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Bemidji State gets national recognition for being green

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BEMIDJI - For a second year in a row, Bemidji State University was named one of America's greenest colleges and universities by The Princeton Review.

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The Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges noted several initiatives BSU offered, including its students, who pay a voluntary "green fee" of $5 per semester which helps fund environmental stewardship, awareness and education activities on campus.

The Review also noted BSU's aquatic biology, environmental studies and education programs, status as a Presidents Climate Commitment signatory, active Students for the Environment club and its requirement that all students take a People in the Environment course in order to earn a degree.

The magazine recognized BSU's efforts to encourage sustainable water usage through tap water stations and use of reusable bottles to minimize use of bottled water.

BSU participates in a student-driven "Do It In the Dark" effort in the fall, which is an annual competition among residence halls on reducing energy consumption. In the spring, BSU participates in the Minnesota Campus Energy Challenge, an energy-reduction competition among Minnesota colleges and universities. BSU won the challenge in 2009 and 2010.

Recently, BSU's Sustainability Office started a study to explore the use of solar air heaters in buildings on campus; installed elliptical machines that convert energy into useable electricity; installed a ColdTub in the athletic training room to eliminate the need for ice in cold-water therapy for athletes; created a campus community garden; started a bike-leasing program for students and started a FreeStore where students can donate unwanted items.

For details on the Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges, visit www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

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