College Campuses Work To Reduce Their Carbon Footprints

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Climbing walls and winning sports teams aren't the only selling points for colleges and universities these days. An increasing number of students are also interested in their school's "carbon footprint," or more specifically, their lack of one.

That's why, in the last six years, hundreds of campuses around the country have signed on to something called the Presidents' Climate Commitment. To simplify a complicated document, that commitment basically says three things: that schools recognize the dangers of climate change as a fact; they understand there are benefits to reducing greenhouse gases; and they commit to heading toward the goal of carbon neutrality.

So far only a few, including Colby College in Maine and Green Mountain College in Vermont, have achieved total neutrality. But others, like the University of Minnesota at Morris, are well on their way. Earlier this year, that school was awarded "the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education" Gold Rating. And Architecture Minnesota magazine praised some of the school's unique renovations, including its use of "chilled beams."

School Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson joins Here & Now's Robin Young from the studios of MPR in St. Paul to discuss the school's goal of total carbon neutrality.


This segment aired on October 20, 2014.


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