WWC Green Initiatives

The Built Environment



Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) EB Platinum certified. Includes photovoltaic panels, radiant heat preheated in a solar collector, natural ventilation system, composting toilet, rainwater collection, recycled and recyclable steel for roof , exterior siding of local wood, interior woodwork recycled from campus buildings and fences, flooring tiles from 100% recycled material, efficient insulation, edible permaculture landscaping and products with no/least volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to keep indoor air quality high.


Village Manuals

LEED Gold certified Village A and B have many green technologies that residents can learn about and utilize including solar hot water systems, radiant floor heat, storm water management features, energy efficient lighting, low-flow water fixtures, and more. These guides help students maximize the buildings’ green potential.

Green Building

leed certification

In addition to EcoDorm and the Villages, WWC built the LEED Gold certified Orr Cottage, and renovated Larsen administrative building and Jensen classroom building. Green technologies in these buildings include geothermal heat pump HVAC systems that reduce energy use for heating and cooling 40-60%.

Night-sky friendly streetlights

In 2006, all utility company owned campus streetlights were changed from light pollution emitting styles to full-cutoff styles, meaning the light is concentrated on the ground where it is needed and not into the night sky where it washes out the stars.




Recycling Center

This on-campus resource diverts nearly half of the College’s waste stream, ensuring that it does not end up in a landfill. The center recycles or reuses many materials. One example is the GREENDRUM in-vessel compost system that composts over 50 tons of pre and post-consumer food waste each year. The compost is used to grow food in the WWC Garden. The Recycling Crew is in the process of constructing a cob building to house some of their tools.

recycling truck cob building

Green Cleaning

All campus cleaning products are GreenSeal certified, which means they are environmentally responsible and help maintain good indoor air quality.

The Managed Environment



The student staffed garden crew cultivates, plants, weeds, waters and harvest all of their crops from the field, greenhouse and hoophouse for use by the Warren Wilson College food service and other markets. The garden also manages a small apiary (bees!), some chickens, a compost operation that includes vermicomposting (worms!) and work in conjunction with the horse and herb crew.



The student-staffed Forestry crew mills lumber from trees sustainably harvested from the 700 acre WWC forest and provides lumber for College construction needs. They are also engaged in shitake and oyster mushroom propagation for the garden market.

forestry class


Warren Wilson’s working farm manages 275 acres divided among 25 fields in the Swannanoa Valley. “We are a diversified ‘mixed crop and livestock’ farm” that operates is dedicated to “sustainable agriculture – farming in a style that is environmentally sound and economically viable.” In 1998 we were named a River Friendly Farmer by the Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District and have incorporated other wildlife, soil, and water quality measures such as using grassed waterways and expanded buffer strips. In 2002 Warren Wilson College was awarded the non-profit Steward of the Year by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, recognizing the work of both the College Farm and the College Garden programs.

pigs on the farm


The 60 acre core-campus is maintained using sustainable management techniques such as native species use, permaculture demonstrations, and organic growing methods.



Zimride Online Rideshare Service

Students and staff can use ZimRide’s innovative online rideshare platform free for setting up carpooling, rides home, etc.
Go to the rideboard and start Zimriding!

zimride logo


Asheville Bus Service

The bus (Route 170) leaves from campus regularly from the front of the College library. It passes by Ingles grocery store, drug store, the mall, movie theater, craft store, office supply store, bookstore, a variety of restaurants, downtown shopping and entertainment. The bus does not run on Sunday. There’s a rack on the front of all the buses so you can take your bike and ride it downtown!
Click here for the schedule and more information.

students getting on the bus