Naropa Awarded Grant to Further Campus-Wide Sustainability Efforts

Recycling at NaropaBOULDER, Colo. (January 18, 2013) -- Naropa University has received a grant of $6,054 from Boulder County's Resource Conservation Division for use in furthering the university's efforts to become a zero-waste institution. The grant money will fund the installation of more than one hundred new zero-waste containers, stations, and signage at Naropa's three campuses, increasing accessibility to and awareness of sustainable waste reduction practices.

Naropa will evaluate their progress by participating in RecycleMania (recyclemania.org), an eight-week long zero-waste tournament for college and university recycling programs. To measure their performance in RecycleMania, Naropa will audit the entire university waste stream, by weight and material type, every week for the duration of the eight-week tournament. RecycleMania results are determined based on the percentage of waste diverted from landfills, and will be announced in April. In 2008, Naropa placed second in the nation. This year, Naropa aims to exceed 75.52% waste diversion, their total from 2012's tournament.

By heightening access to zero-waste stations and waste reduction information and by participating in RecycleMania, Naropa hopes to more fully engage the entire university community in sustainability efforts. With zero-waste stations installed in high-traffic areas on campus, Naropa also aims to inspire visitors from outside of the Naropa community to commit to sustainable practices. Other initiatives Naropa has taken to promote sustainability are the formation of the Naropa Sustainability Council, and special events such as Campus Sustainability Day, and Earth Day celebrations.

While campuses across the country are becoming more competitive about environmentally friendly practices, Naropa has long been a leader in sustainability. The university has had a recycling program for over a decade, and also strives to use the most environmentally sound practices in campus landscaping--composting all plant material, conserving water, and using organic or biodegradable products. In 2007, Naropa signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging to reduce and eventually eliminate the institution's global warming emissions. Just four years later, in 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Naropa as a Green Power Partner, one of only 34 U.S. colleges and universities offsetting 100% of their electricity using renewable energy. Naropa has also been recognized by Sierra Magazine for its sustainability efforts, ranked in their Top 100 Coolest Schools list in 2009 at number 74, in 2010 at number 58, and in 2012 at number 82. To learn more about Naropa's commitment to sustainability, please visit www.naropa.edu/the-naropa-experience/sustainability.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students to know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology, and religious studies.

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