Top 4 Green Schools

More and more people are starting to make environment-conscious decisions about nearly every aspect of life. These decisions also focus on the selection of an academic institution. As a result, many schools and colleges have started changing their practices. A number of universities can now be labelled as green because of the environment-conservation efforts that they make.

A number of universities stand out when it comes to green schools. Here are some of the top performers and the reasons why they’ve reached the first spots in such rankings.

American University

WashingtonDC’s American University has topped a number of charts aimed at ranking the best green schools in the country. Founded in 1893, the university has gotten a couple of awards and recognitions for its environment preservation efforts.

The student environmental group atAmericanUniversity is one of the driving forces behind green changes on campus. On top of that, the administration has adopted a green building policy. Solar panels are currently used on campus and by the end of 2015, they met 50 per cent of the university’s electricity needs.

The curriculum also focuses on sustainability. Currently,AmericanUniversity features more than 1,070 countries that are entirely focused on or related to sustainability. There’s a degree in environmental studies, a degree in environmental science and a couple of related graduate degrees.

University of California, Santa Barbara

When it comes to sustainability, University of California – Santa Barbara is another one of the nation’s leaders. A number of wonderful initiatives were carried out during academic year 2014/2015. These include a reduction in electricity usage per square foot of 39 per cent over the past 10 years, a natural gas reduction in use of 16 per cent on an annual basis and a reduction in portable water consumption.

The academic program also demonstrates the focus on sustainability. UCSB has its Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. The professional school has its research facilities and a couple of academic programs that focus on nature preservation.

Various active student organisations are also committed to making the campus greener. New initiatives are introduced on an annual basis like the replacement of traditional lights with LED bulbs, the introduction of sustainable irrigation on campus and extensive support for local farms and small producers.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

UMASS Amherst is another top academic institution that puts a lot of effort in establishing greener academic and campus practices. Just like the other entries in the list, this college has gotten a number of awards and recognitions for its environment preservation efforts.

Some of the projects carried out to make the academic institution greener include the establishment of the Franklin Permaculture Garden, green building design on campus, the healthy and sustainable food system initiative, the introduction of hybrid vehicles on campus, electronic waste recycling stations, charging stations for electric vehicles, a wind energy centre and a couple of other great developments.

In addition, UMASS Amherst has a combined heat and power plant that’s the recipient of an EPA Energy Star recognition.

The academic program also demonstrates the commitment to teaching a new generation of environment-conscious individuals. There are more than 300 courses that focus on sustainability and a total of 25 undergraduate majors that are environment-related. There’s also a sustainability fellowship program that welcomes about 20 interns every single semester.

Stanford University

Sustainability and energy management at Stanford University include a number of important initiatives. One of the most prominent accomplishments is the Stanford Energy Management Innovations (SESI) system. It encompasses building standards, efficiency improvements and renovations for the existing campus buildings and a switch to grid-sourced electricity. The new system is expected to bring down the campus emissions by 68 per cent. It’s also to reduce the use of portable water by approximately 15 per cent.

The sustainability study options are also numerous. Programs in science and environmental education, law and environment and resources and a graduate degree in environmental law are all available.

Undergrad summer internships are also available for the individuals interested in green developments. Stanford also has a number of research facilities committed to studying the environmental impact of various processes and coming up with viable solutions for the most common problems.

Kristy Feldman

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