Elijah Nouvelage

An unidentified woman cycles around Lake Merced on Monday. Many SF State students use their bicycles to commute to and from school, as well as for exercise. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage.

The multiple tricolored disposal bins, the lingering aroma of organic coffee and the light breeze of passing bicyclists in clearly-marked bike lanes do more than create a picturesque scene of SF State.

Aside from beautifying the campus, these efforts, along with other initiatives, have earned SF State the distinction of being recognized by two environmental institutions as a leading school for going green.

“State has integrated ‘green initiatives’ into many aspects of the University from classes, student activities, research projects, to the native plants on campus,” said Alexis Nelson, a 23-year-old environmental studies senior.

Nelson said she does her part to keep the campus green by bringing her own mug to school for hot tea, taking the bus instead of driving and turning in assignments on scratch paper.

These efforts, along with many others, paid off as SF State made the 2011 Green Honor Roll for being one of 16 schools to achieve a perfect score of 99 in the Princeton Review’s fourth annual Green Ratings of Colleges that is based on surveys from 768 colleges around the country.

The review looked at the school’s curriculum for degrees that are environmentally focused, emission reduction and the transition to a green cleaning program.

Students at SF State can earn both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in environmental studies and a masters degree with an emphasis in sustainable business.

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Devery Sheffer

Devery Sheffer