Ways schools are becoming more earth-friendly

Schools invest in eco-friendly practices

Colleges and universities are keeping up their pledges to go green, even in hard economic times.  Many are finding that if they invest in environmental efforts, they see a reward in their budgets shrinking.

The Huffington Post looked at five ways schools around the country are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.  The easiest way for schools to become more environmentally-friendly is to push their students into greener practices.  It creates a sense of leadership among the student body to come up with ways to save the environment and get other students to follow suit.

Here are some ways the Huffington Post found schools are going green:

1.  Solar-powered trash cans:  Schools like Iowa State University use these trash cans that automatically compress the trash.  An alert is sent when it's time to empty them.  This cuts down on how often a school's maintenance crew has to travel to empty the cans.

2.  Alternate energy sources:  There are less conventional ways to harness energy and several schools have figured out how to do it.  The University of Minnesota generates some of its energy by burning oat hulls.  Green Mountain College uses bio-gas from manure.  And Dickinson College in Pennsylvania has a biodiesel plant.

3.  Going trayless:  Tufts University ditched its trays at its dining centers and found that its food waste was reduced by 30 percent and electricity use was reduced by 17.5 percent.  Other schools have gone trayless too, including Texas A&M and Murray State University.

4.  Composting food:  The company Waste Management works with food providers at colleges and universities to cut food waste.  It works with schools like Duke, Spellman College and Georgia Tech on converting thrown-out food into various forms of energy.
5.  Tough Rules:  The University of Washington has implemented environmental concerns into its policies.  It requires the school to maintain a recycling program and purchase Energy Star-rated appliances.
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