Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Looking for a college? Why not go green?

While my parenting posts generally address issues with smaller children, today's is directed at those of you who have teenagers looking into college choices for next year.

There are many reasons to choose a college from majors to location to, God forbid, partying status (as in Penn State, voted the #1 party school in the country...wonderful). But if your teen has a heart for the environment as well as a head for learning, he or she may want to consider a green college or university.

Below is a list of some of the eco-friendly schools to choose from:
  • Middlebury College (Vermont)
    • They take recycling seriously! 60% of their waste is recycled.
    • 25% of the energy in the recycling center on campus is supplied by wind turbines.
  • University of Colorado (Boulder)
    • This campus is all about biking and busing. Students get bus passes and loaner bikes are available.
    • The majority of the campus shuttles run on bio diesel.
  • University of Vermont (Burlington)
    • Buy local...that's a school mantra with 35% of the school food purchased from local farms.
    • The confusion of living greener lives is eliminated with dorm volunteers offering their guidance to other students.
  • Warren Wilson College (North Carolina)
    • Student projects included organic farming and building projects that are, well, you guessed it, eco-friendly.
    • Worked in cooperation with the city of Asheville to purchase offsets for all of the school's carbon emissions.
  • Evergreen State College (Washington)
    • Nearly a dozen campus organizations focus on environmental issues.
    • All new building projects must be in compliance with Silver-Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
  • Arizona State University (Tempe)
    • School of Sustainability -- a wonderful program where students receive not only education about, but also hands-on experience with land use and urban planning models developed to lessen negative effects on the environment.
    • Actively participate in composting organic waste with a local farm.
  • University of Florida (Gainsville)
    • The cafeteria oil used to fry the students food, is also used to transport them, as some of the school's Fleet vehicles are fueled by the used oil. The rest are fueled by #85 ethanol.
    • Over 90% of the campus is served by reclaimed water (3 million gallons are processed each day).
    • 40% of the campus waste is recovered, with the goal to divert, reclaim or reuse 100% of it within the next 5 years.
  • Oberlin College (Ohio)
    • An amazing 50% of the energy on campus is generated from renewable sources.
    • They take the whole green-living thing to all new levels with multiple student environmental groups. Check out their Green Living Guide. It's full of really practical tips for all of us, not just your college-bound kids!
  • University of Washington (Seattle)
    • Renewable sources supply all their energy needs.
    • Over a dozen new buildings are scheduled for construction/renovation in compliance with LEED standards. Funding for these eco-friendly projects comes from endowments.
  • Tufts University (Massachusetts)
    • The printing service on campus stays green with its soy-based inks and recycled paper.
When it comes to eco-friendly dorms, check out Pitzer College in California where they house over 300 students in a residence hall that features rooftop gardens and solar panels or Kentucky's Berea College (with a thriving eco-village).

If you know of any other colleges or universities that should be added to this list, feel free to post a comment and let the GG community know the reasons why it should be included.

Keeping it green,


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