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Cincinnati universities rank among top green schools

University of Cincinnati

All major four-year universities in the 513 area code were listed on the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, released on April 17.

The University of Cincinnati, Xavier University and Miami University all made the unranked list, which catalogs schools alphabetically and not by position.

The University of Cincinnati appeared on the Green Guide for its fifth year in a row. It was recognized on the list for having one LEED Gold, one LEED Silver and four LEED certified buildings and requiring all new construction to seek LEED Silver certification.

UC has also reduced its coal usage to 10 percent of what it used in fiscal year 2011, and it’s on track to phasing out the remainder of coal use. The university has an urban garden on campus, as well as a bike share and a Bike Kitchen repair shop for students and staff who forgo driving. For those who choose to drive, UC installed its first electrical vehicle charging station this year, which was unveiled on April 19.

Xavier University was recognized for completing three major construction projects – the Hoff Academic Quad, consisting of Smith Hall, Conaton Learning Commons and the Central Utility Plant – that all meet or exceed LEED Silver certification. Xavier has seen energy consumption fall 17.5 percent since the completion of the quad.

XU is trying to move students away from a car culture by offering a bike-share program that allows students to rent a bike, helmet, safety light and lock – all for $10 for an entire semester. The university also offers a 38-plot NEXUS Community Garden for its students and the surrounding community.

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