Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Greening of Higher Education

With fall semester getting underway, we can’t help but notice that many universities are jumping onto the Green bandwagon.

Today, when high school seniors tour college campuses, they no longer only care about the cafeteria menus; dorm rooms, the party scene and the guy to girl ratio (though we are sure these continue to rank quite high on the priority list of 17 and 18 year olds). Increasingly, these soon to be collegians want to know how much of the school’s energy is green, what happens to the waste that is generated and whether the cafeteria offers reusable silverware and dishes and of course is there a recycling program for the beer bottles and cans.

A recent Princeton Review survey showed that the environmental commitment of schools influences the choice of college for a stunning 63% of applicants! To address this rising demand, The Princeton Review has partnered with EcoAmerica to add a “green rating” to their college rankings.

Investing in sustainability initiatives is an added incentive to market to potential students and it also helps attract leading faculty as well as funding and donations. And positive marketing and word-of-mouth just happen to be two other convenient byproducts…

The numbers show that schools all over the country are increasingly doing more than just the average recycling program. When we, The Greenery, went to college green was a term reserved for the Birkenstock wearing, tree loving crowd. Today, Generation Z has fully embraced this movement and we believe, will be the generation to make a difference.

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