Another college with Middlebury's record might have taken it easy on green initiatives this year. After all, Midd's outdoorsy intellectuals had already earned recognition for such ambitious projects as recycling materials from a demolished building. But the school pressed on, giving its study-abroad program a shot of green last fall: A partnership with a renewable energy company makes it easy for students to offset carbon dioxide emissions associated with travel. More important, the Panthers now learn how to leave a lighter footprint on their excursions, and study-abroad students can win $500 grants to research environmental solutions like geothermal power in their adopted countries.
Energy: A wind turbine supplies 25 percent of the campus recycling center's energy; a new power plant fueled by wood chips from a local willow farm could halve fuel-oil use.
Waste: Sites for swapping goods encourage reuse. The campus recycles 60 percent of its waste.
Investments: Despite creating a committee on ethical investing policies and a fund to support initiatives like environmental research and green campus buildings, Midd's trustees do not disclose information about current investments.
If you go Track down author Bill McKibben. He directs a fellowship program that brings environmental journalists to campus.
Photo by Bob Handelman; used with permission.