By Alison Hewitt
Originally posted in UCLA Today
More than 800 colleges and universities completed surveys for the guide, earning scores between 60 and 99. Slightly more than 300 schools scored the 83 or better needed to be included in the guide, including UCLA with a score of 95. The freely downloadable book, "The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition," also features UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. The guide does not provide rankings, but describes itself as a way to highlight schools that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability.
UCLA "is going green from its classrooms to its cafeterias," the guide reads. "A few highlights include replacing all Styrofoam cups with biodegradable ones in the dining areas, recycling alcohol from its science labs, purchasing more recycled copy paper, and hosting a series of environmentally focused speakers and forums. Now all of the university's computers are Energy-Star rated, 38 percent of its vehicles run on alternative fuel, and more than 600,000 energy-efficient light bulbs have been installed."
The guide also touts UCLA's 69 percent rate of diverting trash away from landfills and zero-waste goal; programs like The Green Initiative Fund grants, which provide $200,000 to green student projects annually and paid for solar panels on the roof of Ackerman Union this year; and the expertise and cutting-edge research at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
"There is a rising interest among students in attending colleges that practice, teach, and support environmentally responsible choices," the guide notes in its introduction. "There is no one way to run a sustainable campus. All 322 schools in this book, however, have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability initiatives. … They are terrific institutions."