Savvy college applicants are paying more attention than ever before to the green credentials of colleges and, to attract these stellar students, universities are stepping up their sustainability game. Sierra magazine just released its latest ranking of America's coolest schools, based on steps that more than 100 campuses are (or aren't) taking.
Four schools -- DePaul, University of Colorado at Boulder, Texas Tech, and University of Washington, Seattle -- received the two best and two worst overall grades. Can you guess which? And where did your school land on the list?
A deer hunter sitting in a tree shot and killed a panther in Troup County, Georgia, last year. Because there are no wild panthers in Georgia, authorities weren't too concerned. After all, a nonexistent wild animal can't be endangered or protected. This month, though, DNA testing revealed that the animal was actually a federally protected Florida panther that had wandered hundreds of miles north of his namesake state. (Florida panthers once ranged throughout the southeastern U.S., but now survive in just five percent of their original territory.)
Fewer than 100 Florida panthers remain in the wild. So far this year, eight have been killed by cars or trucks.
What the panthers need (besides the endangered-species designation they've had since 1967) is habitat. The animal killed in Georgia was healthy and well-nourished -- he just needed a place to live.
You can help by simply asking the Department of the Interior to designate the cat's remaining habitat as critical.
We're all eager to watch Ken Burns's documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, which airs on PBS beginning Sunday, September 27. If you care about protecting the future of these parks and the wildlife that inhabits them, you'll want to get everyone you know ready for the series by throwing a "Party for Parks" house party a week earlier, on September 20. Sign up now and we'll send you a free sneak-preview DVD along with almost everything you need for a successful party to take action to protect wild places. (Sorry, you'll have to provide your own s'mores.)
And get this: The first 20 people who sign up to host a party can also request a free autographed copy of the just-published Sierra Club Books book Gloryland, by Shelton Johnson, the only African-American park ranger in Yosemite and one of the "stars" of the Ken Burns series.
The Sierra Student Coalition may have "coal" in their name, but no one works harder to get it out of our schools. (The SSC is the Sierra Club's youth-led chapter, with more than 250 groups nationwide, grassroots-training programs, and its own website and social network.)
Universities and colleges are often the largest electricity purchasers in their communities, so the SSC's "Campuses Beyond Coal" campaign is working to move schools toward clean-energy solutions by closing on-campus coal plants and ending dependence on coal-generated electricity from the grid.
Students in both cool and (especially) not-yet-cool-enough schools should check it out!
Singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson has been nominated for a Grammy and inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. She's also the latest artist to offer a free downloadable song on Climate Crossroads. Eliza and great groups like Trees on Fire, Minus Ted, and The Giving Tree Band aren't making their songs available because there's a shortage of free music on the web -- they're doing it because they care about stopping global warming, as individuals and as artists.
Find out more about how they're doing it -- and start building your own green playlist of green artists.
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