Sustainability means operating in such a way as to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. OAS consistently works towards sustainability. Some of our initiatives include:

OAS Corporate

  • All paper used within our organization has been made of 100% recycled materials since the Spring 2008 semester. We were the first office on campus to initiate the use of 100% recycled paper.
  • All office paper is shredded after use and sent to a paper recycler by the Cintas Corporation. We are pleased that our efforts have encouraged the Student Association, the Hunt Union and SUNY Oneonta Registrar’s Office to recycle their paper in the same fashion.
  • Most of our printing is done in house utilizing desktop publishing. This allows OAS to print smaller runs of marketing and promotional materials, leading to less waste.
  • In conjunction with our vendors, particularly Coca-Cola and MacGray, OAS has distributed recycling containers throughout the Campus including recycling containers in laundry rooms, paper recycling bins in all academic buildings, can and bottle containers in every building and large event recycling bins.
  • OAS initiated the AASHE College Sustainability Day on SUNY Oneonta Campus in October 2007. We financially support Green Dragon Week/Earth Day initiatives including sponsoring speakers, an Earth Day market and a film festival during Green Dragon Week.
  • A member of the OAS staff and a member of the Sodexo staff belong to the President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability.
  • At our invitation, our vendor, Coca-Cola, brought their Recycling Education Vehicle to campus during Welcome Dragon Week, August 2011. In a fun fashion, this venue educates about recycling and other sustainable efforts.

Dining Services

  • Sodexo purchased 300 paper napkin holders. It takes a little more effort to pull napkins out than the old baskets required. This has decreased napkin waste by 40%. The napkins are made from recycled paper.
  • Sodexo purchases local produce through Mento Produce as seasonably available. All greens served on campus are organic. Local products are also sourced through Purdy & Sons and F&T (Syracuse). Purdy arranged with local farmers to freeze vegetables for Sodexo to use throughout the winter.
  • Seasons serves Stagecoach Coffee, roasted in Cooperstown, NY.
  • Condiment dispensers eliminated bottles and plastic containers in all halls saving over 900 ketchup bottles a week, alone!
  • Cash register receipts are printed only on request at retail dining venues. This saves over 1250 register tape rolls a month.
  • Trays are no longer available in the dining hall, saving on water and soap usage, as well as cutting down on food waste. Removing trays resulted in water use reduction of 250,000 gallons per semester, reduction of food waste by 15%.
  • In order to reduce food waste further, a waste scale was added to Wilsbach Hall.
  • In 2008 OAS and Sodexo presented each residential student with a mug made from recycled materials and promoted its usage throughout the dining facilities as a means to save on paper cup waste. OAS continues to distribute reusable coffee mugs and water bottles upon occasion. A 10-cent discount is available at our retail facilities to anyone who purchases coffee using a reusable mug.
  • One of the bakery ovens was retrofitted from electricity to gas during the 2008 summer. This has saved many kilowatts of electricity.
  • Two new dish machines added in 2016 will reduce water use by 800,000 gallons per year.
  • All milk and milk products are produced in NY by Crowley foods and Agro farma (Chobani yogurt).
  • Catering offers local organic food upon request from Purdy and Sons, Sherburne, NY.
  • Sodexo annually holds an organic dinner featuring local products in Wilsbach hall during Green Dragon Week. Local foods are also featured during October.
  • By building a dish room in Mills during the summer of 2009, we were able to eliminate most paper and plastic from Mills Hall reducing paper waste by 85-90%. In 2009, Mills used over 28,150 pieces of plastic and paper in a 5 day period not including napkins.
  • All three resident dining halls (Wilsbach, Mills and Hulbert) use food pulpers which pulverize food and napkin waste. This reduces food waste volume by 85%.
  • Upon request, catering uses compostable flatware (forks, knives and spoons), plates and cups made from corn product.
  • Our soap supplier, Ecolab, changed from plastic containers to a biodegradable tablet eliminating all plastic 1 gallon containers.
  • Reusable takeout containers are available in Mills Hall. This eliminates the use of paper, Styrofoam and aluminum foil.
  • All cans, bottles and cardboard are sorted and recycled.
  • Starbucks saves all coffee grounds and gives it to anyone who asks for use in gardens and compost piles.
  • Pre-consumer food waste is given to two local pig farms.
  • Digital signage was installed in all dining halls to eliminate paper waste. The signs describe the offerings at each station and include nutritional information.
  • Aspretto coffee, served in all the resident dining halls is ethically (fair trade) sourced.
  • Sodexo offers Sustainability Internships to students.

The Red Dragon Outfitters

  • We sell copy paper, notebooks, resume paper, and envelopes made from recycled materials.
  • Clothing made from recycled materials is stocked and for sale.
  • Reusable water bottles and coffee mugs are also stocked.
  • The Red Dragon Outfitters sells reusable bags at the checkout counter.
  • We have more used textbooks for sale than most other NYS colleges.
  • We have been selling compostable commencement regalia since 2010.
  • The Red Dragon Outfitters won a national contest using recycled milk jugs in a window display.

College Camp

  • We have planted over 265 trees at College Camp since 2009.
  • A bee pollinator garden was developed by a student as a research project funded by OAS.
  • Faculty, staff, students, and OAS are working together to install a native plant garden at College Camp, which will add to its natural beauty and lessen the negative environmental impacts of lawn mowing.
  • A student-sponsored composting project was kept at College Camp with help from Sodexo.
  • An organic community garden was established at College Camp during the summer of 2010, allowing faculty, staff and students who would not otherwise be able to garden to grow their own produce.

Laundry Services

  • OAS installed front loading washing machines in the residence halls. These energy efficient machines save one million gallons of water annually.
  • MacGray provided recycling containers for each residence hall laundry facility.
  • The laundry facilities are fully inspected twice a year to ensure that all machines are running as efficiently as possible and that all lint is removed from the vent pipes.
  • Only HE detergent is recommended for use in these machines.


  • The MicroFridge, offered for lease through the Refrigerator Leasing Company, is energy efficient.


  • An energy efficient vending machine, using LED lighting was installed in the Hunt Union during the summer of 2011. This machine offers organic, natural, gluten-free and kosher products.

Suggestions for students:

  • Take the bus, rather than drive.
  • Turn off your lights when leaving your room for more than 15 minutes. Note that the new compact fluorescent light bulbs will not last as long as they should if lights are turned off and on frequently.
  • Use recycled, tree-free or otherwise green products whenever possible.
  • Use a refillable water bottle or mug for beverages.
  • Turn off all your electronics when not using them- (e.g.) computers, monitors, etc. Better yet, buy a power strip and turn them off at the source so they don't draw phantom energy.

OAS Offices

Red Dragon Outfitters
SUNY Oneonta
108 Ravine Parkway
Oneonta , NY 13820
Tel. 607-436-3352
Fax 607-436-3642

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