The scoop on sustainability: You sir, are a hippie
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 13:09
“Pffffft!” said the UNH students. “I don’t care about the environment.” Well, little did you know, all of you UNH students are making a big contribution to this here fine Earth. That’s right, like it or not, you sir are a hippie! How you may ask? Well the university does most of the heavy lifting for you. So much so, you may not even realize how sustainable you are. The University of New Hampshire made the US News & World Report Top Ten Eco-Friendly Colleges and has the oldest higher education sustainability program in the U.S. We’ve also made the list of Sierra magazine’s Coolest Schools for seven years running.
Here are a few ways the university makes you look good:
First off, you know how the sidewalk on Main Street seems to be the first thing to melt when it snows? Well that’s the EcoLine that UNH completed in 2009. The EcoLine takes gas from the Rochester Landfill and converts it to energy to power 85 percent of our campus. Secondly, almost all of the UNH buses and shuttles run off of alternative fuel sources, so you’re saving a lot more than your own gas money by riding Wildcat Transit. Also, UNH was the first campus in the U.S to receive the USEPA Energy Star rating for residence halls, and has two LEED Certified Gold buildings, James Hall and The Peter T. Paul Building. Not only are you being eco-efficient by riding the free UNH buses, but you’re also saving energy just by living in dorms and sitting in class! Oh, and by the way, students used to have to separate their recyclables back in the day; well, UNH thought they would make it easier on us and turn everything into single stream recycling. Boom!
As if how you travel and where you live aren’t hippie enough, UNH has even made the dining halls crunchy granola good. The dining halls have pledged to work with local farmers and to incorporate sustainable options as much as possible. They serve fair trade coffee, local honey from Hudson, NH, apples from Woodman Farm, and cage-free eggs from Monroe, N.H. UNH dining halls serve around 70,000 meals each week, and we’ve all seen the plates on plates of food not being eaten. Well, UNH has that covered too. They compost the leftovers and bring it back to farms to further enrich the soil. Even the napkins you use are green!
This is just a glimpse of how UNH secretly made all of its students into sustainable students. Of course, we can’t all stay here forever having the university do that hard stuff for us, so learn more than what you are taught in classes and try to take some of these sustainability practices home with you. But while you’re here, you go girl! Keep eating your cage-free eggs with a little slice of being awesome in the morning.