Recognizing that the natural environment supersedes property lines and jurisdictions, SUNY Oswego has begun reaching out to the community to advance its long-term goals of carbon neutrality and sustainability.
The college in 2010 invited area vendors and local residents to its first Sustainability Fair showcasing green products and ideas; sponsored a public roundtable on environmental sustainability issues; and offered a weekly “citizens academy” on sustainability at Oswego State Downtown, a storefront at the city’s center.
Among many participating in the roundtable were the city’s tree stewards, sportsmen's clubs, Cornell Cooperative Extension and representatives of the Onondaga Audubon Society and state Department of Environmental Conservation.
At the fair, vendors demonstrated innovations in sustainable home improvements, a state representative answered questions about green-living tax incentives, gardeners found information about organic gardening and the community farm movement, and other participants learned about new environmentally sound cleaning products and practices.
“Our goal is just to get sustainability and green products and ideas on people's radar screens,” chemistry faculty member Kestas Bendinskas said, “and to create an event that will be a focal point for sustainability and discussions among students, homeowners and all community members.”
Photo: Learning about energy-saving lightbulbs at the Sustainability Fair in the Campus Center arena