The Low Down On Green Living
August 6th, 2009
Universities and colleges are rated all the time - for their academics, their athletics, and even their parties. High school students rely on highly respected raters like the Princeton Review to help them narrow down their college application choices. The Princeton Review also rates universities and colleges based on their environmentally-related policies, practices and academic offerings. For 2010, the Princeton Review rated 697 schools in the nation to see how green they really were. Scores went from 60 to 99, and this year 15 schools received the highest Green Rating of 99 and were placed on the Princeton Review Green Honor Roll.
Back in 2007, Princeton Review partnered with ecoAmerica (www.ecoamerica.org), a non-profit environmental organization, to create the criteria and survey. The green review sought to discover how each school acted in three areas:
- Whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable,
- How well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and
- The school’s overall commitment to environmental issues.
The survey consisted of ten questions on everything from energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation to academic offerings (availability of environmental studies degrees and courses) and action plans and goals concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions. For the 2010 Honor Roll, the data collected was from the 2008-2009 academic year. The following alphabetical list is the top 15 universities and colleges in the nation with impressive sustainability programs, policies, academics and research.
- Arizona State University (Tempe Campus, AZ)
- Bates College (Lewiston, ME)
- Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY)
- College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME)
- Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)
- Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)
- Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA)
- Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
- Harvard College (Cambridge, MA)
- Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)
- Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
- University of California (Berkeley, CA)
- University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)
- University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
- Yale University (New Haven, CT)
All 15 universities are accomplishing very impressive feats with regards to sustainability. Colleges are implementing academic programs and tracks that specifically educate students in areas of sustainability, like sustainable business, energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative transportation, sustainable farming, recycling, green building, and green design. Many schools have policies in place to construct only LEED certified buildings and dorms, renewable energy systems are providing clean energy to the campus, and on campus gardens provide organic and local food. The students themselves are often leading the charge to adopt greener policies and encouraging their administration to make the changes, but these Universities are also reaping the rewards of decreased costs and increased enrollment because students want to attend colleges with greener policies.
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