The Benefits of Green Space within Higher Education
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Throughout the course of the past four years, I have recognized a change within our society. There has been a shift in many different industries toward the ideas of sustainability, corporate responsibility, and structural alterations. While these changes have affected many businesses and corporations, they also have started to take on the educational field. The purpose of my thesis was to determine whether or not sustainable buildings provide enough of a beneficial environmenta for both the institution and its students. Some advantages found for students were those of better learning comprehension, overall health, and a more prepared sense of the work force that lie ahead of them. Similarly, with the institution in mind, I was interested in finding how enrollment changed, as well as building longevity, and overall cost effectiveness once a building was built sustainably. Due to the increased interest of environmental matters, there has also been an equally positive response within the work force. Due to the fact that many students will be on the forefront of environmental issues in the future, institutions are preparing them now on how to deal with them both professionally and socially. Research has traditionally focused on young individuals in lower education (K-12) and adults, but many college aged students had been left out of the equation. Looking at the effects of organizations such as the Earth Partnership for Schoolyards and the benefits of green offices for adults help demonstrate how learning or working within a green building has the ability to alter mood, productivity, attentiveness, and even self-discipline. Creating a bridge between child and adulthood allowed me to look at three specific college institutions that were working particularly hard to preserve and put extra efforts towards environmentalism. Within these three case studies, there were noticeable efforts that could be easily replicated here on the Carthage campus. Making these changes whether small or large, are the correct steps to be making for both the students and institutions overall.
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