When it comes to protecting the planet, many schools have given it more than a college try. In fact, America's institutions of higher learning are some of the best incubators of sustainable solutions to myriad problems, and they are molding and inspiring the bright minds that will inherit the environment from the current generation of leaders.
Today's cutting edge colleges and universities have gone way beyond simple recycling to starting organic gardens and farms, installing green roofs and solar panels, treating wastes with "living machines" and offsetting all emissions. Some colleges are as large as small cities, while others only have a few students. Some are household names with multi-billion dollar endowments, and others are newcomers with bootstrapped budgets. To try and work toward rigorous criteria for assessing environmental impact, the Kentucky-based Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education has launched a pilot program.
In the meantime, here are some of the colleges that excite us with their strong commitment to going green. Thankfully, the list isn't comprehensive.