Sierra Magazine Names the Top 20 "Coolest" Schools in the U.S.

cool schools t-shirt photo

Image courtesy of Sierra Club

It's just about back to school time, so what better moment than now for Sierra magazine to reveal the nation's top 20 "coolest" schools for their efforts to stop climate change and educate students about sustainability.

From Green Mountain College's innovative biomass electricity generation to Georgia Tech's sustainable engineering classes, the magazine's September/October cover story spotlights the schools that are making a true difference for the planet, and marks Sierra's fourth annual listing of America's greenest universities and colleges. The complete scorecard is available online at These schools are truly inspiring, as are the students we profile who are helping to make their campuses cleaner, greener places. As I mentioned in my last column, young people today are becoming amazing leaders on environmental issues around the country. One place we're seeing these leaders blaze trails is on college campuses.

But why wait any longer to reveal it—here are Sierra's Top 20 coolest schools of 2010:

1. Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vermont)
2. Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
3. Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington)
4. University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)
5. Stanford University (Palo Alto, California)
6. University of California, Irvine (Irvine, California)
7. Northland College (Ashland, Wisconsin)
8. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
9. College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
10. Hampshire College (Amherst, Massachusetts)
11. University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, California)
11. [TIE] Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont)
13. University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, Colorado)
14. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina)
15. University California, San Diego (San Diego, California)
16. University of California, Davis (Davis, California)
16. [TIE] University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont)
18. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
19. New York University (New York, New York)
20. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia)

From small, environmentally focused liberal arts colleges to the largest research universities, schools across the country are helping to move the country towards a more sustainable future.

Congratulations to these trend-setting schools!

Read more about environmentally-friendly schools:
Great, Green Back-to-School Gear for College Students (Slideshow)
10 of the Best College Environmental Programs in the U.S.
10 College Students Making Green Headlines
7 Out of 10 College Bound Students, Prefer Green Universities