The Green Challenge: A Billion Dollar Gift That Keeps On Giving

Tuesday was a very exciting day not only for Earth Day Network, but also for nonprofit organizations and college universities all over the country. In Pittsburgh last week, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education held a conference to publicly announce the Billion Dollar Green Challenge Campaign. The challenge calls for colleges, universities and non profit organizations to invest one billion dollars to support a nationwide campus sustainability movement. The founding circle of contributors, made up of 32 institutions, has already raised an astonishing $65 million dollars! The institutions involved are thoroughly excited to watch their funds branch out and create new sustainable programs that will generously give back over time.

The Sustainable Endowments Institute  and fifteen other partners have joined together to coordinate this groundbreaking movement. Earth Day Network has the great honor and privilege to work with these other partner organizations in order to contribute to energy efficiency improvements. I am proud to be an intern at an environmental organization that has always embodied a strong devotion to sustainability education throughout the world. Our involvement with this campaign is an original way to spread the message on a national level.    

As a freshman at American University, I will have the opportunity to watch this campaign unfold. Hopefully, I will witness my school and other universities contribute funds towards this new and exciting cause. These funds will help to create campus jobs, reduce overall operating costs and create green revolving funds that perpetuate energy efficiency developments within campus buildings. Developments such as increases in solar panels, recycling bins and wind turbines, will reduce each university’s carbon footprint and save money that can be used for green projects in the future. Optimistically, college students like me will become more aware of sustainable practices in their daily lives through observing the success of the green projects on campuses. To learn more about the Challenge or to sign up your college or alma mater, check out       


By Alex Edelson – Green Schools Intern