Sierra student groups push campuses to expel coal plants

Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign has been turning up the heat on coal users, including campuses.

According to Sierra, 60 U.S. universities operate their own coal plants. The environmental group wants them to convert to another source of energy that produces fewer greenhouse gases, which are contributing to rapid climate change. Coal plant emissions also create ground-level pollution and contain mercury and arsenic, which ends up on land and in oceans and lakes.

Is your college promoting sustainability? Sierra names the top greenest universities for 2012

U of Conn students collect sneakers to donate to Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program, which turns them into track and playground surfaces.

Sierra magazine’s top 10 “Coolest Schools” are working hard to solve global warming, and their students are literally taking on the world by developing more sustainable food, buildings, energy sources and transportation.

Trim college costs: Buy a car share membership

No one sends a kid to college without escaping a raft of sacred duties. There’s the requisite group reading of course offerings, the ceremonial first check writing, the buying of the coordinated bedding and the securing of a vehicle in which the newly minted young adult is launched full throttle into his or her post-secondary education experience.

But this last carbon intensive practice has never been economical, especially for young men whose insurance rates can jackhammer through mom and dad’s bank account faster than tuition fees.

More and more, people are questioning whether wheels are even necessary on campus. Many colleges can’t accommodate all those parking needs, and even on gigantic state school campuses students don’t need to drive from class to class. Often a young adult mainly needs a car to return home on weekends or holidays, a transportation need easily solved by Greyhound or Amtrak. For those occasional excursions when a car is called for, the new answer is car sharing