Political and Community Actions
- Community-based and political action is the most impactful, driving large-scale changes to our environmental footprint
- Support political candidates who make protecting the environment and fighting climate change a priority
- Attend forums and town halls for your local government and advocate for environmentally-friendly legislation
- Encourage your own organization to go green
- Volunteer at an environmentally-focused non-profit or government organization—Community Engaged Learning has several placements with environmental groups
- Join an environment-focused student organization
The Vassar Greens pursue environmental and social justice through action-based campaigns such as the Free Market, Zero-Waste, and encouraging lifestyle changes that create a lasting impact. We seek to establish an empowering community by building leadership among our members and through meaningful collaboration with other student organizations. We recognize the connection between social justice and environmental sustainability and we strive to pursue consensus-based goals that benefit the Vassar Community and the environment around us at large.
The Free Market
Run by the Vassar Greens and located in the Old Bookstore, College Center, the Free Market has books, clothes, and stuff all for free. Open Saturdays from 1 to 3pm.
Vassar Students for Equitable Environmental Decisions (SEED)
SEED is a research and activism hub for students to further climate action initiatives and foster greater engagement in environmental issues among the Vassar Community. While working towards Vassar’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, SEED promotes environmental justice and sustainability.
Vassar Experimental Garden (VEG)
VEG is a half-acre, student-run garden on the Townhouse circle. Everyone is welcome to pick ripe produce or herbs for their own personal use and/or help with weeding and chores. There are community work days on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 4pm and a much looked forward to harvest dinner each fall! Email VEG to learn more or join their email list.
The EcoLeaders are a group of students led by the Environmental Cooperative and the Sustainability Office. They take meaningful action in their residential spaces while learning valuable change-making skills. Recent EcoLeader projects have included creating pollinator gardens, installing bat houses, and advertising for the Dorm Energy challenge. Academic credit is available from the Office of Community Engaged Learning for EcoLeaders. Feel free to drop by their activities without the commitment or email Jessie Prutisto-Chang for more info.
Stop Waste And Promote Reuse (SWAPR)
SWAPR began in 2002 to combat the growing piles of ‘stuff’ that got left behind each spring as students left for the summer. Each year the SWAPR team of students collects thousands of pounds of stuff from becoming garbage and then arranges for local not-for-profit organizations and human service agencies to come and take what they need. The remaining stuff is made available for students in the fall.
SWAPR would not be possible if not for the energy, cooperation, and excitement of the Vassar College community, student volunteers, the College Committee on Sustainability, and local charity organizations.
Students: Come spring semester, look out for SWAPR info sessions and how you can apply. Volunteers get signed in for senior week, a free T-Shirt, and lunch each of the collection days.
Civic Groups: If you have participated before, we’ll reach out with dates and details around late March. If you are new or have questions, email Sustainability to learn more about Community Day and what kinds of donations we generally receive. To participate all we require is a faxed or emailed copy of your proof-of-non-profit status and a willingness to bring some volunteers along to help!
Indoor Farmer’s Market
Everyone knows and loves the Arlington Farmer’s Market that runs from June to October on Raymond Avenue, but did you know that in the off season it comes to Vassar College? November to May the market moves into the College Center in Main Building where you can find the same great bread, produce, meat, cheese and prodcuts from your favorite local vendors. The Market runs every Thursday from 10am to 4pm. Visitor parking is available along Main Drive, around Main Circle, and in the Aula parking lot.
Vendors: email Sustainability to learn more and receive an market application. Market Coordination begins in September.
Office of Sustainability
Vassar’s Office of Sustainability oversees and leads many green initiatives on campus, including efforts to reach carbon neutrality, engage the student body, and reduce the environmental impact of the College. The office is made up of a director and a team of student interns who work closely with other sustainably-minded groups to instill and support a holistic sustainability ethic across campus—among students, faculty, staff, and the administration. Beginning in the 1970s, environmental issues were brought to the forefront of college operations, and today the Office of Sustainability continues to mobilize action for a greener and more environmentally just campus.