TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound is one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company published its 2013 The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges today, just ahead of the April 22 celebration of Earth Day.
The free, downloadable guide says that at Puget Sound “green isn’t just a color, but a way of life.” The campus has involved students, staff, and faculty in sustainability on multiple fronts, ranging from what is taught in class, to travel and food programs, to recycling, to constructing environmentally certified buildings, to educational events, to commitments to nationwide climate awareness programs.
“We are truly pleased to recommend University of Puget Sound, along with all of the fine schools in this book, to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices,” said Robert Franek, publisher for The Princeton Review. Franek said his company's recent survey indicated significant interest among college applicants in attending “green” colleges.
“Among 9,955 college applicants who participated in our 2013 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' 62 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,” Franek said.
The guide notes the impressive work by the Puget Sound Sustainability Advisory Committee, which focuses on consumption, curriculum, climate, and public outreach. The committee reduces waste on campus through recycling and composting and through sponsorship of zero-waste events such as LogJam, Spring Lu’au, and an electronic waste collection drive.
SAC also has started an innovative program of appointing “Green Advocates” to every residence hall to encourage peer-to-peer education about sustainable living. Several other campus groups also initiate “green” measures. When students moved in on campus last fall, Sustainability Services diverted 5.5 tons of cardboard, almost 2 tons of comingled material, and 155 pounds of Styrofoam. When students move out this May, the Community Involvement and Action Center will run Operation S.A.V.E., which collects and donates to charity everything that students leave behind.
On the education front, a survey of Puget Sound’s course offerings found 98 courses with a sustainable focus and another 307 that are sustainability related, The Princeton Review guide wrote. Overall, out of 34 academic departments, 32 offer at least one class connected to sustainability.
The Princeton Review chose the 322 schools for the guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges in 2012. The company analyzed data from the survey about the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment.
The final guidebook included only the schools that received scores above a set level in its green ratings. The guide’s school profiles also feature facts and statistics on school demographics, admission, and financial aid. The free book can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.
The Princeton Review created its Guide to 322 Green Colleges in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, with support from United Technologies Corp., founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools. Information about The Princeton Review’s green rating methodology is at www.princetonreview.com/green.aspx.
Download the Green Colleges guidebook for free at: www.princetonreview.com/green-guide
Photos on page: Top right: Forest Beutel '11 works in the Permaculture Garden Club's local garden; Above left: Students salvage food from the dining hall kitchen; Right: The Live Green House is a model of sustainability.
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