Written by Michael Rouleau
WILLIMANTIC, CT (09/22/2017) For the eighth year in a row, Eastern Connecticut State University was named a “green” college by the Princeton Review. The announcement came on Sept. 20 when the review released its 2017 “Guide to 375 Green Colleges.”
The guide profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities. Colleges were chosen for the guide based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that were tallied in summer 2017 for 629 colleges using data from its 2016-17 survey. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide.
In addition to a strong environmental earth science program – as well as a new minor in environmental health science – Eastern’s campus boasts four LEED-certified buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). A fifth building, the new Fine Arts Instructional Center, is currently under LEED review. These buildings feature daylight-harvesting and gray-water systems, recycled flooring, native plants and biofilter systems to reduce rainwater runoff.
A new initiative to reduce food waste is occurring at Eastern’s dining hall, Hurley Hall. The three-pronged program involves offering students plates (rather than trays) of food, donating leftovers to the local soup kitchen and composting discarded food.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern is currently leading a statewide initiative called Sustainable CT, a certification program that will provide a roadmap of best practices and resources to help communities become more efficient, healthy, safe, resilient and livable.
“Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2017 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “We strongly recommend the schools in this guide to environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges.”
The Princeton Review’s 2017 “Guide to 375 Green Colleges” is available at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide. The review first published this guide in 2010. It remains the only free, annually updated guide to green colleges. The review is also known for its dozens of categories of college rankings in its annual books, “The Best 382 Colleges” and “Colleges That Pay You Back.”