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Eastern earns dual honors from Princeton Review for sustainability and campus life

Published on November 20, 2023

Eastern earns dual honors from Princeton Review for sustainability and campus life

Eastern Connecticut State University has earned dual recognition from The Princeton Review for 2024.

Eastern Connecticut State University is traditionally recognized for its sustainability efforts, and this year is no exception. For 2024, Eastern has been named to The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Schools as well as its Best Northeast Colleges List.

This marks the 14th consecutive year that Eastern has been named a “Green College” by The Princeton Review. Eastern has also been a mainstay on The Princeton Review’s Best Northeast Colleges List in recent years.

Eastern’s recognition as a Green College reflects its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as specified in its current Climate Action Plan, pledging to achieve carbon neutrality on campus by 2030.

Princeton Review

Other “green” aspects of Eastern’s campus include energy-efficient buildings, composting programs in residence halls/dining facilities, an on-campus food pantry for students in need, a community garden and many more sustainability initiatives.

Several strategies advance to the University's sustainability mission. “The Institute for Sustainability and the Green Campus Committee work closely with facilities staff to identify actions that reduce energy use, and to collaborate with the system and state on larger-scale renewable energy initiatives,” said Patricia Szczys, executive director of Eastern’s Institute for Sustainability (IS).

Waste is an issue not just on campus, but worldwide. To combat this, the IS will focus on the “basics of recycling” in spring 2024 “to reduce the amount of contamination in the recycling stream, to reduce the amount of recyclable materials headed to the landfill, and to reduce the amount of food waste headed to the landfill,” said Szczys.

Relatedly, one of Eastern's latest green developments is an on-campus thrift shop to be launched in January 2024. “The thrift shop will be a place where the campus community can donate gently used items and where students can come to get the items they need, free of charge,” said Szczys.

Best Northeast College

Meanwhile, Eastern meets three criteria as a Princeton Review Best Northeast College: academics, student body and campus life. Offering anonymous quotes from Eastern students, The Princeton Review sums up why Eastern meets these criteria.

Academically, many Eastern students encounter professors who “seem to love what they are teaching,” said one anonymous student. Eastern also provides an environment conducive to academic success by providing affordable options for commuters and resident students alike.

Eastern’s student population is relatively small, meaning that “you’ll see someone you know every time you’re on campus,” said another student. Eastern’s campus also draws in students from around and outside the state, resulting in a welcoming campus community.

In terms of campus life, Eastern provides an enriching college experience beyond one’s studies. Few campus events cost money to attend. Most importantly, “you are able to make many new friends and memories that will last you a lifetime,” said another student.

Written by Noel Teter