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May 19, 2010

Naropa University among The Princeton Review’s Greenest Schools.

The Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council have recognized Boulder’s own Naropa University as one of the greenest in the nation in their recent Guide to 286 Green Colleges.  Through using electricity that is 100% wind powered and implementing an all-encompassing composting system, they are among a list of schools, also including four other Colorado schools, that are leading the nation in sustainable learning environments.  Naropa also has an on-campus greenhouse that yields crops for both the campus’ cafe and landscaping and its sprinklers, unlike CU Boulder’s, only waters when needed.  Another impressive part of Naropa’s program is their academic opportunity for green majors and minors in a wide variety of subjects ranging from sciences to agriculture to sacred ecology.

Naropa’s full press release is as follows:

Naropa University Featured in The Princeton Review & U.S. Green Building Council’s “Guide to 286 Green Colleges”

BOULDER, Colo. (April 22, 2010)—Naropa University is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review.  The nationally-known education services company selected Naropa University for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants – “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”

The Princeton Review says Naropa University takes the concept of “zero-waste” seriously. At its 2007 graduation ceremony, 2,000 people produced only one small bag of trash. New student orientations have also been “zero-waste” in recent years. All bathroom paper towels are composted, as well as all food scraps from Naropa Café—in fact, the composting system has grown tenfold in recent years. Naropa holds itself accountable for environmental progress. The university even conducts weekly trash audits to find opportunities for further waste reduction. Every student is provided with a bus pass for local and regional travel, and 120 bicycles are available for use by the community. The campus maintenance crews skip gasoline during the spring and summer months, using biodiesel fuel instead.

Many visitors to Naropa’s three campuses are impressed by the university’s commitment to green landscaping. On its Paramita campus, a parking lot was transformed into a green space with an on-site weather station that waters the lawn only when necessary and delivers water directly to the plant roots, preventing almost all evaporation. Naropa University generates 100% of its electricity through wind power. The William D. Jones Community Greenhouse provides food to the café and plants for landscaping, and serves as a center for ecological learning. Naropa is a hotbed of environmental events, including a popular speaker series and Campus Sustainability Day, a celebration with music and organic food from local farms.

The Princeton Review noted that another unique aspect of the Guide is that it provides important information on schools that have dedicated environmental studies curriculums. “By many accounts, there are going to be a lot of job opportunities related to the environment and sustainability,” commented Franek. “For those who are interested in working in this growing sector, the Guide highlights the schools that are doing an especially good job in preparing and placing the next generation of green professionals.”

Naropa University offers a BA in Environmental Studies as well as minors in subjects ranging from Horticulture to Sacred Ecology. Naropa also offers three environment-related graduate programs: an MA in Environmental Leadership, an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Wilderness Therapy and a low-residency MA in Transpersonal Psychology with a concentration in Ecopsychology.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC, www.usgbc.org), the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

Just in time for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, the Guide—which is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide—profiles the nation’s most environmentally responsible campuses. From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges” looks at an institution’s commitment to building certification using USGBC’s LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.

The free Guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus. “Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. “According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this Guide to help them evaluate how institutions like Naropa University focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”

Naropa University joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the green movement through their own special programs and initiatives.

“Beyond the cost savings to an institution, even the simplest aspects of a green campus, such as increased use of natural light, have been found to improve student learning and quality of life,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Green facilities make colleges more attractive to students and can dramatically reduce energy costs. Higher education is a top priority market segment for USGBC because graduates of green colleges become incredible drivers of change when they call for similar surroundings in their jobs and communities.”

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.

The Princeton Review has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for more than 28 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. For more info please go to www.PrincetonReview.com.

U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. For more information please go to www.usgbc.org/campus.

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