SUNY Potsdam College Store & Union Market Go Beyond to Go Green


SUNY Potsdam’s College Store and Union Market offer a variety of environmentally friendly products.

SUNY Potsdam’s College Store and Union Market are making huge efforts to stay environmental friendly. The Potsdam Auxiliary and College Educational Services (PACES) units have succeeded in minimizing negative environmental impacts by going green.

In addition to the recycled and low-impact items that the two retail operations stock, the College Store and the Union Market have made a big investment in becoming more energy-efficient. PACES installed LED flood light bulbs for both stores, which last 10 to 12 years and use significantly less power. The stores use CFLs wherever possible for their remaining traditional lighting as well.

Carlie Robinson, director of the College Store, is glad that she and her team are making efforts to stick to the guidelines and policies to limit the harm on the environment.

For instance, the College Store is offering biodegradable caps and gowns for graduates to wear at SUNY Potsdam’s Commencement ceremonies this year. These eco-friendly caps and gowns are made from fabric fiber from renewable, managed forests with an Eco-Zip coil zipper. The biodegradable fabric has been approved by the USDA and is a certified bio based product. That’s one of many efforts that Robinson and her staff have undertaken.

“Our goal is to be good stewards for our students and for the environment, which means selling as many recycled products at a fair price as possible,” said Robinson. “We are very excited about working with Jostens, selling recycled and biodegradable caps and gowns for this year's Commencement ceremonies and in future Commencements to come.”

The College Store and the Union Market are going “green” by:
• Purchasing from local vendors (like the Potsdam Food Co-op) whenever possible
• Promoting and partnering with the College’s Physical Plant to recycle old batteries and cell phones
• Recycling ink cartridges
• Selling BPA-free water bottles and travel mugs so members of the campus community can reduce waste from one-use cups
• Selling compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
• Buying, selling and renting used textbooks, fiction and non-fiction
• Selling recycled paper items, including greeting cards, paper, spiral notebooks, binders, pocket folders, sketch pads and journals, as well as other recycled items like pens and frames
• Selling previously-viewed movies and games
• Selling environmentally safe cleaning supplies and all-natural laundry soap, as well as all-natural cosmetics products

For more information about the College Store, please visit

SUNY Potsdam is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and is always dedicated to creating a sustainable future by taking steps to reduce negative environment impacts.

For more information about sustainability at SUNY Potsdam, please visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.