I just got back from a tour of colleges on the west coast with my son, which included several University of California (UC) schools. I was intrigued when our guide at UC Santa Barbara mentioned they had been selected as the second most green campus in the United States, with only the University of Washington ahead of them. It motivated me to do some research once I got home. I couldn't find a list putting UC Santa Barbara at number 2, but I did find their recent Award for going "Green".
It was very exciting to see how many campuses have embraced sustainabillity and green practices. At UC Santa Barbara, 85% of the students have bicycles on-campus and they use them. There are bicycle "streets" with traffic rules (and tickets for breaking them, yeeesh!). And places all over for parking bikes.
A contest started last year by America's Greenest Campus really got noticed once Obama Girl got in on the action, and they are doing the contest again this year. For best green campus lists, you can go to Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges, Mother Nature Network Greenest Colleges in the US, Sierra Club’s Cool Schools ranking and The College Sustainability Report Card.
Then there are programs to encourage going green, including The Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program and the U.S. Green Building Council Green Campus Campaign.
Exciting times! And if anyone reading this is a student looking for an internship at a Green Business, shoot me an email.