UW Sustainability Newsletter - Spring 2015

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UW to divest from coal

The University of Washington Board of Regents voted this month to prohibit direct investment of endowment funds in publicly traded companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy generation.

The student group Divest UW has been working toward the UW's divestment. In December 2012, the group presented a petition to then-President Michael K. Young requesting fossil fuel divestment, and this March the group made a presentation to the Board of Regents in support of coal divestment in the Consolidated Endowment Fund.

To learn more, read the full story at UW Today.

Annual UW Green Awards

The University of Washington named the eight winners of the 2015 Husky Green Awards, as well as two Legacy Awards honorees for years of service advancing campus sustainability, during the annual Earth Day celebration.

Husky Green Award ceremonyThe 2015 winners included UW students, staff and faculty who demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication to campus sustainability. They were: the UW Bothell Grounds crew; Tim Fox and Steven Roberts of Mailing Services; the Harborview Medical Center Surgical Team; Natalie Gray, an Environmental Science & Resource Management junior and Campus Sustainability Fund vice-chair; Tali Haller, a freshman and Sigma Kappa Sorority Sustainability Chair; Elizabeth Stearns, a Senior Lecturer in the Foster School of Business; Natalie McKinnis, a staffer with First Year Programs, Undergraduate Academic Affairs; and Leanne Do, Program Coordinator in the School of Social Work. The 2015 Legacy Award winners are Senior Vice President V'Ella Warren and JR Fulton, Capital Planning and Sustainability Manager for UW Housing and Food Services.

Awards for Green Office and Green Labs winners were also presented. In the Green Office awards, The Department of Psychosocial and Community Health in the School of Nursing won both Greenest Office and Most Improved Green Office. The College of the Environment Greenest Office award went to the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.
The Green Laboratory program's College of Arts & Sciences competition was won by the Leopold Lab. The Physics Instrument Shop took second place, and the Biology 302 Instructional Lab was third.

The Husky Green Awards are in their sixth year of recognizing outstanding environmental commitment. Students, faculty and staff from all UW campuses are eligible to nominate and receive Husky Green Awards. See details on the winners at:


Also in this Issue
Green graduation
Earth Day recap
Green Seed Fund
Sustainability timeline

And much more!

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In the News

UW signs Washington Business Climate Declaration

Fishermen, communities need more than healthy fish stocks

UW professor wins award for seabird-saving streamer lines

ReThink hosts its first Resilience Summit

Earth Day 2015 recap

Earth Day at UWThe 45th Earth Day celebration on Red Square saw thousands of students come out to listen to solar-powered music, talk with dozens of exhibitors about their environmental and sustainability goals, hear from speakers like Seattle Councilmember Mike O'Brien, and watch the Husky Green Awards ceremony.

Relive the day with the In Our Nature blog recap, including photos of all the festivities!

Make it a Green Graduation

Did you know that all UW graduation caps and gowns are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles? You can also recycle your regalia after graduation by dropping it off at the University Bookstore.

As you pack up and move out for the summer, don't toss unwanted items in the trash. UW Recycling has events to make it easy for students living on or off campus to donate or recycle their unwanted items. Residence Hall students can donate all reusable goods at collection sites in their halls during Students Cleanup, Recycle and Moveout (SCRAM) from June 8-13. If you live in the north campus neighborhood, drop off your bulk items, electronic waste and recycling at the Husky Neighborhood Cleanup events on June 11, 12 and 15.

And all year long, keep any unwanted clothing out of the trash - even stained or damaged clothes - by dropping them off at a Threadcycle location.

GSF research projects share findings

Green Seed Fund logo Ever wondered what benefits a green wall provides a building? Could electric or diesel vehicles support the rugged nature of the Grounds crew’s work? Green Seed Fund teams funded in 2013-14 will hold a poster session on June 2 to share the results of their research, which addressed these questions and more. The poster session will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, June 2, in Gerberding 142. Read more about the 2013-14 teams here.

The second round of Green Seed Fund projects, funded in 2014-15, is now underway. Learn more about all the current Green Seed Fund project teams on our blog.

Campus Sustainability Fund

The CSF is wrapping up an exciting year with a vote on a second round of project proposals. Eight project proposals asking for more than $200,000 were brought before the CSF committee, and the final decisions on funding will be announced soon. To keep up with the latest updates and hear the announcement for projects awarded, please visit the CSF website at
The CSF's meetings are open to the public. Details on the time and locations can be found here.

New UW laboratory recycling guide

UW Recycling, UW Sustainability, and the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences have created a new Lab Recycling Guide to help lab members decide whether or not some of their lab materials are eligible for recycling.

Labs can print the Guide from this link and post it in conspicuous areas, such as over recycling bins. The Green Labs team can also print the Guide upon request - just email them at

For more Green Labs news, check out the Spring 2015 Green Lab Newsletter, or sign up for the Green Labs mailing list.

Green Meeting tips

No matter where you work at the University of Washington, you're likely to find yourself in lots of meetings. Meeting etiquette can be strongly ingrained into your office culture, but it can be easy to make small changes and see big results in making your meetings more sustainable.

Our Green Office team reached out to some of the top-scoring offices for Green Meetings in the Green Office Certification for some tips. Check them out at the In Our Nature blog.

Century of SustainabilityA Century of Sustainability

The UW Sustainability office has launched a timeline of the University of Washington's achievements and milestones in sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The project, "A Century of Sustainability," includes entries dating back to the earliest days of the current UW site in 1895 and includes highlights up to the present day. You can view the timeline at:

To get a closer look, join the students of the Sustainability Studio class on May 28 for a lunch-hour walking tour of campus, featuring information on the environmental history at UW.


    view more events


Celebrate Bike Month!

The University of Washington is celebrating everyone's participation in Bike Month with a Trail Party on May 28! Join the party on Rainier Vista at Stevens Way for goodies, vendors, resources and entertainment.


Register for the Environmental History walking tour

The UW Program on the Environment's Sustainability Studio class has been investigating the UW's environmental history, and the students are going to share their findings with a campus walking tour on May 28, starting at Drumheller Fountain at 11:45 a.m. Register now to join!

Environmental Stewardship Committee meeting
The UW Environmental Stewardship Committee provides recommendations for environmental policies at the University of Washington, and oversees progress towards meeting the goals of the UW Climate Action Plan. Meetings are open to the public, with the next one on June 2 in Gerberding Hall 142. After the meeting, the Green Seed Fund projects will present their findings with a poster session.



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