“What makes a school green, anyway?” someone on the Matador team asked when I sent out an email asking for editors’ and interns’ favorite “green” schools in the US.
It’s a good question, if not an easy one to answer.
Is a school green if its curriculum focuses on environmental issues? Is a school green if it has a garden? Is it green if its cafeteria sources local food and composts the leftovers? Is it green if it’s built from the ground up and has LEED certification? How about if it’s an old building with a fall-out shelter, rescued and given new life as a school?
Ideally, I think, a green school is one that has an environmental ethic evident in its construction, curriculum, and cafeteria, and the schools on our list fulfill these criteria. That being said, there was no rigorous scientific methodology devised to rate these schools in comparison to others; for that, consult The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges, which is available in a complete version online– for free.