According to the Chicago Tribune, administrators and students are uniting at colleges and universities nationwide to cultivate environmentally friendly campuses. Many schools are expanding their existing green programs, and some are developing full-time administrative positions to manage such environmental endeavors.

For example, Tom Kelly is the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) chief sustainability officer. On UNH’s Web site, students can virtually tour a green dorm room. The school also has constructed a pipeline between campus and a nearby landfill to harness power from the landfill’s methane gas. This renewable power source will, by 2008, cut UNH’s greenhouse gases by 60 percent from 1990 levels and will save UNH millions of dollars as energy costs continue to mount, Kelly said.

Northwestern University, Chicago, soon will be buying wind-generated power to satisfy one-fifth of the school’s electrical needs. The school conducts competitions among student housing facilities to see which dorm can conserve the most water and energy. Incoming freshman also will receive a reusable water bottle as a welcome gift, and students will get a 10 percent discount at campus cafeterias if they use the bottle instead of a new cup.

Enid Cardinal, sustainability coordinator at Illinois State University, has projects in the works, such as buying products with Energy Star ratings, obtaining flexible-fuel buses and switching the school’s light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps.

Students, too, are cutting their personal energy consumption with products such as the Juice Bag, a backpack containing solar panels that can power an iPod or other small devices. EC