On April 22nd each year, one billion people across more than 193 countries celebrate Earth Day. This concept originated in 1970 and today, being environmentally conscious is a key-value held by students around the world.
With this priority in mind, it is no surprise that students gravitate to campuses with the same environmental values. Below Places4Students.com highlights some of our partner schools and their sustainability initiatives!
Simon Fraser University – British Columbia, Canada
Simon Fraser University has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as their global development agenda until 2030. They are a part of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, working to promote these practices not only locally, but also at a national and global level. Simon Fraser has a total of seven green initiative buildings on its Burnaby and Vancouver campuses, which include the gym and School of Business!
Stanford University – California, USA
Stanford University has been creating and implementing campus-wide initiatives to reduce and reuse all the resources they can. Since 2008, the university has taken steps to do their part and become as environmentally aware as possible. Stanford announced their hope to be 80% carbon-free by 2025 and achieve zero waste by 2030. In 2017-2018, the university had 440 members of faculty doing sustainability research and over 1,000 sustainability-related courses in all seven of its campuses.
York University – Ontario, Canada
Since 1968, with founding of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University has been working to implement their shared vision of sustainability even beyond the university. York was the first university in Canada to sell certified fair-trade clothing in its campus store and their Lassonde Building was one of the first ‘green' buildings to be built in Ontario. For years, York has also been ranked the top among Canadian universities in the GreenMetric survey!
Loyola University Chicago – Illinois, USA
Loyola University Chicago has been working to advance sustainability at the university for many years. They have been incorporating green rooftops in new constructions and renovations; providing a habitat for wildlife like pollinating insects and birds that you'd find in a native Illinois Prairie. The university has been recognized for having more green roofs than any other college in the midwestern United States.
Loyola's Lakeshore campus also keeps over 10 million gallons of storm water out of the combined sewer system. This helps stop basements from flooding and prevents polluted water from going into the Chicago River and Lake Michigan!
Sheridan College – Ontario, Canada
The Sheridan Medicine Wheel Garden, located at Sheridan College in Ontario, is a transformed garden from being overgrown with invasive Buckthorn to a healthy greenspace that promotes biodiversity. Four quadrants of native perennials were planted to help produce and provide pollen, nectar, and fruits for pollinators including bees, birds, and butterflies! The plants they chose were to provide colour all year round and help teach people about nature and the traditional teachings of the First Nations!
Lehigh University – Pennsylvania, USA
In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on the campus of Lehigh University, a plastic movement can be seen! Since 2014, Lehigh has installed 40+ water bottle refill stations on campus. This has resulted in over 1 million plastic water bottles being diverted since the installation of the first one! They have also diverted 61% of the university's waste from the waste stream by recycling, composting and donating!
University of Maine – Maine, USA
At the University of Maine, they have been working to help the environment by harnessing wind power. In 2013, UMaine launched the VolturnUS 1:8; a floating wind turbine - a 65-foot-tall prototype that was the first offshore wind turbine in America to be grid-connected!
The university has used the data they have compiled to inform the creation of two full-scale floating wind turbines. They hope to use offshore wind energy to reduce Maine's reliance on imported fossil fuels and help create jobs in this new industry.
SEE ALSO: Going Green: The Top 7 Green-Friendly Student Housing Communities
The Places4Students.com Team