Green destiny: Universities leading the way to a sustainable future

C. Uhl, A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


It is time to embrace a new way of living and a new way of thinking. Universities, individually and collectively, can be the catalyst by assembling their various environmental efforts into a comprehensive ecological mission aimed at achieving sustainability in all facets of university life (Table 1). It is certainly true that there will be up-front costs for reducing waste of energy, water, and materials, and there will be expenses for constructing green buildings and promoting alternatives to the automobile. But businesses and universities are discovering that waste is also expensive and that up-front investments in sustainable practices often pay off handsomely over the long term, especially when environmental and social costs are calculated and educational benefits are tallied. A golden opportunity to create a new generation of socially and ecologically responsible citizens is before us. By pursuing this ninefold ecological mission, American universities could create a new model for living - one that is highly energy efficient, produces little or no waste, supports regional economies, engenders an abiding respect for life, and fosters bonds among all members of the community of life. At a time when we desperately need our universities to offer vision and serve as models of integrity and wisdom, may they seize the opportunity to light the way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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