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Winter Storm Avery takes lives puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown we continue our reporting on a first-of-its-kind report calls for better policies for children living in foster care; plus got gratitude this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Michigan Schools Get an “A” in Sustainability

August 25, 2008

Reston, VA – Michigan's colleges and universities get good "green" grades in a national sustainability survey. Julian Keniry, campus ecology director with the National Wildlife Federation, explains the national study examined 1068 colleges and universities and graded campuses on how well they're conserving energy, recycling, and reducing traffic congestion.

"Michigan ranked ninth among states in the study because a whole host of campuses are running leading programs there."

Keniry explains while schools are becoming more "green," the study finds sustainability initiatives are being slowed by inadequate funding and support for facility development.

She believes the most encouraging finding is how much progress has been made since the first such campus survey, conducted seven years ago.

"College leaders across the board see sustainability and environmental programs as a much higher priority. Today they have plans to do everything from increased generation of renewable energy on campus to reduce waste and boost water conservation."

Keniry says, among Michigan schools, Michigan State University stands out because of their forward-thinking, ambitious educational objectives.

"They've got a strong recycling program in place, they're using clean energy in their co-generation systems, and they have a whole set of goals, ranging from waste reduction through greening transportation."

She says an irony is that while those activities are increasing, students are less likely than their predecessors to be environmentally literate when they graduate, and she'd like to see more courses covering sustainability.


More information on the "Campus Environment 2008" report is available online at
www.nwf.org.

Jim Wishner/Steve Powers, Public News Service - MI