Deciding where to go to college is a really important decision, and there many legitimate considerations that you need to take into account when choosing your college.
For example, are you looking for an education that will land you a traditional type of desk job, or do you want something more hands-on? Do you want to make a real impact on the world, or are you looking for a more behind-the-scenes role? Do you prefer smaller learning environments and greater interactions with teachers, or does a larger campus and classes suit you better?
These are just a few of the questions you’re probably asking yourself as you prepare to take your first steps toward your academic and professional future.
Where Green Mountain College Fits:
At Green Mountain College, we're committed to fostering a community that values hands-on and interdisciplinary learning. We pride ourselves on two things: our dedication to teaching you how to make a difference through social, economic, and environmental sustainability and our dedication to living that sustainability ourselves. We call this effort “authentic sustainability.” It’s an ongoing ideology that transforms the ways we live on environmental, social, and economic levels.
Here are a few of the sustainability projects we and our students have launched and the impacts they’ve had:
OTIS stands for Optimal Traveling Independent Space. It’s a tiny house concept that was first created by 16 students in 2013. This 70 square-foot, tow-able living space for one provides its own water through a rainwater collection system and electricity through a solar panel. OTIS was featured in a Washington Post slideshow as part of a book review on Rebecca Roke’s “Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things.” The review notes that the “small-is-beautiful ethos is also about spiritual improvement, mindfulness and a better relationship to the social and natural world.”
The first OTIS was sold to a happy tiny house buyer and the funds from the sale were recycled into the design and construction of the next OTIS. Environmental and economic sustainability are at the foundation of Green Mountain College’s curriculum, and REED students are interested in finding ways to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, leave a smaller ecological footprint and provide economically affordable housing and design solutions.
2. Sustainable Transportation
There are several ways to travel in a sustainable way, and at GMC, we want to see sustainable transportation become the preferred method of travel. Whether you hop on a bus or a train or carpool with friends, the fewer emissions in the air, the better.
As part of our desire to see an increased adoption of sustainable transportation, GMC started a shuttle service, which isn’t limited to campus; it supplements the area’s bus service. We also have a Green Bikes Program complete with an on-campus bike shop, a Take the Bus for $2 option, and a carpooling board!
3. Cerridwen Farm
Cerridwen Farm is a small-scale diversified animal and vegetable farm on the southwestern corner of Green Mountain College’s campus. The certified organic farm is student motivated and operated and operates under the guidance of faculty mentorship and the leadership of the farm manager. Through our farm, we are committed to hands-on learning and applying and exploring what our students are taught in the classroom. All students are welcome to take part in the working farm experience, through farm chores, and our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) engagements.
The farm is positively impacting the environment by actively respecting the land and resources with which we have been entrusted and by raising up a generation of students to carry these practices beyond our campus and into their communities. The farm provides a number of certified organic vegetables and prepared foods to the dining hall, our CSA program, and to the local community.
4. Renewable Energy
As part of Sustainability 2020, our strategic plan to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by the end of the decade. Faculty, students, and alumni have installed multiple solar arrays and a solar farm on campus, a biomass turbine that provides more than 85 percent of the campus’s heat and hot water, and a windmill that powers the farm’s greenhouse.
We also buy renewable energy credits from a local cow power program and are partners with a nearby investor and solar installer who built a 150-kW system on his land.
5. Waste Diversion
We are dedicated to "closing the loop." From feeding food scraps to pigs on the campus farm to a student-run campus-wide recycling effort, Green Mountain College makes every attempt to reduce waste and re-integrate it into the product stream whenever possible.
Over the last three years, we have increased our waste diversion rate by over 20 percent by expanding our compost and e-waste programs, while increasing the efficiency of the recycling crew. We now have a steady 50 percent waste diversion rate.
Sustainability is a way of life at Green Mountain College.
At GMC, we aim to live the values and lessons that we also teach to our students, creating a culture of true authenticity in our sustainability efforts.
If you’re looking for an education that encourages personal, practical and purposeful learning and a career that will allow you to make a real impact on the world, Green Mountain College is the academic choice for you. If you share our passion for sustainability, we hope you’ll request more information about what GMC has to offer.