Trayless dining halls, LEED-certified buildings and alternative energy sources are increasingly getting attention at college campuses across the country. Students aren’t just looking for schools with good sports teams anymore. Now environmental consciousness is part of the equation.
A new ranking from Sierra magazine lists some of the greenest of them all, and you might not be surprised to see several California schools ranked highly.
UC Irvine (3), UC Davis (4), Stanford (7) and UC Santa Barbara (10) are all top-10 colleges on the magazine’s environmental list, which takes into account factors like where a school gets its power, how environmentalism is incorporated into the curriculum and what kind of food is served in the dining halls.
What gives California schools an edge in the rankings? It’s something in the ethos of the state, says Avital Andrews, Sierra magazine’s lifestyle editor.
“(California schools) really pay attention to their water use and their energy use," she says. "It’s easier to get outside here in the winter, so schools encourage students to get outdoors at all times of the year and farm the campus farms or do trash pickups.”