I recently wrote about Meredith Gossland’s new list of ways to get your green business funded. Eco-inspired entrepreneurs at Green Mountain college in Vermont have a unique way to get funding for their green business idea project — help from fellow students. The school’s Student Campus Greening Fund receives $30 from the activity fee collected from every student attending the college.
Although the students don’t have any say about whether they can forego the activity fee, they do have some say about what sustainable projects will receive funding. The students were able to vote on which of their classmates' green projects should receive money from the fund. Ultimately 15 different student proposals will receive just under $50,000 in combined funding.
Projects approved for funding include a compost collection program, the creation of permanent shelters for the on-campus free bike program, a solar-powered workshop for the Renewable Energy and EcoDesign program, repair a wind turbine on campus, live energy monitoring software for the on-campus biomass heating plant, and a project that will create a buffer between the pigs being raised at the Green Mountain College Cerridwen Farm and the neighboring Poultney River.
Last year, Green Mountain College was recognized by Plenty magazine as a runner-up in the most creative renewable power category in the magazine’s greenest colleges in the U.S. list. At the time of the Plenty magazine article, 50 percent of the school’s power was generated from the methane waste of cows.
The school was also mentioned in one of MNN's popular list articles. Green Mountain College graduate Chris Kantlehner, a 26-year-old, was named to MNN’s 40 farmers under 40: Readers’ choice list for his work with Christy Raymond at White Barn Farm in Wrentham, Mass.
Although there are fewer than 1,000 undergraduates enrolled at Green Mountain College, the school's commitment to the environment is strong. About 70 students attended Power Shift ’09 in Washington, D.C., and the school is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2011.
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