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How Green Is Your Campus?

greencampus

College campuses are usually on the forefront of progressive ideas and programs, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to protecting the environment. Let’s take a look at the 10 greenest college campuses in the United States.

American University

Where
Washington, D.C.
Educational opportunities
Green Teaching Certification Program rewards professors for incorporating sustainability content into curriculum
Waste reduction
Recycling programs include diverting 13% of paper waste from landfills by composting paper towels
Renewable energy

  • 2,150 solar photovoltaic modules on six buildings (largest solar power system in the District of Columbia)
  • 174 solar thermal energy panels added to four buildings provide showers to more than 2,000 campus residents and hot water to the university’s largest dining hall

Facilities and vehicles
Pilot program to certify 25 buildings under LEED system
Other programs
36% of food purchased meets organic, fair trade or other sustainability measure

College of the Atlantic

Where
Bar Harbor, Maine
Educational opportunities
Major areas of study focus on sustainability and ecology (all students study under what the university calls a system of human ecology)
Waste reduction
All food waste is composted
Renewable energy
Student-led projects have resulted in solar panels and wind turbines on campus
Facilities and vehicles

  • College has its own organic farm 12 miles from campus that supplies the cafeteria with produce and two livestock farms
  • Electric van with solar panels provides transportation between the farms and campus

Other programs
In 2007, CoA became the country’s first carbon-neutral college

University of California Los Angeles

Where
Los Angeles, California
Educational opportunities
200 courses that focus on sustainability
Waste reduction
69% of waste diverted from landfills; 100% by 2020
Renewable energy
Photovoltaic solar panels help power massive student union building
Facilities and vehicles
38% of vehicles run on alternative fuel
Other programs
All computers are Energy Star-rated

Cornell University

Where
Ithaca, New York
Educational opportunities
300 courses and 28 majors to study sustainability
Waste reduction
63% of waste is recycled or composted, including 823 tons of food from dining halls
Renewable energy
$46 million investment in energy conservation
Facilities and vehicles

  • Free bus passes to freshmen and staff and other incentives to use car and bike share programs, vanpools and public transportation
  • 3,500 acres of biologically diverse natural land on and around campus
  • 1 LEED Platinum and 8 LEED Gold buildings

Other programs

  • Carbon neutral by 2050
  • 25% reduction in carbon emissions by not using coal

Georgia Tech

Where
Atlanta, Georgia
Educational opportunities
264 courses on sustainability
Waste reduction
Composting programs help divert 900 tons of waste a year
Renewable energy

  • 1,400,000-gallon cistern collects rain and condensation for flushing and irrigation; the system is the largest on a U.S. college campus
  • Tech also has one of world’s largest grid-attached rooftop photovoltaic solar systems

Facilities and vehicles
Tech has the largest university residence hall in the world to achieve LEED Gold for existing buildings
Other programs
40% of produce is locally sourced

Green Mountain College

Where
Poultney, Vermont
Educational opportunities
46% of grads pursue careers in green jobs
Waste reduction
During 2013 spring move-out, students diverted more than 5,300 pounds of waste from landfills
Renewable energy
100% renewable energy by 2020.
Facilities and vehicles
Biomass facility allows for campus to be heated by woodchips
Other programs
Only second climate-neutral campus in the U.S.

Stanford University

Where
Stanford, California
Educational opportunities
Sustainability research and teaching is done at all seven schools and key institutes
Waste reduction
Recycling program diverts 65% of solid waste from landfills
University composts about 1,300 tons of food waste each year
Renewable energy
Energy retrofits of older buildings saves 176 million kilowatt hours
Facilities and vehicles
Free bus system powered by biodiesel and diesel-electric hybrids, commute club, free passes on public transit
Other programs

  • 40% of produce is organic or regionally grown
  • 10,000 gallons of waste oil from dining halls converted to biodiesel fuel

University of California Irvine

Where
Irvine, California
Educational opportunities
350 sustainability-related classes offered
Waste reduction
Food waste reduced by 58%
Renewable energy
Solar power system that will produce 24 million kilowatt hours over 20 years; equivalent to offsetting 25.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide
Facilities and vehicles

  • 8 buildings have LEED Gold, 2 have LEED Platinum
  • Reduces more than 39 million vehicle miles and 19,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Where
Amherst, Massachusetts
Educational opportunities
25 of 90 undergrad majors are sustainability-related, 250 courses offer some sustainability emphasis
Waste reduction
Recycling and composting divert 53% of waste from landfills
Renewable energy
Award-winning central heating plant provides 100% of heating and 73% of electrical needs on campus
Facilities and vehicles
13 LEED-registered projects underway
Other programs
28% of food produced locally

University of Washington

Where
Seattle, Washington
Educational opportunities
550 courses related to the environment or sustainability
Waste reduction
Recycling and composting divert 57% of waste from landfills
Renewable energy
Energy conservation efforts saving $50 million over 10 years
Facilities and vehicles
More than 300 alternative fuel vehicles
Other programs

  • Replaced 1,800 old toilets, saving 50 million gallons of water a year
  • 53% of food served is organic, local or fair trade

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Sources:
http://www.american.edu
http://www.coa.edu
http://www.stewardship.gatech.edu
http://sustainability.greenmtn.edu
http://sustainable.stanford.edu
http://www.sustain.ucla.edu
http://f2.washington.edu
http://www.princetonreview.com