How Green is Your College?

Last Updated:
Thu, 2018-04-05 11:34

I was in line at a restaurant in Austin and two guys behind me were debating how much electricity an LED night light draws. The reason they were arguing is because one of the guys is a university student, and he leaves an LED night light plugged in. His roommate disapproved and says that he is wasting energy. So the guy with the night light pointed out that his roommate’s laptop, which was on all night, draws at least 10 times the power of his LED light. The guys in the booth were trying to calculate the electrical usage so that they could come up with an exact view of who was wasting more energy.

I actually introduced myself and asked what they were arguing about. They explained, and I asked if this was a serious college conversation, and they both said that being green is all the rage on campus nowadays. The whole reason that I find this interesting is that it seems that college-age kids look at sustainability and being “green” as important. It’s their contribution to society. They’ve grown up in a world constantly under threat from global warming, sprawl, pollution, etc. They know that there’s a better way to live, and they view contributions to sustainability as both the right thing and the common sense thing to do.

Apparently, some of the college ranking institutions are picking up on the trend and now offer prospective college students the ability to review a college’s green credentials. Princeton Review and Green Report Card are just two of the organizations offering such assessments. Another anecdotal example is the student body at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. At UNCC, the students elected to tax themselves an extra $3 per course registration to contribute to a fund that will make their campus greener. Now they are debating whether to install solar hot water on the dorms, amongst other projects. Wow, college students actually caring enough to vote with their own money to make their campus greener!

What do you think? Are college campuses becoming the bastions of sustainable awareness?

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