Easy Ways to be Sustainable

This section is here to help SUNY Oneonta students make sustainable choices both on and off campus! Access the links below to see how easy (and free) it is to ride Oneonta Public Transit around town, to get a Green Room Certification for your dorm room, how to recycle and make sustainable choices in off campus housing, participate in sustainability themed clubs, and more!

Environmental Justice Resources

This List of Environmental Justice Resources was put together in Fall 2023 by Office of Sustainability Intern, Brianna Hoyte, with recommendations from Spring 2023 CGHK Lecturer, Arielle King.

Social Media Accounts

  • @environment
  • @greengirlleah
  • @theartistactivistfarmer
  • @nyrp
  • @blackvegfest
  • @blackforager
  • @hikeclerb
  • @gogreensavegreen
  • @rescueorg
  • @climatewithkiana
  • @globalshapersnyc
  • @theurbangardeninitiative
  • @theintersectionalenvironmentalist
  • @ariellevking

Short Readings & Webpages



OPT - Oneonta Public Transit

OPT Bus Icon

Free rides on all OPT routes are provided by the Student Association and included in your activity fee. Limited capacity, seats only, and masks required at this time.


  • SUNY bus will run on a continuous loop between campus and Downtown from 9 am - 11:30 pm (with a driver break from 9-9:30 PM) approximately every 30 mins. Check bus tracker to see when it is coming.
  • If you want to go to the mall or Walmart catch the downtown bus from campus and transfer to the Southside bus from 12 pm- 6 pm.

Monday through Saturday:

  • SUNY bus will run on a continuous loop between campus and Downtown starting at 7 am. The bus runs every 15 mins from 8 am- 5:45 pm and then runs every 30 mins until the last bus. Check bus tracker to see when it is coming.
    • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday it runs until 12:30 am.
    • Thursday it runs until 1:30 am.
    • Friday, Saturday until 3 am.
  • If you want to go to the mall or Walmart catch the downtown bus from campus and transfer to the Southside bus from 8 am - 5:30 pm.

Important Notes:

  • Riding the bus is free during the semester with any SUNY Oneonta ID.
  • Without your ID it is $1.50 per ride.
  • Masks are required on all public transportation.

Oneonta Outdoor Guide

Information on Hiking Trails in the Oneonta Area

College Camp

About: College Camp is located just north of campus and gives access to a few miles of great hiking, and mountain biking opportunities. College camp offers walks through the forest, walks along the forest edge, a creek, and a pond with 3 lean-tos. It is lightly trafficked and wildlife such as deer, hawks, and turkey can be seen.

Parking: Parking (A) and (B) can be accessed from College Camp Rd. just a few minutes north of campus on East Street. Parking (C) can be accessed from Sports Lane, by taking the big hill to the left of the campus tennis courts.

Learn More About College Camp

Route #1 to College Camp

Start Location: Intramural Field Parking Lot

Distance: ~4.02 miles;
Elevation Gain: ~738 feet

Info: Follow the Purple Trail left until you reach the Green Trail. Take the Green Trail to the bridge and follow the creek toward the Blue Trail. Take the Red Trail up the hill and cut left to the clearcut. Follow the clearcut up to the bench and owl map, then take the Purple route back. This route has a nice mix of wooded and open spaces. In the fall, raspberry bushes line the trail by the telephone poles, and deer can be seen frequently. The trail briefly follows the creek, and it would take roughly 2 hours of moving time.

Route #2 to College Camp

Start Location: Intramural Field Parking Lot

Distance: ~2.91 miles;
Elevation Gain: ~269 feet

Info: This is very similar but shorter and more flat than Route #1. Follow the Purple Trail to the owl map and clearcut, then loop the Purple Trail, and quickly take the Red Trail to get back on the Purple Trail to the powerlines, then follow that trail back. There are great views on this route, and it gets good sun in the afternoon. It would take roughly 1.5 hour of moving time.

Emmons Pond Bog

Start Location: 2028 White Hill Rd, Oneonta, NY 13820

Distance: ~1.4 miles; Elevation Gain: ~ 202 feet

Info: Emmons Pond Bog is a 22 minute drive from SUNY Oneonta, and the trail is a very pretty loop around the water. There is a lot of evidence of beaver and deer activity. There are also waterfalls right past the river crossing. Being formed by a glacial depression, the pond bog's natural indent in the land makes it a great spectacle. There are spots to hammock by the water. The loop would take roughly 1 hour to complete.

Wilber Park

Start Location: Albert Morris Dr, Oneonta, NY 13820

Info: Wilber Park is much bigger than some may seem. Access is easy from town. It is a great place for walking around and relaxing. There are great spots to picnic or hammock. There are also many mountain bike trails that extend up the hill. The walk from the park to the Oneonta High School is very nice. There is a pavilion, a playground, tennis courts, and a pool in the summer. Oneonta Creek also runs through the park, and along hiking and biking trails. Overall this is a great place to go.

New Island Trail

Starting Location: From Neahwa Park

Info: New Island can be accessed from Neawha Park by parking past the bridge. From there, take the trail to the gate by the Exit 15 off-ramp of I-88. Cross under the highway and follow the New Island Trail sign. The trail follows the Susquehanna River and offers great views of the river. The trail feels natural, while also being surrounded by urban development. It is a cool place to check out. There are a few bridges, and it passes a dam on the Susquehanna. This is a great spot to hike or mountain bike, and there is also access to fishing spots. The trail is not very long and is flat. hiking time is roughly 1 hour.

Wilber Lake

Starting Location: (A) Wilber Lake Rd (B) East Street

Info: Wilber Lake is an excellent place to enjoy. There are two separate parking areas. Parking area (A) is accessed from Wilber Lake Rd. Parking area (B) is accessed from East Street. The bridge that connects the two sides is currently not there. So whichever side you park on, you are limited to exploring that side. The walks on each side are short. The left side has access to fishing and good hammock spots. The right side gets great sun in the afternoon, and there are great spots to hammock by the water. Wilber Lake is part of Oneonta's Water Supply. It is very important that visitors do not go in the water and respect the rules while here.


Off Campus Student Resources


How can I recycle if my rental company does not provide it?

Drop off recycling for free to: Otsego County Southern Transfer Station Location: 75 Silas Lane, adjacent to Exit 13 of Interstate 88 near the western edge of the City of Oneonta
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 3:00PM
Saturdays - 8:00AM - 12:00 NOON

How can I recycle Styrofoam?

Bring Styrofoam to: Otsego ReUse Center
Location: 23 Duane St, Oneonta,
Phone Number: (607) 353-7831

How can I Compost?

Bring compost to the Oneonta Transfer station
Location: 75 Silas Lane, adjacent to Exit 13 of Interstate 88 near the western edge of the City of Oneonta
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 3:00PM
Saturdays - 8:00AM - 12:00 NOON

Where can I shop local?

Annutto’s Farmers Market: Open Monday - Sunday 9am-6pm at 5396 State Highway 7
Oneonta Farmers Market: Open Saturdays 9am - 12pm at Foothills Market Street, Oneonta
Local Restaurants: Feel Good Smoothie (all vegan), Simply Thai, Autumn Cafe, Social Eats, Undercover Eggplant, are just some of the great local options with vegetarian and local food offered! If ordering to go, be sure to request no disposable silverware or napkins to limit the waste associated with take out.

Green Room Certification

Individual actions and decisions made throughout your day play a critical role in SUNY Oneonta’s sustainability initiatives. Although they may seem small, they add up to a big impact. The Green Room Certification, empowers residents to make a commitment to small changes that make a big difference. Sign up for the Green Room Certification.

The Green Room Certification is a chance for SUNY Oneonta campus residents to take small actions to make a big difference in their dorm room and receive recognition. Students are encouraged to make commitments in categories such as participation and engagement, waste, water, energy and personal. See below for commitments you can take in your residence hall or at home and if you do live on campus keep your eye out for an application at the start of each semester!

Sample commitments:

  • I will educate peers on how their choices can impact sustainability on our campus and beyond.
  • I will use reusable shopping bags whenever I can. When cooking/eating in my room I will use reusable cups, plates, and utensils instead of disposables.
  • I will donate textbooks, clothing and other items no longer needed or used to the Red Closet Thrift Shop via the silver donation bins in my building lobby or at any local thrift shop.
  • I am aware of what can and can not be recycled in our campus blue bins and ensure that myself and my roommates properly dispose of our waste.
  • I will only wash full loads of laundry in cold water.
  • I will avoid taking multiple showers a day.
  • I will unplug electronics, consoles or appliances when they are not in use.
  • I will reduce my printing by always printing double sided.

Faculty & Staff

Green Office Certification

The Green Office Certification project gives faculty and staff the opportunity to improve their sustainability efforts at SUNY Oneonta and to be recognized for the sustainable commitments they have signed up for. We hope these commitments will go beyond campus into your everyday lifestyles. Although these efforts may seem small, they can have a large collective impact.

Offices who receive a Green Office Certification will: receive a certificate to display in the workplace, an electronic logo to share in an e-mail signature and/or office website, recognition on the Office of Sustainability's website, and ongoing support to earn and maintain the Green Office Certification.

More information about the categories and commitments below.

Shared Supplies

Aim to limit all disposable dishware at the office! Ask colleagues to bring in any extra reusable plates or mugs from home to use instead of disposable dishes or buy some for cheap at the Salvation Army or other local thrift shops.

Recycling Bins & Signage

Best practice shows that there should be a recycling bin next to every garbage bin and all recycling bins should have updated signage. If you need additional recycling bins or would like to request printed signs do so by emailing sustain@oneonta.edu. Check your current signage with the most updated signage below. If they don't match print your own or request as many copies as you need!

SUNY Oneonta recycling sign

Recycling Training

Ensure all members of the office/department are aware of the SUNY Oneonta recycling rules! Use information listed on the Waste & Recycling section of the SUNY Oneonta Office of Sustainability website to learn about regular college recycling and other hard to recycle materials. If you are still confused request a recycling training by emailing Rachel.Kornhauser@oneonta.edu.

Electronic Waste

Did you know that many electronics contain heavy metals and other products that make them hazardous to dispose of in the regular garbage? These items such as computers, monitors and printers need to be properly disassembled and disposed of properly to limit negative human health and environmental impacts. For any electronics that were purchased using state money that have reached the end of their useful life or are no longer needed should be given to Mark English, IT, to dispose of properly. Email Mark.English@oneonta.edu.

Direct deposit

Setting up direct deposit on your paycheck is easy and means that you have access to your paycheck sooner than with a paper paycheck. You can sign up for direct deposit by completing this form or to reactivate by filling out this form.

Green Dragon Office Supply Yammer Page

The Green Dragon Office Supply group on Yammer* is connecting gently used or new items sitting in a desk drawer with you. In this group you can:

  • post if you need items that others on campus might be able to provide;
  • post about gently used or new items that are not being used that you are willing to donate;
  • browse what others are offering out.

​​​​​*Yammer is a Microsoft Office app. You can join by finding the app in your suite of Microsoft Office apps or by emailing mary.ballard@oneonta.edu. It is suggested that once you join you click “Subscribe to this group email” on the right-hand side to get email updates of posted items.

Office Paper Ordering

Best practice is to order office paper from the campus Supply Room to minimize shipments of heavy reams of paper and to reduce associated packaging. All paper purchased from the Supply Room has at least 50% post consumer recycled content.

Promotional Giveaways

Annually, SUNY Oneonta spends thousands of dollars to promote our college to prospective and current students, families, and potential employees. Each purchasing decision is an opportunity to support socially and environmentally conscious companies and show our campus commitment to sustainability, a fundamental value at SUNY Oneonta. The purpose of these guidelines is to support and facilitate the purchase of products, services and materials that minimize the harmful effects to the environment from their production, transportation, use and disposition.

Designated Work Order

Is your office too hot or too cold? Did you see a running toilet or notice a dripping faucet? Please notify the maintenance personnel so appropriate repairs or updates can be made! By filling out a work order or calling MOC you are helping the Facilities staff adjust where needed reducing unnecessary heating/cooling costs, wasted water, etc. and keeping utility costs down.

Unplug appliances

Did you know that appliances draw electricity when they are plugged regardless if they are on or off? This is commonly referred to as "vampire energy." Help us reduce the vampire energy use and associated costs and resources by unplugging small appliances and electronics when not in use.

Computers set to energy save

Find specific instructions of how to activate power saving modes on your computer(s) and monitor(s).

Reduce overhead lighting

Oneonta might not be the sunniest place in the world but you can still take advantage of the sun we do get by turning off your office lights when the sun is shining through your window (if you have one).

Power strips

Plugging electronics into a power strip that you can switch off at the end of the day is a simple way to conserve energy!

Double sided and black and white printing is default

  • Click on computer start button. Search for "devices and printers" or "printers and scanners."
  • Select your printer and click on "manage"
  • Select "printing preferences"
  • Select "black and white" in the Color Mode drop down tab
  • Select "Long Edge Bind" in 2 sided drop down menu
  • Click ok if applicable

Use shared multi functional printers instead of desktop printers

Desktop printers are convenient, but they are expensive, wasteful, and can be challenging to support. To follow recommendations of the SUNY wide print policy and a campus commitment to sustainability it is expected that desktop printers will be eliminated on campus by 2024.

Print shop is utilized for bulk and color

Paperless meetings

Lead paperless meetings by sharing handouts and agendas through Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, or including them in Outlook Meeting requests.

Scrap paper bin

Green commuting

Using alternative modes to commute to campus is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Consider using SUNY Oneonta's EV Charging Station located behind the Alumni Field House to charge your electric car or use Oneonta Public Transit, free to all SUNY Oneonta staff/faculty/students upon showing a valid SUNY Oneonta id.

Walk around campus

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