WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- After decades of inertia and lagging behind the corporate world, U.S. colleges and universities are going green.
From Maine's College of the Atlantic zero-waste graduation to Indiana's Ball State University biodiesel-powered shuttle fleet, college campuses are trying to outdo each other as they build energy-efficient dormitories and cut carbon dioxide emissions, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
The more than 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities -- driven by everything from the rising cost of heating and power rates to student activism to create sustainable campuses -- can have a significant impact on the environment.
Yale University has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 13 percent from 1990 levels. However its 2.3 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted each year is more than that of 32 countries.
"It's almost like an episode of 'Can You Top This?'" said Princeton University dining services director Stuart Orefice, whose cafeterias serve organic cereal and ship students' unused food to local pig farms. "It's a good-natured competition, if you will."