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The “Change” for Colleges: Going Green and Staying Green

Posted Nov 09 2008 10:11pm

Obama is a passionate supporter of alternative energy and other green initiatives, and he also believes in educating our youth about humanitarian and environmental efforts, so what better way for him to help spread the green word than to instill eco programs in shool?

Well, this has already happened in many colleges around the U.S., and the classes are not only preparing students for the future “2 million green jobs that will be created in the next 2 years,” but they’re also educating open minds about the role they will play in the future of the planet.

Here are a few green colleges, from all around the U.S., that offer eco friendly programs:

1.  Washington College (Chestertown, MD) - The Center for Environment and Society fosters sust ainability on campus through recycling, composting and more. Students are enouraged to sign a “ Green Pledge ” to reduce their impact on the environment, and there’s even a George Goes Green blog that touches on green tips, personal stories and other green topics.

2.  Tufts University (Medford, MA) - Has an Office of Sustainability that started the Tufts Climate Change Initiative. Students can join the Power Your Room campaign where for only $10 they can have the energy in their rooms powered by the wind.

3.  Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) - Has its own composting facility on an organic farm that takes scraps from student housing, throws in some worms to break down the food, and then uses the finished compost as a nutrient-rich soil additive.

4.  Kettering University (Flint, MI) - Its Center for Fuel Cell Systems & Powertrain Integration offers entire programs devoted to the research and development of fuel cell technolgy systems.

5.  University of Maryland (College Park, MD) - Has a Campus Sustainability program that offers a Sustainability Speakers Series and multiple research centers on-campus devoted to solving environmental problems.

6.  University of Colorado (Boulder, CO) - Started the Ralphie’s Green Stampede” zero-waste and carbon-reduction program at Folsom Footbal Field to compost and recycle almost all food and drink containers. The college will offset their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits fromthe Colorado Carbon Fund and White-Wave Foods.

7.  Berea College (Berea, KY) - Has its own Ecovillage that uses Ecological Machines to purify and reuse wastewater.

8.  University of Portland (Portland, OR) - University sustainability includes a small on-campus organic garden called the Student Led Unity Program (SLUG) where students grow plants and food for themselves and the dining hall.  The school is also hoping to purchase a biodiesel genertor to convert kitchen grease to fuel for on-campus vehicles and buildings.

9.  Northland College (Ashland, WI) - Located near Lake Superior, Northland College considers itself “Visionary by Nature” and combines liberal arts with environmental studies to prepare students for challenges in the future.

10.  Ripon College (Ripon, WI) - Started the Velorution, which is a combination of vélo (which means bicycle in French) and revolution. President David C. Joyce is an avid cyclist,  so he purchased 200 brand new Trek mountain bikes to urge freshmen to ride on campus instead of bringing their car.

And finally, if you’re interested in a green study abroad program, check out Living Routes, which offers for-credit sustainability education programs on every continent.

These are just a few of the thousands of colleges and college programs that are starting to concentrate on the environment.

Hopefully, with the promises that Obama made, we’ll soon find every college in the U.S. with a green program.

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