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COOL SCHOOLS | Remedial Ed

In the name of positive reinforcement, we applaud six surprise stars looking to jack up their green GPA

By Kyle Boelte

A year ago Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, had few ecofriendly initiatives in place and was committed to studying "clean coal." But after student activists rallied, university officials created a sustainability council, added native habitat, and agreed to offer organic food.

The University of Missouri completed a greenhouse-gas emissions report and added a sustainability office, which created an online energy "dashboard" that pits residence halls against one another in a contest to consume the least.

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina, staffed its new sustainability office with two full-time employees and five graduate assistants. A 100-kilowatt wind turbine also went on line, as did a solar heater that supplies 60 percent of the hot water for restaurants, locker rooms, and bathrooms.

Wisconsin's Lawrence University rearranged its academic calendar (it's now closed from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day) to reduce power consumption by 5 percent. Lawrence also cut food waste by banning trays from dining halls and christened a LEED gold-certified building.

Rochester Institute of Technology, in New York, spent millions of dollars to overhaul its energy system. It hosts a clean-energy incubator and a sustainability institute and held a "Greeks Go Green" contest to get fraternities and sororities to save energy.

Oregon's Portland State University adopted a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and opened a "learning-living" community where freshmen can immerse themselves in earth-friendly practices.

 

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