Sometimes it’s Easy Being Green
Anna Lutz
alutz@uwsp.edu
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has once again been listed in the Princeton Green Review. Not only that, but it has received the highest score of 99, placing it among the 21 United States colleges on the Princeton Review’s 2013 Green College Honor Roll.
 
For the last five years, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Princeton Review has been rating colleges across the United States on their environmental practices.
 
The rating takes into account many factors such as the food served in the cafeterias and cafés, the transportation options for students and staff, and the overall energy consumption of the school.
 
This is not the first time UWSP has been recognized for its environmental achievements. In fact, it is the second year that UWSP has been listed by the Princeton Green Review.
 
UWSP has gone to great lengths to earn the honor. Many of the buildings on campus are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, and its residence halls are designed for green living. Several of them have solar panels that work to heat water and all of them participate in NatureWise, a program that guides the University to purchase energy from renewable resources rather than natural gas or coal.
 
UWSP also has a Sustainabilities Coordinator, Shelly Janowski, who oversees and helps plan environmental improvements. Most recently the University has created a carbon neutrality plan. This plan lays out the steps necessary for the university to reduce its carbon footprint.
 
"Everything we put out we either reduce, or put down to zero using energy credits," Janowski said.
 
One student, Christine Kuhn, who studies natural resources at the university, says that she feels the quality of life here on campus is "pretty excellent." She took a class in environmental sustainability and was involved in the compost program here on campus.
 
"I have always loved the outdoors," Kuhn says, and she is glad that Schmeeckle is close by. Kuhn feels, however, that there are still some students who do not understand the importance of sustainability and good environmental practices.
 
"Many people don’t get that education if they are not in the natural resources or sciences," Kuhn said. There are still students who are unaware of the facilities offered by UWSP that depend largely on the participation of students.