Colleges Catching Up

From the Washington Post via Eco-Portal, an article on efforts by colleges and universities across the US to incorporate sustainability measures on campus. The article focuses on Berea College‘s new “Ecological Village” apartment complex, but also cites examples from schools large and small that are trying to reduce their ecological footprint:

They are driven by everything from the rising cost of natural gas to student activism, and the consequences can be significant for local air pollution as well as energy markets: Yale University emits as much as 2.3 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, more than 32 countries, but that’s a 13 percent drop from its 1990 levels. Harvard University, meanwhile, now ranks as the country’s second-largest university buyer of renewable energy.

“Those of us who study the environment but don’t incorporate what we know into how we operate as an institution, we are failing in our educational task,” said Berea College President Larry D. Shinn, who has made environmental sustainability central to his school’s mission. “Most of us humans, especially Americans, don’t understand what a precarious situation we’re in relative to human-nature interactions.”

In a related story, Green Car Congress points us to news that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

…will switch the 870 vehicles in its fleet—including tractors, mowers and off-road equipment in addition to passenger vehicles—to biofuel blends.

The University will use E-10 (10% ethanol) blends in all its gasoline-powered vehicles, with the exception of 26 flex-fuel vehicles that will burn E85. Diesels will use a B2 soy biodiesel blend.

This follows on a 20 May executive order by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman for all state agencies using fleet vehicles to use E85 and biodiesel (whenever available within a reasonable distance) while operating the state’s flexible-fuel or diesel-powered vehicles.

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