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Press Release: UMass Dartmouth Featured in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition"


UMass Dartmouth Featured in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition"

Guide Salutes University's Strong Commitment to Environment and Sustainability

Author:  Joseph Sullivan [Contact]
Date:  April 22, 2014
Department:   Sustainability
Dartmouth, MA (April 22, 2014) -- UMass Dartmouth is one of the 332 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The University's strong commitment to the environment and sustainable practices is profiled in the fifth annual edition of The Princeton Review's free downloadable book, "The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges". Schools were chosen based on a 2013 survey of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges to measure the schools' commitment to the environment and to sustainability.  The institutional survey included questions on the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

"We're very proud of the recognition received for our sustainability-based academic, research, and outreach initiatives that share the goal of building a sustainable, eco-friendly future for ourselves and those who follow us," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. "Sustainability cannot just be the mission of the one. It requires a university, a region, a Commonwealth, and a global commitment to support sustainability efforts and engagement to produce greener pathways forward."

In the guide's profile on UMass Dartmouth, The Princeton Review highlights the University's 20 percent carbon emission reduction since 2008 and the renovation and expansion of the LEED Silver Claire T. Carney Library. In addition, the Green Navigators student group was highlighted for its efforts in running a Farmer's Market on campus and campaigning for a campus bike path. The university's Living Classroom project also received praise for its promotion of healthy management of the forest. UMass Dartmouth was also chosen as one of 100 locations nationally to test out green landscape maintenance standards.

UMass Dartmouth will celebrate Earth Day 2014 today during a "Green Navigator Shout Out", event, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Campus quad. The Earth Week 2014 kick off allows members of the University community to learn more about how to be green. Information will be provided to participants about bike programs, recycling, green spaces, and more.

UMass Dartmouth sustainability programs and projects that will be highlighted today include:

Launch of the Co-Generation Plant:
The 1.7 MW plant went operational this September generating a constant level of electricity while supplying all of the necessary steam to heat and cool the University's buildings. The University converted its heating plant over to natural gas from number 5 fuel oil. This move to getting a large percentage of  electricity from UMass Dartmouth's own gas fired turbine ensures a cleaner source of fuel for electricity as opposed to buying it from the grid, which typically has 55% supplied by coal.

Sustainable Alternative Spring Break:
Fourteen UMass Dartmouth students chose to stay on campus and provide service back to the campus and community. They helped to clear some of the trails on campus and co-located outdoor garbage cans and labeled some as recycling bins. In addition, the students helped to process 120 recycling bins from around campus to separate the redeemable aluminum, plastic and glass containers as well as cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and trash that accidentally end up in the wrong bin. They also got to provide service to the Marion Institute Round the Bend Farm, the Lloyd Center for the Environment, and the Southcoast Energy Challenge where they wrote and produced a number of Public Service Announcements for local community cable television channels.

Establishment of the Green Fee:
This fall the campus created the student-supported Green Fee Committee to help disburse the $77,000 that has been collected via the University Green Fee. Initial projects funded have been water bottle filling stations, the Alternative Spring Break, a pilot program for a residential composting program, two different types of outlet strips to reduce electrical usage of residential students, and funding for a Green Spaces Program for Residence Hall Rooms, Office and Labs.

Increased Recycling Rate:
Since September, 35 members of the Green Navigators have worked in conjunction with one member of the facilities staff to process all recycling on campus. This has included co-locating all of the garbage and recycling bins together and labeling them to make it easier for the University community members to recycle. They have started sorting every item placed in recycling bins into a multi-stream process. In addition to reducing garbage fees, the Green Navigators are focused on sorting out items including includes paper, cardboard, plastic (#1-#7), glass and scrap metal. They are also researching alternate disposal paths for wooden pallets and food waste. All of these efforts have helped increase UMass Dartmouth recycling rate from 8.7% to over 27.5% in just this year.

Bicycle Improvements:
This past summer 12 bike racks were added around the central area of the campus to allow community members to safely secure their bikes. The first bike repair station was also added. Students are currently researching a new style of bike rack that is consistent with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals standards. They have also looked at better bike storage options near residence halls. Lastly, they have researched some storage options for longboard riders to secure their boards while indoors at central campus.

Green Move Out:
The Green Navigators and the Green Fee Committee have teamed up to provide the first ever, staffed green move out. This will include student staff members who will be available in residence hall lobbies to assist students in diverting clothing, household items, unopened food, and electronics from the garbage bins and going to local charities. Last year, without staffing, the effort diverted 600 pounds of clothing, 600 pounds of food and 2 trailers of discarded electronics for recycling.

UMass Dartmouth faculty and students have organized a week dedicated to Green Sustainability and Entrepreneurship for Earth Week 2014, April 21-25, 2014. The week will feature student presentations on local projects related to sustainable business practices, a discussion of green innovation and sustainability by UMass Dartmouth alumnus Jacob Vaillancourt '12, Founder and CEO of Waste Hub, and a presentation on Corporate Decision Making by Eileen Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for CVS Caremark Corporation.

The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation and college admission services company. Every year it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation, tutoring, and admissions services, its online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House LLC.

"We are pleased to recommend UMass Dartmouth to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices," said Rob Franek, Senior VP/Publisher, of The Princeton Review. "Among 10,116 college applicants who participated in our 2014 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' 61% said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school."

The Princeton Review created its "Guide to 332 Green Colleges" in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

The 216-page book serves as the only free, comprehensive, annual guide to green colleges. The 2014 guide, which features school profiles, "green facts", and advice for living green on campus, can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.
 

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