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Should Your College Choice Be a Green One?

May 31, 2011 By: Julie Manhan Category: Choosing a College

According to a recent article by The Princeton Review, 69% of the 200 students polled said they considered  how “green” the school was as a factor in their college choice.  So just how large of a factor should that be?  Well, before you start stressing about it, let’s try to put things in perspective.

the green college choice

Photo by The Truth About

I have visited a lot of colleges and can tell you that I have yet to visit one that is not doing something to lessen its impact on the environment.  From using compostable utensils to producing a portion of their own energy from wind turbines on campus, colleges seem to be quite aware of the need to become more environmentally responsible.  The greatest concentrations of LEED certified buildings I have ever seen have also been on college campuses.  In short, the majority of colleges “get it”.

So, how much weight should the environmental policies of a school influence your college choice?  That depends on you.  If you are planning to go into environmental science, major in environmental studies, or become an environmental engineer, then it only makes sense to give more weight to schools that have a strong commitment to the environment.   That is because those schools are also more likely to be doing related research and using emerging technologies.  They may also have connections within related industries where you may be able to do an internship.

Not planning a career in the environmental field, but serious about doing your part to help the environment?  Before you make your college choice, you can check out the annual College Sustainability Report Card.  It will tell you everything you need to know about a school’s commitment to sustainability and the environment.  Keep in mind that a school that fits you in every other way besides this one, may actually be the one that will offer you the best opportunity to make a real difference.

In the end, the factors you will need to take into account when you make your college choice are as unique as you are.  The important thing is to find a college where you will thrive.