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United States Colleges Continue to Support Green Living

As we continue to approach the beginning of a new school year, it is growing more and more apparent that the trend towards going green is still on the rise. In fact, according to Reuters, many schools as a whole are working hard to lower their environmental impact.

It's happening at colleges and universities across the country. At Arizona State University, a six month-long major project is under way to redo the campus's interior and exterior lighting with quality low-energy fixtures, hoping to save over $100,000 worth of gigawatt-hours annually. Meanwhile, at Colorado College, new campus buildings are being built to meet LEED certification standards. The Russell T. Tutt Science Center, for example, incorporates wind-generated electricity, low-VOC paints, and other eco-friendly products -- plus some other extra bonuses, like like a shower for bicycle commuters.

Other schools are setting a green example from the inside out. Colleges like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for example, are gaining a reputation for immersing students in their engineering degree programs in problems with an environmental slant -- the article describes a course in which students -- freshmen, at that -- were asked to "improve the environmental performance of a Vespa moped, a vehicle that already gets 90 miles per gallon" by improving its fuel efficiency through hydrogen or electricity.

According to Reuters, former President Bill Clinton visited the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in Chicago last week, speaking before a group of 250 students in leadership roles hoping to reduce their campuses' environmental impacts, and reportedly encouraged the students' efforts, saying "All this work is out there laying on the ground, begging to be done with absolutely certain rate of return," Clinton told the university executives.

When asked why students are getting so passionate about the environment, Arizona State University class president Michael Crow responded that it's merely following the good ethos that his school has taught so well. "You work at a university that says the sky is falling, and you've done nothing?"

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