Monday, July 07, 2014

An environmental law school that walks its talk

An electric care gets recharged while parking.

The Eco-cowgirl visits Vermont Law School

The Eco-cowgirl has just returned from a visit to  a law school which focuses on the environment. The Vermont Law School is a private law school in South Royalton and is ranked #1 in environmental law for U.S. News and World Report.

 Rebecca was visiting a Northland College friend, Elizabeth, who is attending the school. While there the cowgirl noticed parking spots with outlets to plug in electric cars, composting toilets and quaint old houses and schools that had been re-purposed as offices and classrooms for the law school.

A composting toilet at the law school.

When the school expanded, regular flush toilets would have put too much of a demand on the municipal water supply. By installing composting toilets the school is both conserving water and preventing excess nutrients and and phosphorus from entering the rivers and lakes. (Water treatment plants can put a lot of nutrients and phosphorus into the natural water supply. This is bad for aquatic life and water quality.)

According to the school most people have a positive impression of the composting toilets after using them. Forty-four percent of the students make a conscious choice to use the toilets (rather than flush toilets) and 42 percent show off the toilets to guests.

Other sustainable features on campus including passive solar buildings, and food composting. 

The Worthy Burger

The Worthy Burger is a re-purposed train depot serving local food. Rebecca enjoyed grass feed beef. (Veggie burgers were available) And to quench their thirst the Eco-cowgirl and Elizabeth enjoyed ice-cold ice tea.

Photos by Rebecca Bischoff

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