The concept of helping the environment has grown tremendously over the years.
Now, placing recycling bins on the curb no longer gets you the eco-friendly kudos.
Consumers, business organizations, and academic establishments are constantly evolving. Meanwhile, several colleges and universities across the United States are going to great lengths to integrate environmentally friendly practices— increasing the green attributes of their campuses.
We combed the Internet for a list of colleges and universities (in no particular order) that are striving to improve their environmental performance through a range of programs, and here they are:
10 Green Colleges & Universities in America
UC Irvine continues to only get stronger with its sustainability policies and practices. Particularly adept at waste management, preventing over 80% of campus waste from entering the landfills. The university is also working to save marine life through UCI OCEANS. UCI decreased its yearly carbon pollution by 1,500 metric tonnes by introducing 11,700 more solar power panels in June 2021. The university has kept 2025 as the target year to become carbon neutral.
Oberlin College runs 12% of its electricity on solar arrays and tracks water usage in all the residence halls to save water and energy. As part of their green steps, the admission committee commutes around with bikes and buses for recruitment.
The University of Connecticut prioritizes sustainability all around campus activities— academics, innovation, food, etc. Students can choose majors like sustainable crop production, horticulture, and other related fields. Around 70% of Huskies graduate from a program that educates about sustainability.
Colorado State University doesn't miss a year in churning out environmentally conscious graduates. The college offers students 19 majors in sustainability. Their other campus green programs include the Ram Food Recovery, replacing old equipment with greener alternatives, etc.
Lewis & Clark may be a frontrunner in sustainability practices-- from green buildings and research to various campus initiatives. The college prides itself on educating the students with a social conscience, imparting a learning system that promotes liberal learning and local and global awareness at the same time.
The University of Washington is committed to eco-social sustainability that goes far beyond simply following the rules. Among many things, UW is a member of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, serves local organic food, and donates leftover food to the poor and needy in Seattle. Further, 90% of UW's electricity is from hydropower.
UW Oshkosh is a leader in energy and water conservation— using innovative ways to reduce freshwater consumption while generating about 20% of its electricity from wind power. Other green initiatives include biodigester, Environmental Justice Conference, and Growing Oshkosh.
UCSD incorporates various green campus programs such as Aquaholics Anonymous, EcoNauts, green transportation, and water and waste management. The university proactively educates and encourages its students on how to live sustainably. UCSD reduced its annual water consumption by more than 30 million gallons and recycled 400,000 gallons from 2009 to date.
The University of California, Davis is notable for its eco-focused curriculums, offering about 300 undergraduate sustainability classes. The campus also serves organic food that is sustainably and locally sourced in residence halls. The university is geared towards promoting sustainability in all the departments.
Middlebury College has been carbon neutral since 2016— net-zero carbon footprint. They keep up their remarkable awareness of environmental issues by farming organic produce in its campus gardens and running most of the institution's residences with biomass, solar, and wind power.
While you go back to school this year, consider the choices you can make to go green. In need of a backpack? Go for sustainable backpacks, laptop sleeves and canvas pencil pouches made with 100% organic cotton.