The College of the Atlantic, a small school in Maine, became carbon neutral almost a decade ago, largely by purchasing offsets. The school was proud of its effort, but President Darron Collins says buying carbon credits felt disconnected from college activities and classes.
Collins: “It was actually students that really brought the torch to say, ‘Hey, we need to do something more. It’s not good enough just to write a check.’”
So the College of the Atlantic raised the bar and pledged to become fossil fuel free within the next thirty-five years. And as they make the switch to renewable energy, they’re tying every step of the process to the curriculum.
For example, students are overseeing the construction of a new solar canopy on campus – handling everything from the financing to the siting, design, and even the communication with the surrounding town.”Maine Click To Tweet
Collins: “I want them to have lived through an experience to see what it takes to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It is a human phenomenon, and I want them deeply steeped in the human phenomenon of energy.”
Collins says this hands-on approach to installing renewable energy might take a little longer, but it will teach students how to construct the sustainable world they want to live in.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
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