Sustainability on Seattle’s College Campuses

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I once wrote an editorial for the UW Daily that somehow connected a squirrel carcass that I cycled by every day on my way back and forth from campus to the need for greater recycling. Institutional and devoted recycling was still a new-ish thing. Critics said there’d be added costs and the confusion of how to separate recyclable items. I think I said something about how the squirrel carcass would break down long before any of the non-recyclable materials we were throwing away. I think I ended with “Do it for the squirrel.”

But that’s not my point. My point is you can learn what several of Seattle’s major Universities and college campuses are doing to reduce waste, operate more efficiently, and cut green house gas emissions by attending or checking out the broadcast of Thursday’s noon Council meeting (in City Council Chambers, City Hall) on sustainability on Seattle’s college campuses. We’ll talk with reps from the University of Washington Seattle campus, Seattle University and the Seattle community colleges about their goals for carbon neutrality, recycling, composting and even the production of locally grown food.

The discussion is part of Council’s overall work on climate action. The City is in the midst of devising a new Climate Action Plan and we’ve committed to “carbon neutrality” for Seattle. In discussing with partners how to get to carbon neutrality we decided we’d like to hear from and showcase the work of some of the city’s biggest (in terms of property and operations) institutions. It’s one thing to offer courses on sustainability, it’s another to practice it with tens of thousands of students, thousands of faculty and staff, dozens of kitchens, hundreds of buildings, multiple vehicle fleets, huge public events, and so on.

More Thursday. Do it for the squirrel.