The Princeton Review in partnership with the US Green Building Council publishes a Guide to 311 Green Colleges. The report highlights what it considers the “most eco-friendly campuses,” detailing “vital stats on sustainability, including Green majors, Green job placement, getting around Green on campus, and more.”
The Princeton Review notes that “among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,”
Three Maine campuses are featured in the 2011 edition: College of the Atlantic, University of Maine, and Unity College.
Here are the “Green Highlights” for UMaine:
The University of Maine has an innovative program to cut back on the use of motor vehicles: it provides free bicycles to be used by faculty, staff, students, and even visitors not affiliated with the school. Old bikes are donated by members of the community, refurbished by student groups, and placed around campus. A free shuttle also takes students from campus to downtown Orono. The result? Hundreds of UM students biking to class and using the shuttle to get around town, which equals hundreds of fewer car trips each year. UM is a green leader in other ways as well. The school has a full-time Sustainability Coordinator and a Sustainability Council made up of students, faculty and staff. Under their guidance, the university has made a commitment to avoid sprawl, restore local habitats, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Students have plenty of opportunities to become involved in environmental issues on campus. UM’s new student orientation includes sustainability programming, and Eco-Reps in residence halls coordinate recycling programs and lead other environmental initiatives. UM recycles more than 500 tons of paper products per year, and every office and classroom has at least one paper-recycling bin. All new buildings on campus must meet LEED Silver standards, and existing buildings are going green—two are already outfitted with residential-scale solar thermal systems. Faculty and students research sustainable energy, including cellulosic ethanol, wind, and tidal power (with help from a $300,000 Green Loan Fund supported by the University of Maine Foundation).
The entire report can be downloaded by clicking The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.