Break Free from Plastics
Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future for hundreds of years.
Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff”—cups, plates, bags, containers, forks, knives, spoons and more. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife.
We’re calling for campus and city-wide bans on single use plastic products, including bags, straws and take-out foam cups and containers.
Make Textbooks Affordable
At Rutgers University, students spend an average of $1,500 a year on textbooks and course materials alone. Publishers are constantly implementing new methods to jack up prices, from using expensive online passcodes to creating costly special editions that make purchasing of used books a hassle. These tactics leave students trapped, with textbook prices rising four times as fast as the rate of inflation.
A new approach is needed to create a long-lasting difference. Luckily, NJPIRG has won real change with our Open Textbooks campaign, which focuses on the cost-saving power of open source textbooks which are published under an open license, making them available at low or no cost! In February 2016, the President of Rutgers University agreed to fund a $12,000 grant program to encourage faculty to adopt open textbooks in their classes.
Since its start, the program has already saved Rutgers students $2.1 million. Our mission is to continue and expand this program so that passing a class isn’t decided by your bank account.
Find out more information on the Open & Affordable Textbooks (OAT) Project at Rutgers University
100% Renewable Energy
We all know that burning oil, gas, and coal has polluted our air, water, and land for decades – and now it’s changing the climate even faster than scientist feared it would.
We know we can have healthier communities and a livable future for generations to come. But to get there, we must transform the way we produce and consume energy. That’s why we’re calling for a commitment to 100 percent renewable power and expanding access to clean energy for all. It’s a big, bold goal – and it’s a goal that’s 100 percent possible.
We’re working to get Rutgers to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2050, with 100% of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030. In Fall 2018, we successfully had a charge passed through the University Senate Executive Committee to do just that– as well as create a Rutgers Office of Sustainability.
We’re continuing to build support from faculty and students to send a clear message that the Scarlet Knight community is 100% committed to 100% renewables.
Tools for Moving Your Campus to 100% Renewable Energy
New Voters Project
We believe that the full participation of young people in the political process is essential to a truly representative, vibrant democracy. Together young people have the power to elect the next generation of leaders who will fight for our shared vision of the future, but only if we vote.
As we prepare for 2020, we’re working with our campus communities to make it easier and more accessible for students to vote and we’re working with campus administrators to make voting and civic engagement more institutionalized in residence halls, class registration, and other aspects of student life.
It’s our future. Let’s vote on it.
Register to vote or update your registration at
Save the Bees
Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply.
We rely on bees to pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that provide 90% of most of the world’s food.
What happens if the bees disappear? It’s simple: No bees, no food.
Scientists point to several causes behind the problem, including global warming, habitat loss, parasites and a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics).
When seeds are treated with neonics, the chemicals work their way into the pollen and nectar of the plants — which, of course, is bad news for bees and other pollinators. Worse, for the bees and for us, neonics are about 6,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.
We’re working to get campuses and cities to ban the sale of bee-killing pesticides.
Learn how to make your campus bee-friendly!
Hunger and Homelessness
No one should have to worry about whether they will have food on their plate or a roof over their head. But the reality is that hunger and homelessness are widespread problems that affect far too many people.
Poverty isn’t exclusive to any one community. Even college campuses are not immune. Our latest research suggests that one in five students currently experience hunger and 55% of food insecure students choose between buying food and textbooks.
We have the resources and knowledge to eliminate hunger and homelessness in our time, but it remains to be seen whether we have the political will to do so. Fortunately, on campuses across the country, there are students like us who are dedicated to making their communities a better place, and improving the lives and well-being of those around them. Our Hunger Campaign takes this passion and dedication and harnesses it through a combination of direct service, fundraising events, and political advocacy.
Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week Organizing Toolkit