As the leading environmental law school in the United States, Vermont Law School recognizes that effecting positive environmental change on a global scale begins at home. We understand that our top-ranked environmental programs are complemented and strengthened by our commitment to fostering a sustainable and green campus community. Our students, staff, and faculty strive every day to meet this standard by composting, carpooling, recycling, and striving to find and implement sustainable solutions to green issues facing the campus and the world at large.
Located on 13 acres beside the White River in the village of South Royalton, our campus facilities utilize modern technologies to minimize negative environmental impacts and unsustainable practices, including composting toilets to minimize water usage, super windows to maximize insulation, enthalpic energy wheels to control humidity and recycle exhaust heat, lighting solutions that use natural and energy efficient lighting for interior and exterior spaces.
Our most recent building, which houses The Center for Legal Services, is the 16th of 19 historic properties on campus that have been repurposed, and continues the Vermont Law tradition of undertaking award-winning historic preservation projects that are also models of energy efficiency.
Vermont Law School’s facilities are only one aspect of our green campus. In 2010 the school officially declared the campus grounds an established arboretum. Led by the school’s Arborist Society, the initiative has led to the identification, tagging and protection of numerous native tree species on our campus. Read more about the efforts to establish an arboretum. We are also an active member of the Vermont Fresh Network; the school is proud to serve local food, much of it certified organic, in its café and at catered events.
Our Green Community
Our Campus Greening Committee (CGC) is made up of engaged students, staff and faculty dedicated to furthering environmentally sustainable practices and policies on campus and throughout the community. The committee has worked with the community to strengthen Vermont Law School’s commitment to conserving energy, reducing waste, encouraging public transport, and preserving natural resources. Some of the programs the CGC has successfully implemented include the following:
- Creation of several large, well-marked receptacles for easier recycling across campus. A Technotrash, or e-waste recycling program, has also been implemented.
- Establishment of a commuter route between Montpelier and the law school using Stagecoach Transportation Service’s local shuttle bus.
- Purchase of two Zipcars with the goal of providing a dynamic car sharing option for the campus community. These fuel efficient vehicles are used by students, staff and faculty who require a car to run errands or to simply get out and explore Vermont and beyond.
- Installation of a solar-powered charging station for electric cars (click here for an update as to how much electricity has been generated at this station).
- Establishment of a composting program designed to deal with much of the waste generated on campus, including all cafeteria food waste.
- Providing educational materials on green practices and resources to incoming students each fall CGC via a reusable cloth tote bag, and maintaining a strong presence during the week-long Earth Day festivities each spring. Hands-on, creative activities have included smashing incandescent light bulbs to receive free energy efficient CFL light bulbs, blind taste testing bottled vs. tap water, and operating a bicycle-powered smoothie bar.