Learning for me is an ongoing process. It’s a process that begins at home. It has its roots in the beliefs, values, and principles we grow up with. At school and in college, learning becomes more about academics and straight A’s and extra-curricular performance and less about life.
Which is fine, really? I mean they’re called educational institutes for a reason, and there’s nothing wrong with education, whatever their definition of that is, being their prime focus.
But it’s heartening to note that many academic institutions have taken the responsibility to continue the lessons of life for their students. As I said, it’s an ongoing process, and these institutes are doing a credible job of incorporating all types of learning into their agenda.
What else would you call many of these educational institutes taking green initiatives? They want their students to view them as model institutes that don’t just impart world-class education, but also take learning beyond the classroom. Of course, cost savings are a happy byproduct of these green initiatives.
In case you’re waiting for me to come to the point, I shall make you wait no more. Today, I want to dedicate this post to honor some of the greenest educational institutes in the country.
The list, compiled by Forbes, is based on a College Sustainability Report Card that measures the green efforts of these institutes in areas such as student involvement, transportation, recycling initiatives, food programs, overall approach to sustainability, and a combination of other factors including Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll.
So, the top honors go to:
- Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.
The college got a glowing Sustainability Report Card from the Sustainable Endowment Institute earning straight A’s for its environmental and sustainability efforts. Not only is the school committed to green buildings, but it is also using green power to meet all its needs. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, wind power accounts for 100 percent of the school’s power purchases. Now that’s what I call power to change the world!
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.
Scoring an A- on the Sustainability Report Card and a place in Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll is the elite Georgia Institute of Technology. Clearly, technology is not the only thing taught at the school, which holds more than 100 classes with sustainability components. What’s even more impressive is that the school requires all its vendors to provide environmentally friendly products and has turned its dining halls 98% waste neutral. That’s certainly not a “wasted” effort if you ask me.
- Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
This is an institute that we associate with excellence. It’s the pride and glory of the entire U.S. higher education system and what it stands for in the world. The school makes the cut to the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll and scores an A- from the Sustainable Endowment Institute for its green initiatives – of which there are many! The university, which has a permanent office of sustainability, has invested $12 million in its sustainability efforts. It also features among EPA’s top 20 buyers for green power. Now add one more reason to include Harvard in your dream college list!
- Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.
Another school that’s got glowing reports from both the Sustainable Endowment Institute and Princeton Review for its green initiatives is the Northeastern University. In a mammoth drive to save cost and energy, the school replaced 70,000 light bulbs with energy efficient ones in 2008. The initiative resulted in cost savings of a whopping $1.2 million for the school. It was also able to cut its building energy consumption by 21% in a span of five years. The school is a signatory to the President’s Climate Commitment.
- Northland College, Ashland, Wis.
The school has signed on to the President’s Climate Commitment and was included in the Green Honor Roll by Princeton Review mainly for its use of green power sources as well as its40-year commitment to a liberal arts curriculum focused on environment. Forty years is a long time to stay committed to a cause. Need I say more?
For the rest of the list, you can read the Forbes article.
So we know how much the educational institutes are doing for the environment, now what? Do we go back to our lives or we take a resolve to start a green movement of our own? Surely, a world that plants more trees recycle more materials, sells more scrap to organizations like SIMS Metal Management is a much better world to live in.
When the whole world is going green, why should educational institutes stay behind? Many pioneering academic institutes of our country are leaving an indelible mark on our society with their green initiatives. Read this post to find out the top five green educational institutes in the U.S.