15 creative ways that students and colleges are going greener
BY HOLLY RICHMOND - For the full article (only sections of 9 ways are listed here), go to: www.grist.org
16 Sep 2008
Kappa and Trade
Green the Greeks, a student organization at UCLA, is trying to educate the school's Greek system about sustainability issues. Frats and sororities use a disproportionate amount of energy, the group says, so it's aiming to "harness the resources of the Greek community for the environment," its website explains.
Applying to college means the liberal use of caffeine, SAT words, and ... paper: more than 750 million pieces of it every year, according to Students Plant the Seed. Don't want to join the ream team? Apply electronically, an option available at hundreds of colleges nationwide. Start by checking out the websites of the schools of your choice; many allow e-admissions.
In a move that will leave many a student without a winter sled, colleges around the country are going trayless. Though some students may worry about balancing their plates as they move through bustling cafeterias, ditching trays means big energy and water savings -- up to half a gallon of water is saved for every tray that doesn't need to be washed.
A growing number of colleges are launching or expanding their bike-loan or bike-share programs, aiming to get students, faculty, and staff out of their cars. California State University's Fresno campus has had a bike program for seven years; it makes about 100 bikes available for rental each semester.
Flush With Success
Forget girls gone wild; dorms gone green is the new (albeit less libidinous) collegiate stereotype. Wake Forest University fitted its dorms with low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and Energy Star appliances.
Om Cooked Meals
Iowa's Maharishi University of Management says it's the first college in the U.S. with an all-organic, vegetarian, freshly prepared menu; others, like the University of California-Berkeley, are in the process of obtaining organic certification.
Waste Not, Want Rot
Greening the caf is great, but what happens after lunch? Ohio University wins bragging rights for the country's biggest on-campus, in-vessel composting system, which turns leftovers into rich soil in a quick two weeks (and gets half its energy from solar power).
Forget what you heard in high school -- riding the bus is hip. Especially if you're aboard the University of Montana's new 50-seat biodiesel bus, which is clean, smooth, comfy, and best of all, free.
Move-in and Groovin'
Washington, D.C.'s George Washington University just had its first-ever "Green Move-In," which included a paperless check-in system for dorms and designated recycling areas for moving boxes. Instead of passing out heaps of unwanted orientation literature, the school encouraged students to print out just the info they wanted or consult maps and handouts posted in common areas. "Green Move-In" was inspired by last semester's successful "Green Move-Out," in which volunteers gathered up and recycled 3,000 pounds of food, 2,200 bags of clothing, and 4,500 books left behind by students who'd vacated the dorms.
For the full article (only sections of 9 ways are listed here), go to: www.grist.org