Green colleges

Recycla’s daughters are in middle school, which means that in just a few years, the family is going to have to think about colleges. After she gets over her shock at that thought and comes out of the fetal position, she’ll start making lists.

For an increasing number of high school students, considering an environmentally responsible university is an important part of their college search.  When looking at schools, they are looking at whether or not the colleges support green initiatives, such as recycling, composting, solar and wind energy, and so much more.

Luckily,  last year the Sierra Club published its list of the “Top Ten:  America’s Coolest Schools”, which is their version of the universities with the most eco credentials.  Highlights include buildings that have earned the LEED Gold standard, colleges that use animal waste to generate energy, and several college farms or gardens.

Here’s the list of the top 10, as determined by the Sierra Club:

  1. University of Washington
  2. Green Mountain College
  3. UC San Diego
  4. Warren Wilson College
  5. Stanford University
  6. UC Irvine
  7. UC Santa Cruz
  8. UC Davis
  9. Evergreen State College
  10. Middlebury College

What do you think fellow Eco Warriors: Would you include environmental factors on your college search or your daughter’s/son’s?

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3 thoughts on “Green colleges

  1. Well, my answer to this question is irrelevant since I don’t have a son or daughter, but I would think it’s certainly a factor to consider. Of course, you also have to consider the quality of education, cost, fit for your kid, etc. but there are so many factors to consider already, their eco-friendliness makes sense as one to add. I’ll also point out that my alma mater and one of our home state of Virginia’s fine public institutions, William & Mary, has been making pretty major strides toward sustainability: http://www.wm.edu/sites/sustainability/index.php. And to be fair, the University of Virginia is doing good work too: http://www.virginia.edu/sustainability/.

  2. Cost and the quality of education are far more important than how ‘green’ a college is.
    Most of those colleges are on the west coast – so to send a child from the east coast, where we live, would involve air travel several times a year, which is definitely not considered an eco-friendly activity.

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