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Higher education institutions were implementing sustainability initiatives long before it became fashionable. As the economic downturn causes campus leaders to reassess all aspects of their budgets, green programs are being spared because they can lead to both financial and environmental savings.

Green?in its duality no other word better reflects opposing forces at work on today’s campuses. For financial leaders, “green” is in short supply as colleges and universities face a financial storm of historic proportions. Endowments are declining, legislative allotments are decreasing, and tuition increases threaten to make higher education inaccessible. At many universities, budget cuts are rampant, causing more than a few leaders to question the very sustainability of the institutions they serve.

CONTROLLING YOUR WASTE STREAM IS A GREAT WAY TO GO GREEN on campus. Recycling paper and plastic products is a common way to keep material out of the local landfill, but many institutions are seeing benefits as well from collecting food scraps for compost.