A green education is easy to find and will give any young adult a competitive edge in the job market. The North American Alliance for Green Education (NAAGE) is a student-inspired consortium of colleges and other organizations with a commitment to environmental studies programs. NAAGE is a great place to start in the search for a green education, as it offers many inter-institutional courses, field experiences, and opportunities for independent studies. There are several schools that are affiliated with NAAGE.
Antioch College, founded in 1852, is an active participant in NAAGE. Naropa University in Boulder, CO, also participates, as does Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT. Northland College in Ashland, WI is also a NAAGE member. Their goal is to be the nation’s leading environmental liberal arts college. College of the Atlantic, which offers only one degree, in Human Ecology, is a notable member of NAAGE.
Several other schools are active participants, including New College of California, Prescott College, Unity College, Sterling College, and Warren Wilson College. The Audubon Expedition Institute is also a member, providing a rigorous alternative to traditional studies with a deeper ecological understanding of an environmental education.
There are countless other programs at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout our country and abroad. A green education can be found practically anywhere, from Chaminade University of Honolulu, which boasts a fantastic Environmental Studies program, in Hawaii, to College of the Atlantic in Maine, and everywhere in between.
If you are already enrolled in college and want to bump up the greenness of your school, consider referencing the “Starting or Revitalizing a School Environmental Club” PDF. An environmental club is a great way to meet other environmentally minded students, and it looks great on your resume.
But you don’t have to go to a certified NAAGE school to get a green education. You don’t even have to major in Environmental Studies, for that matter. Any major, and profession, can be eco-friendly. If you major in business, you could become an entrepreneur who offers green goods to consumers. If you major in fashion, you could create a line of sustainably made clothing. If you major in journalism, you could write a column about the newest green trends.
Getting a green education and living a green life is more about a mindset than anything else. You don’t need a diploma printed on recycled paper (it would be nice though) to be considered an expert. Do your own research. Consider improving your school by petitioning a switch to CFL bulbs to save energy. Organize an Earth Day celebration on your campus. The choices are endless; it’s up to you to seize them.