Saving the Environment One College at a Time

Traditionally, the most green you'll find at many colleges is on the football fields. But not anymore.

From ramped-up recycling efforts to installations of solar panels, colleges and students are doing their part to make campuses more green.

Watch the story on "Focus Earth" Saturday, Sept. 6, on Discovery's Planet Green network.

So many college students are getting into the act that word has trickled down to high school students who now want green campuses of their own.

This year, for the first time, the Princeton Review is giving green ratings in its annual guide, the Best 368 Colleges.

"Many students do care about green initiatives and environmental sustainability," said Rob Franek, the guide's author.

Along with rating a school on academics and sports, the Princeton Review is taking a close look at what the schools are doing to become more eco-friendly.

"There are more and more schools that have said, 'We are doing some initiatives on our campus and then explaining to the Princeton Review what those initiatives are," Franek said.

Scores between 61 and 99 are derived from things like campus food, transportation, energy sources and the curriculum.

Some of the top schools in the country are developing eco-campuses.

The buses at the University of North Carolina run solely on biodeisel fuel, and the dining halls of Caltech in Southern California use only containers and cups made from compostable materials.

But who made the green honor roll?

Of the schools rated by the Princeton Review, 11 scored a perfect 99. One of the valedictorians was Arizona State University.

"They have one of the most aggressive recycling programs," Franek said. "They don't allow bottles on their campus."

Hybrid Zipcars are available for ASU students, and there's even an algae harvesting lab that is converting algae to jet fuel.

ASU is greening the curriculum too. Last year, it was the first school to offer degrees in sustainability with such courses as Ecosystems and Climate change.

Collegiate competition is still important on the green fields of the football stadiums. But this is quickly becoming the new game.

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