Sierra’s Big Ten of Cool Schools

Sierra magazine, (yes, it’s printed on trees*) lists the top 10 “cool schools” — that teach ecological sustainability by precept AND example. #1 is Oberlin just up the road from me, which offers locally grown foods for 1/3 of its menu, a pioneering car-sharing program, subsidizing public transportation with student activity fees, half its electricity from green sources, and real-time data collection on dorm electrical usage… setting the stage for future conservation measures. Even commencement at Oberlin is now eco-friendly, with biodegradable utensils and programs on 100% recycled paper. It’s a start, eh? The rest of the Big 10 are Harvard, Warren Wilson College (Swannanoa, NC), U of California system, Duke, Middlebury (VT), Berea College (KY), Penn State, Tufts, and Carnegie Mellon.

I think it’s important to feature authentic, integral-to-campus-life elements of green coolness in all admissions marketing efforts. But if its not authentic and integral, wait for your campus to walk it before talking it.

*Nov/Dec 2007, p. 34


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