Princeton Review: MHC a 'Green College'

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 11:15am

Move over, Pantone 285. Mount Holyoke has another color to add to its palette.

Just in time for Earth Day, the Princeton Review released its list of “green colleges,” institutions that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability.

For Tim Farnham, director of the College’s Miller Worley Center for the Environment, it came as no surprise that Mount Holyoke made the cut.

“I think it’s great that Mount Holyoke has been getting recognized for things we’ve been doing for a long time now,” Farnham said.

An associate professor of environmental studies, Farnham outlined the many ways in which Mount Holyoke integrates its institutional sustainability practices into curricular offerings. From regularly bringing facilities management and dining services professionals into the classroom, to using campus grounds as an ecological restoration laboratory, MHC helps its students connect theory with practice.

“Our students are aware that they’re not just learning about it in class, but they’re also living it on campus,” he added. “They’re very excited about it.”

Nancy Apple, director of environmental health, safety, and sustainability at Mount Holyoke, said the College is committed to a continuing exploration of how to nurture its green efforts.

“It takes an investment, and it takes a will,” Apple said, referring to recent installations of energy-efficient LED lighting in residence halls and in various exterior spaces on campus.

As another measure of success, Apple pointed to the College’s STARS silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

“People really have to recognize that this isn’t something that gets layered on top of the business model,” she added. “It has to be integrated into how we live and work each day at Mount Holyoke.”