2013), while our overall waste has decreased from 11 lbs per week per student (2010) to 9.5 lbs per week per student (2013).

Click here to learn more about RecycleMania and Colgate's recycling and waste management program. Be sure to do your part to reduce waste and recycle!
Campus Conservation Nationals
Each February, Colgate students in first- and second-year dorms compete to see who can reduce the most energy and water use. The competition lasts three weeks and the results are recorded in real time using Colgate's Building Dashboard. We also take it a step further and compete with several peer institutions including Hamilton, Hobart and William Smith, Skidmore, St. Lawrence, and Union. Be sure to get involved and do your part to conserve energy and water!
13 Days of Green
Each April, student leaders come together to plan a series of sustainability programs that raise awareness and change behavior. Past programs have included guest speakers, trash-fashion shows, documentaries, panel discussions, award ceremonies, tree plantings, and many others. Have any ideas for next year's 13 Days of Green? Let us know!
Interested in planning your own event? Make the events you host green events! Get guidelines and tips for eliminating bottled water, and minimizing waste at your events. READ MORE

Contact Us

For general inquiries, please e-mail:

For more specific information, please contact our staff.

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The Office of Sustainability offers several internship positions each year. In the past, they have included internships for Green Raiders, composting, Green Bikes, the Community Garden, food and dining, and communication. Check availability or apply for these positions on the portal.

Get Involved

We have a number of clubs and organizations focused on sustainable themes. Check them out:
Campus Ecology Group
An umbrella group that brings together all green groups and organizations.
Students for Environmental Action (S.E.A.)
We educate and energize students about recycling, waste reduction, energy consumption reduction, and greater community issues. READ MORE
Compost Club
The Compost Club advocates for and provides materials to spread composting throughout campus. We also help maintain the Colgate compost pile. READ MORE
Green Bikes
Don't have a bike on campus? No problem! Consider renting one for the year. READ MORE
Green Thumbs and the Community Garden
We manage and promote the Colgate Community Garden in order to provide local, student-produced, organic produce to the student community. READ MORE
Colgate Natural History Club
Get outside and learn what's out there! Climb up to the quarry and catch salamanders or help make bee hideouts with the Natural History Club. Contact Lindsay Martin '13.
The Greek Sustainability Council
The various colors of the fraternities and sororities may be different, but everyone is a fan of green. This group is dedicated to ensuring that fraternity and sorority life on campus is made as sustainable as possible.
A student tending to the Community Garden

Connect with Alumni

Looking for a career in sustainability after Colgate? Want to connect with someone who is already in the field? Try connecting with a sustainability-minded alumnus! Join the Colgate Sustainability Group on LinkedIn to start networking today.