With the election coming up and the candidates are voicing their opinions on everything from abortion to the wars, and even evolution. So let’s make sure they talk about major issues affecting us all: the Environment and a Responsible Energy Plan. Power Vote is organizing thousands and hopefully millions of citizens and young people to make a Pledge that in November they will choose the candidate who will expand the green economy, as well as green jobs, cut down on pollution and dependence on “dirty energy” and create a sustainable energy policy. We want to welcome all of you to sign their pledge and join the movement!

Power Vote does not back any political party and works through grass roots movements to bring awareness to the candidates and Washington in general about the Green Movement and how it is important to the sustainability of our economy, job market, and planet!! This is the future of our country and  world, so please take a moment to check out Power Vote and sign the pledge.

Also, there are a ton of localized groups and events related to Power Vote throughout the country! You can also create a group and get involved in outreach. Think about getting involved and making sure both candidates hear the message.

A quick reminder that this Saturday, September 27th is Green Jobs Now Day of Action!! Let the country know how important Green Jobs are and demand whoever wins the election pay attention to our needs as the concerned youth of this nation!

As a follow up to last week’s, Top Veggie Friendly Colleges post we wanted to also suggest eco-friendly colleges. Many Universities are making changes not only to improve the environmental impact of the college itself, but also prepare a new generation to fill the Green Collar Market. So we have put together a list of Top Green Colleges! There are several different sources that have ranked Green Colleges based on their sustainable campus life, school policies, and green curriculum. We found four main rankings: Princeton Review, Grist, Sierra Club, and The Daily Green. We have used these lists as a guide and have come up with the following list (and we are proud that both our Alma Maters made the cut!):

Top Green Colleges

#1 Warren Wilson College: Amazingly this school has worked in the Green life into every aspect of the school. Not only do they have an amazing recycling program, but the school is self sufficient (sustainable farms and forest), and they even have soy fueled chainsaws and bio-diesel fuels!!

#2 Oberlin College: Oberlin college boasts a slew of Green programs and has made an active effort to reduce waste as well as educate. The campus has a car sharing program, supports locally produced food in its cafeteria, uses a ton of solar electricity, and their graduation ceremonies are completely eco-friendly including bio-degradable utensils and programs.

#3 Middlebury College: Not only does the Green activist Bill McKibben teach here, but this school has been very active in climate change. They have even put forth a plan to make the school carbon-neutral by 2016 as well as a state of the art recycling center. They even have energy saving competitions between dorms!!

#4 Harvard University: Harvard usually tops everyone’s academic and sports lists, but now they can add Green rankings to their impressive resume. Harvard has recently changed all school vehicles over to veggie fuel from the cafeteria, they have the MOST eco-friendly buildings certified by US Green Building Council, and is one of the largest purchaser of Green and Renewable energy.

#5 Duke University: Duke has now required all new buildings to be certified by the US Green Building Council and is making an active effort to improve their green energy through wind and hydro-power projects. They are also pushing a biking campaign and discouraging its students to use cars.

#6 University of New Hampshire: UNH located in Durham, NH boasts an Office of Sustainability and in 2009 80-85% of their energy will come from a landfill source. They have also developed an organic dairy farm and a Sustainable Horticulture department, where they work with children in the area on developing a new Green Generation.

#7 Tufts University: Tufts was the first university in the country to pass a green initiative and won the US Climate Change award in 2005. They are committed to meeting the demands of the Kyoto target for emmissions and continue to develop solar panels! Also, this is one of our Alma Maters!

#8 Universities of California: Ok. We realize this includes 10 schools, but if we evaluated all ten separately they may have taken over the list! Every campus in this system has made efforts to use renewable power by 2014, increase use of low- to zero-emission vehicles by at least 50 percent, and achieve zero waste by 2020!! Also each campus has their own initiatives they are focusing on: UC Davis (our other Alma Mater) has sustainable and organic agriculture programs, UC Berkeley has an all organic cafeteria, and UCLA has really pushed the bicycling movement.

#9 Yale University: Yale has developed a superior alternative energy plan including: solar, wind, and geothermal energy produced on campus. They also promote using biofuels in cars and have incentives to employees who use a carpool system. And lastly they have developed a new school of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

#10 Evergreen State College: This public school hosts a large organic farm complete with composting facility. On top of this, the school purchases only 100% clean power, is in the process of switching to electric cars, and is building Green Buildings for future use.

Bummed that your school didn’t make the cut??  Well then take matters into your own hands!  It is after all the power of the student body itself that can have the most influence over university administration, so start talking to your professors and university staff and start making positive changes on your campus today!

Ok so we have all heard of white collar and blue collar jobs, but what is all this about green collars? In the rough times of economic downturn, its important to keep focused on the next wave now hitting the marketplace: Green Collar Jobs!

Economic forecasters are seeing the “Green Collar Job” market on the horizon and expect it to fuel our economy as the manufacturing and service industry is falling.  So perk up all you college students out there and start doing your research.  You could be the next leaders of this exciting and revolutionary industry!

So what exactly is a Green Job and how do you even begin to define something so vague and so broad?  Well, America is making changes (hopefully) to move away from our dependency on oil and as we do companies are starting to catch on. From urban planning to eco-friendly operations, companies are looking for engineers, architects, consultants, contractors, marketing professionals, etc. (the list goes on forever) that have an eye and expertise for all things green that make a positive impact on our planet.  A recent study by American Solar Energy Society reported that there were a shockingly huge 8.5 million jobs created by the growing environmental trends in 2006 and another 40 million will be created by 2030.  So seriously kids, even if you’re not an environmentalist, you should strongly consider joining the movement just for the employment opportunities!  Our world is a transitioning into a Green World and with it we need people like you to fill the expanding job market.

So where do you find these types of jobs? Well there are a number of job search sites that focus on eco like the Environmental Career Opportunities website.  They update their site every two weeks and have over 500 green jobs listed – so make sure to check it out.   There’s also the Environmental Career Center and Green Engineering Jobs. Another great way to find Green Jobs is through local universities and the Federal, State, and local governments.  Schools and governments are also expanding their employment pool to include jobs considered to be a part of the Green Collar Market!
On September 27th there will be a national day of action to bring more attention to the growing green job market organized by a movement called Green Jobs Now. The day will be filled with grassroots events throughout the country aiming to draw attention to the need for more Green Jobs and funding so that environmentalism can more easily become a part of our daily lives.  Even YOU can sign the Green Jobs petition, participate in an event near you or even host your own event in your neighborhood!

This is a very exciting time for our ever-changing world, as well as for small eco-minded companies like ourselves!  We really hope Green Jobs Now and other events like it will draw the attention of both political candidates and the general public to keep environmental issues at the forefront.  With all the negativity about the recession, its certainly refreshing to focus on the dawning of a new and hopeful era!

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