Going Green in College

Where my seniors at? What about my juniors? Sophomores? Freshman? It's Spirit Month after all and a time to show your school spirit! (I'm going to use this moment as an opportunity to shamelessly plug Spirit Month and the new DOT projects, but that's not what this blog is about!)

Seniors, not to stress you out, but it's time to start thinking about that exciting next of phase of  your life. Let's talk about college.

There are many important factors that go into choosing the right college for you, whether it be location, size, areas of study, sports or the social scene. Everybody looks for something different. And even though ACE is focused on high school students, you don't have to stop being active in green clubs. In fact, you can even think of college as simply as being a new school, new leadership opportunity!

I'm here to to tell you about some of the best green schools. Check it out:

The first ever carbon-neutral college campus was the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. The tiny school (they only have 300 students and one major- human ecology!) set the trend way back in 2007, devoting a huge chunk of their budget to carbon-offsetting efforts.

American University is working hard to equip students in green schools that can be taken out of the classroom and to congress. They have established a Green Teaching Certificate Program as a way to reward professors who are integrating sustainability practices and ideas into their regular curriculum. They also have a climate plan give a 2020 goal for climate neutrality. Now that's cool.

If you're looking for a smaller school, check out Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Over half of the campus's energy comes from renewable sources, and much of the food that is served in the dining hall comes from the on-campus 180-acre farm. As if that isn't enough, all new buildings must be LEED certified.

There are a ton more green schools. The ever -trusty (though often daunting!) Princeton Review outlined and rated the 311 greenest campuses in the United States. Available for download for free, this useful tool rates colleges based on their transportation systems, construction policies, recycling and waste programs, environmental science studies programs and climate change initiatives.

Check out the full list of colleges here and while you're at it, download the Princeton Review's guide to 311 Green Colleges.