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Sustainability on Campus: University of Maine is Making a Difference

usgbc_logoThe Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition was recently released, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. The guide profiles—yep, you guessed it—322 schools that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability. It lists vital stats on eco-friendliness and covers everything from solar panel use and green majors to fair-trade fashion and green options for getting around campus.

In 2011, Green Rating scores were tallied for 768 colleges and universities. Of those, only 18 schools attained top scores of 99. Bulletin Bag [.com], based in Maine, is proud to say that the University of Maine is among this elite group of 18.

The University of Maine provides free bicycles to faculty, staff, and students. Old or abandon bikes are collected by the police department, refurbished by student groups, and are then made available for checkout. Additionally, a free shuttle takes students from campus to downtown Orono. These two programs have resulted in thousands of fewer car trips per year.

The school has made a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2014, and students have plenty of opportunities to be involved. Eco-Reps in residence halls coordinate recycling programs and other initiatives, and several campus groups promote sustainability on projects large and small.

Whether you’re a shopper with reusable grocery bags, or a large university building a LEED-certified campus, we all need to work together for a better environment. Congratulations to the University of Maine—and all the schools in the guide—for making a difference.

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