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College rivalries are nothing new, whether it is academics or athletics. Now there's new competition over which are the greenest.
Colleges across the country are making sustainability a priority to both help the environment and raise their profile. Kaplan chose these 25 schools as the greenest for its 2009 college guide. Kaplan factored in environmental campus projects, courses offered and on campus student groups. Take a look at the alphabetical listing.
The school’s garden produces food that can be sold to vendors, used by the campus dining room or donated to charity. Besides the farm, the university gives its staff three-wheeled bicycles to get around campus.
In order to reduce waste, Bates hosts The Clean Sweep, an annual tag sale that takes items left behind by students in their dorms, which are then sold to other students.
The historic campus has been renovated so that all of its historical buildings are brought up to green standards. Berea also has a college farm that produces green vegetables for the on campus dining room.
Committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent, Bowdoin has purchased wind-generated power, instituted single-stream recycling and renovate buildings to be more sustainable.
The system of 10 schools has pledged to generate 10 megawatts of renewable power by 2014 and increase the use of low-emission vehicles on its campus by 50 percent in 2010.
The college overhauled most of its buildings by changing light bulbs, as well as using other environmentally friendly materials and appliances. In 2004, construction was finished on a wind turbine located just outside the campus.
In 1990, Carnegie Mellon launched an extensive recycling program. It recycled 682 tons of waste last year. The university also powers some if its campus using alternative energy sources.
Bar Harbor, Maine
One of the highlights of College of the Atlantic's sustainability practices is offering students and faculty the opportunity to borrow bicycles for a day, or an entire semester, free of charge.
Hanover, New Hampshire
Students started the Sustainable Move-Out in 2006, an event where they collect appliances and room decorations at the end of the year, store them through the summer and sell them to incoming students in September, reducing the amount of waste the school produces.
Dickinson's college farm is in the process of expanding from 1.5 acres to 4 acres of vegetable production, which is used for the school's dining services. Students who apply for a summer internship at the farm can live in off-grid yurts (tent-like huts) powered by solar panels.
Durham, North Carolina
In an effort to conserve water, Duke has handed out 9,000 free low-flow showerheads to employees and off-campus students, replaced automatic flush toilets with manual ones and turned off decorative fountains in the school's garden.
Campus dining services at GVSU purchase food, mostly from local vendors since it requires less fuel to deliver. They also only use biodegradable plastic bags, cups and containers.
Harvard recently announced a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016. It is reducing the amount of energy it uses, as well as installing solar panels that produce hot water and low-flow water fixtures in its bathrooms.
In 2006, MIT retrofitted its lighting at many of the school's athletic facilities -- a move that will save $120,000 in electricity bills annually. It also uses an outdoor lighting Web-based control system for the soccer field and tennis courts that allows those who book the spaces to have the lights go on and off automatically at a specific time.
Besides the common energy efficiency initiatives, Middlebury encourages environmental activism. It launched Step It Up, an organization that produces rallies and events across the country to bring more attention to global warming.
Durham, New Hampshire
Reducing its dependency on fossil fuels, the university will soon tap into a nearby landfill -- and its methane gas -- for 85 percent of its energy needs. The initiative will pay for itself in 10 years.
>Video: More on UNH's Green Initiatives
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The school is committed to conserving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and integrating sustainability throughout its curriculum.
Starting in 2006, Oberlin adopted a policy that any new construction on the campus must meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED silver standard.
To reduce waste, the school encourages two-sided photocopying, reusing envelopes for campus mail and using recycled supplies.
University Park, Pennsylvania
Penn State's Ecological Systems Laboratory is a natural water treatment facility that breaks down wastewater. The lab can clean 1,000 gallons of water a day.
Santa Clara, California
Through its extensive recycling program, the school says it recycled 85 tons of cardboard, 137 tons of paper, 25,100 pounds of tin, 1,000 pounds of aluminum, 12,600 pounds of plastic, 27,300 pounds of glass, and 216 tons of green waste in 2005.
Tufts says it created the first university environmental policy in 1990. The school implemented solar panels and a complete recycling program.
In 2007, UVM completed the construction of its student union, the Dudley H. Davis Center. It has 175 sensors placed throughout the building that provide data on the amount of energy used for electricity, water usage and heating. Those interested in how much energy is being consumed can view that information on a Website, which is constantly updated.
Replacing toilets and urinals at the school’s bathrooms is conserving millions of gallons of water. Swapping 1,500 older toilets for newer ones saves about 30 million gallon of water a year, while installing 100 water free urinals saves 40 million gallons of water annually.
New Haven, Connecticut
The university is committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. To reach that goal, it is building more energy-efficient buildings, utilizing more renewable sources of energy and purchasing carbon offsets.