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Report: “Generation E” Emerges on College Campuses in ID

November 23, 2009

BOISE, Idaho - There've been baby boomers, Generation X, and now there's Generation E, where the "E" ties into ecology, clean-energy economics and social equity. It's the term used in a new report to describe the leaders of the sustainability movement on college campuses, and thousands of projects at 160 campuses across the country have been documented.

Report contributor Julian Keniry, who is senior director of campus and community leadership for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), says the researchers found the sustainability movement has grown beyond recycling. Earth Week events at Boise State University were packed with service projects to boost energy efficiency on and off campus.

"The level of engagement we're seeing is unprecedented. There are these examples that just show that there is a level of engagement that we haven't seen in more than 20 years."

She says that, most importantly, the report quashes the myth that students are apathetic when it comes to the clean-energy economy.

Keniry says while gathering campus information, investigators learned it was difficult for many projects to get off the ground because of resistance from school administrators. And she notes that sustainability has yet to become a standard part of university curricula.

"If you're studying the health sciences, business, engineering, you're unlikely to graduate having taken any course on sustainability or environment."

Although not mentioned in this report, green projects at Albertson College of Idaho and the University of Idaho were logged in a related sustainability database.

The full report, "Generation E: Students Leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future," is available online at
www.nwf.org

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID