Colleges have become increasingly focused on creating green initiatives within their operations, whether they're installing solar panels on buildings' roofs or sending students forth in the community to plant trees in local parks. As more students strive for ways to become environmentally friendly in their everyday lives, universities have responded in kind by initiating a number of programs aimed toward the eco-friendly.
The Princeton Review, which has been helping students prepare for college since 1981, recently published it's "Guide to 332 Green Colleges," in which the organization highlights hundreds of different universities that have placed a great deal of emphasis on the environment.
Bastyr University installs efficient heating systems
While this San Diego-based institution may be small, Bastyr University has had a big impact on its outlying community. According to the report, the college's Student Village, which has 11 buildings equipped with radiant heating, low-flow water appliances, butterfly roofs and natural ventilation, received LEED Platinum certification in 2010. The school also boasts that 65 percent of its waste is diverted from landfills, with composting and recycling programs rampant around the campus. Additionally, 90 percent of the food comes from natural, organic suppliers.
Santa Clara University encourages students to give back
Similar to Bastyr University, Santa Clara University, which is also in California, diverts close to 60 percent of its waste from landfills. While this institution features five LEED-certified buildings and garners more than 50 percent of its energy from renewable resources, its main environmental focus is within the student body. According to the report, students are wildly active within green clubs, community projects and sustainable courses. Undergraduate students have participated in several competitions to show their eco-friendly prowess, including three U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlons. In addition, the school hopes to be carbon neutral by 2015.
Tufts University adopts radiant heating in its structures
This institution houses a number of LEED certifications, including its biology labs and one undergraduate residence hall, both of which are LEED Gold. Boston-based Tufts University boasts an impressive number of green transportation alternatives, including mass transit passes, bicycle storage and sharing programs, and carpool matching. Additionally, according to the university's website, several of its buildings are equipped with radiant heat flooring, which is ideal for students and teachers looking to escape the Northeast's brutal winter climate. The university is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and rated silver on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.