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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top Party Schools? Who Cares? How About America's Top 10 Greenest Colleges?

Guess Which College Earned Bragging Rights for Greenest School in the US?

Guess Which College Earned Bragging Rights for Greenest School in the US?

So kids are always interested in which colleges earn bragging rights for best party school right? I know that is what influenced my decision to attend Michigan State University way back in the day but I wish I would have had Sierra Magazines latest findings on which colleges are working toward sustainability and environmental responsibility. I may have found myself in a completely different state lacking many very very bad, but oh so good, memories. 

Take a look and see if you see any surprises...
  • #10 University of California, Santa Barbara - UC Santa Barbara has a long history with sustainability education and actually started its Environmental Studies Program in 1970. Now they are celebrating TGIF in their recently established grant committee called The Green Initiative Fund which gives funding to campus sustainability projects from UCSB students, staff, and faculty.
  • #9 American University - Teachers can apply for Green Teaching Certificates and this year, American introduced campus wide compost bins as part of a zero waste initiative. 
  • #8 Georgia Institute of Technology -  Every April the school hosts one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the Southeast complete with eco-friendly giveaways and a clothing swap and they house various research centers on campus focused on various topics ranging from battery technology to the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity.
  • #7 Stanford University - Stanford houses a Department of Sustainability and Energy Management that along with other administrative entities analyzes space utilization and resource conservation.
  • #6 Green Mountain College - Every student must take core classes in the school's Environmental Liberal Arts program where they learn to analyze the environment through cultural, social, economic, and natural lenses. Green Mountain is also one of the first colleges to achieve climate neutrality by reducing its carbon footprint and investing in local carbon offsets. Green Mountain has set a goal to try to operate on 100% renewable energy by 2020.
  • #5 Cornell University - Just last year Cornell launched a Minor in Climate Change which is one of the first in the country,  offering a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the physical and social aspects of the phenomenon. Cornell's Campus Sustainability Office goals also include a campus culture of sustainable behavior and developing a green and compact campus.
  • #4 University of California, Davis - Bicycles are an especially popular form of transportation on the campus, with between 15,000 and 20,000 bikes being used to travel around the university every week. Maybe this is because UC Davis' Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability works on efficiency initiatives at the school including sustainable agriculture and UC Davis West Village, which aims to be one of the first zero net energy communities in the country. 
  • #3 University of California, Irvine - Their campus has an 18-megawatt co-generation facility that serves as a backup power source and allows the university's chilled water system to generate their own electrical power. They also have a Green Inititve Fund which is student led and targeted at undergrad sustainability projects. 
  • #2 Dickinson College -  You may remember Dickinson won the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Challenge in 2013 for the fourth straight year, beating out other schools in its conference by purchasing the most green electric power. The school also hosts the Center for Sustainable Living which is known as the Treehouse and is a sustainability themed student dorm.
  • #1 University of Connecticut - Sierra magazine's top pick for number one Green school was honored for offering more than 600 sustainability-related classes and for reducing its water use by 15% over the past eight years. UConn has also retrofitted 13 buildings over the past two years which in turn, prevented 2,640 annual tons of carbon dioxide emissions. And on a local note, more than one quarter of the food served in UConn dining halls is processed within 100 miles of campus and many ingredients are harvested on campus as well.
So which would you go for? Greener living or partying?  Hmmm...can we have both?




P.S.- People always ask me where I get my organic food and personal care products and I love to tell them about The Green PolkaDot Box! Backed by the Organic Consumer's Association and EnvironmentalBooty.com, you can easily buy NonGMO organic groceries, including Harvest Fresh Organic produce, at wholesale pricing online.  It's like a Sam's club but focused on products for green, healthy living! You can even shop by dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegan or diabetic and it all comes right to your front door. Enjoy!

Source and Photo Source:  America's Greenest Colleges - Business Insider
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