Quantcast

Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
The Green Life: Sierra Magazine Names America's Greenest Colleges

« Book Review Wednesday: Landscapes | Main | Daily Roundup: August 17, 2011 »

August 17, 2011

Sierra Magazine Names America's Greenest Colleges

The best schools help save the earth by making students stick their hands in it

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's well and fine to learn from a lecture. But rarely is a lecture life-changing.


Good professors know that discussing nature in the confines of a classroom is not likely to stir the soul, no matter how enlightening the lesson. Even the most impassioned teachers catch well-intentioned students nodding off. What awakens, they realize, is experience. Getting hands dirty. Immersion.

Sierra Magazine's 10 Coolest Schools



Each year since 2007, we at Sierra magazine have sat in our offices for weeks doing the detailed, quantitative work to rank U.S. universities on their greenness. This year, we also wanted to find out what lessons are learned when the classroom walls fall away.

What happens when students sleep on damp earth, grow their own food, or build homes for the poor? Here's our hypothesis: They change, on the inside and on the outside.


To derive the numbers on our list, we asked the Sierra Club's conservation experts to help us rejigger our 12-page questionnaire (PDF) to reflect the Club's most pressing priorities. We e-mailed surveys to 940 schools and carefully scored (PDF)  the 118 responses  we received. We corresponded with many of the colleges' devoted sustainability officers, and we lamented that those at several campuses — including some in last year's top 20  — declined to fill out our survey.

Meanwhile, we dispatched writers to Bali , Utah, and the Adirondacks  to report on schools where teachers work to make sure that the graduates they send out into the real world actually know what that place looks like.

As educators continue to deepen their devotion to sustainability and to immersive learning, we'll keep telling their stories. And we'll keep honing our methods  for doing so. Because, as Emerson also wrote, "the more experiments you make the better."

But now, with no further ado, here is Sierra's 2011 list of America's greenest colleges.

--Avital Binshtock

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b96069e201543493a185970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sierra Magazine Names America's Greenest Colleges:

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...