Which Is the Greenest College Campus in Your State?
Colleges across the U.S. have been making headlines for environmentally conscious polices and student activism. For example, the University of Dayton became the first U.S. Catholic college to divest from fossil fuels, Washington University students were arrested protesting Peabody Coal, and 130+ universities joined in a movement to measure the sustainable dining on campus.
There are numerous ways to judge how “green” a school is, including a close look at college campuses. eCollegeFinder has created a map illustrating the greenest college campuses in each state, as judged by College Prowler.
College Prowler ranked each school on a 1 to 10 scale, and while they did not disclose the criteria used, they summed up the motivation behind the rating system as follows: “These days, schools boast a high number of LEED-certified facilities and sustainability initiatives. The following colleges and universities are striving for a more eco-friendly future.”
Only one school received a perfect 10: Pitzer College in California.
See if your school made the list.
And, in case you’re a little rusty on college logos, here’s the breakdown of universities and College Prowler green campus ratings by state:
Alabama: Auburn University – 8.6
Alaska: University of Alaska Fairbanks – 8.05
Arizona: Northern Arizona University – 9.67
Arkansas: Hendrix College – 9.06
California: Pitzer College – 10
Colorado: University of Colorado Boulder – 9.8
Connecticut: Yale University – 9.36
Delaware: University of Delaware – 8.61
Florida: Florida Gulf Coast University – 9.8
Georgia: Emory University – 9.65
Hawaii: Chaminade University of Honolulu – 8.18
Idaho: Brigham Young University - Idaho – 8.45
Illinois: Loyola University Chicago – 9.21
Indiana: Ball State University – 9.11
Iowa: Iowa State University – 9.19
Kansas: University of Kansas – 8.43
Kentucky: Berea College – 8.73
Louisiana: Tulane University – 8.5
Maine: Bowdoin College – 9.54
Maryland: Goucher College – 9.47
Massachusetts: Smith College – 9.47
Michigan: Grand Valley State University – 9.47
Minnesota: Carleton College – 9.19
Mississippi: University of Mississippi – 8.5
Missouri: Washington University in St. Louis – 9.36
Montana: University of Montana – 8.7
Nebraska: Hastings College – 8.35
Nevada: Sierra Nevada College – 8.45
New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire – 8.8
New Jersey: Richard Stockton College of New Jersey – 8.71
New Mexico: University of New Mexico – 7.94
New York: Ithaca College – 9.42
North Carolina: Elon University – 9.41
North Dakota: University of North Dakota – 8.15
Ohio: Oberlin College – 9.31
Oklahoma: Oklahoma State University – 8.76
Oregon: University of Oregon – 9.67
Pennsylvania: Allegheny College – 9.19
Rhode Island: Brown University – 8.81
South Carolina: Furman University – 9.13
South Dakota: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology – 8.32
Tennessee: Vanderbilt University – 8.91
Texas: University of North Texas – 9.52
Utah: Westminster College – 9.14
Vermont: University of Vermont – 9.41
Virginia: James Madison University – 8.84
Washington: University of Washington – 9.46
West Virginia: West Virginia University – 8.02
Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point – 9.13
Wyoming: University of Wyoming – 8.38
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Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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