SF State ranked in top 100 greenest colleges
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Sierra Club, the nation's oldest and largest environmental organization, recently recognized SF State as one of America's 100 greenest colleges.

The poll, which was part of it's fourth annual "Coolest Schools" survey, placed SF State as the 69th most environmentally conscious campus.

"We believe it's really important for colleges to better educate future leaders to have green policies so that people that graduate from the school leave with those values," said Avital Binshtock, the editor in charge of the "Coolest School" survey at Sierra magazine.

According to Binshtock, Sierra Club created the survey on a college level because the organization believes it is crucial to educate students about the environmental issues they face.

SF State made the list by excelling in three categories: transportation, waste management and administration, with the University scoring nine out of 10 in each category. This recognition comes after a yearlong effort to increase environmental awareness.

With the creation of the Campus Sustainability Committee in fall 2008, the goal of introducing sustainability within the school's curriculum has recently become a major focus.

Last spring, the apparel design and merchandising department did their part by creating Runway 2010: Nouvelle. The event showcased student designers who displayed eco-friendly creations to an audience of about 700 people.

"I know they do a lot of fashion shows with repurposing clothes and things," said graduate student Josette Neal-De-Stanton. "To hear the news, I feel that the effort is not in vain."

Despite Sierra Club's recent recognition of SF State, the University's transition to a more eco-friendly campus hasn't always been easy.

When ECO Students, a campus organization dedicated to environmental efforts, first
introduced compost bins in 2009, they experienced resistance from many students.

Tahme Carrasco, the group's financial advisor, recalled a time when she volunteered to educate people about composting on campus.

She said there was an instance when she asked a student, "Do you know everything that you have there is actually compostable?" According to Carrasco, the student rolled her eyes and proceeded to throw her food in the trash.

Two years later, ECO Students is still striving to educate the campus about the importance of sustainable lifestyles by holding events like Earth Day and Bike to School Day.

Senior Dominique James believes the success of these efforts requires from the entire campus community.

"Little things count," he said. "Doesn't mean that everybody has to be a big campaign organizer and save the world."

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