College of the Atlantic: First Carbon-Neutral US College


In a move we hope will inspire other institutions to follow suit, College of the Atlantic (COA) has pledged to become the first college in the U.S. to go carbon neutral. Coming at the request of incoming President David F. Hales (pictured), the college vows to avoid, reduce or offset all contributions to global warming that are associated with any of the college's activities, including travel by students to and from campus. Located in Bar Harbor, Maine, COA has about 300 students drawn from 47 states and 51 countries who all study in the one program offered by the school: Human Ecology. Since its inception in 1969 to offer a new educational philosophy to prepare students to address the world's social and environmental challenges, the institution has been walking the walk: in 1972, students were instrumental in getting Maine to pass its groundbreaking bottle recycling bill; in 2004, it become the first institution of higher learning to sign a multiple-year contract to offset 100% of the emissions generated from its electricity use in 2004 and in 2005, the college had the first zero-waste graduation; commencement and a reception for 800 people netted no more than five pounds of waste. ::College of the Atlantic via ::Grist