Colleges are at the forefront of conservation and environmental issues. If you want to get involved and do your part to make your campus more eco-friendly, some of the areas of sustainability in which student environmental groups will focus their attention are:
- Food and Water: Environmental groups ensure that the meals provided to students are prepared and served in a clean and healthy manner, and they also work to monitor the use of power in the kitchen (pre-heating, lighting, running water) to conserve as much energy as possible.
- Waste Management: It’s no secret that college students lead messy lives. Many dorms work with students to implement recycling programs and set guidelines on how garbage should be properly disposed of.
- Transportation: Biking and public transportation may be all you need to get around campus. Environmental groups work with the school to make sure access to bus stops and bike parking are available throughout the campus in order to help reduce emissions.
- Campus Buildings: Thanks to the efforts of Harvard students, all departments are required to perform energy audits throughout campus in order to measure how and where energy can be cut back in order to minimize the amount of power used on a daily basis.
The Alliance to Save Energy currently has a Green Campus Program in which students work on campus to help with energy conservation, increase awareness across the study body, and promote careers in renewable energy and environmentalism.
Schools that apply for membership receive funding to host events and provide a stipend for student interns.
Many schools, such as the University of Chicago, have their own “Green Campus” initiatives that focus on general environmental awareness and advocacy. Read below for other green programs throughout U.S. universities.
College Environmental and Sustainability Programs
These are some of the groups and programs at universities across the United States that are working to create more environmentally-friendly campuses. Look to see if your school offers similar programs, or take the initiative and start one yourself.
- The UC Berkeley ReUse program provides services for students to exchange reusable materials, such as books, games, school supplies, and even one-side clean paper.
- Princeton University holds a sustainability open house in which groups provide students with samples of environmentally friendly products that can be purchased locally.
- The Skidmore College Environmental Action Club works to make the campus and local community more sustainable through a number of activities, including publishing articles, hosting speakers, and working with the administration to create eco-friendly proposals for the school.
- Alpha Gamma Rho is a national fraternity in which all members are pursuing degrees related to agriculture, food, and fiber industries. Members enjoy the same social benefits of other fraternities, but also enjoy internships, career seminars and job networking opportunities with alumni.