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"Green" Actions Galore at Seattle University

Posted in [President's Corner], [Sustainability] By Lauren Miller
closeup of leaves
As I check out the green efforts of colleges across the country on the internet, there's no doubt that Seattle University stands out.  It's no wonder that Seattle University scores 97 out of 99 in the Princeton Review's "Green Rating!"

Seattle University is the greenest of the green colleges in the state of Washington.  In May, it got the first "Green Award" given to an educational institution from Washington CEO magazine.  I can see why.  Among other things, they...

  • Maintain a 48-acre campus without using pesticides.
  • Have a custom-built compost facility for food waste - 17 tons of food waste from the school cafeteria has been composted.
  • Use renewable wind energy.
  • Have high efficiency shower heads in residence halls.
  • Use an application of compost tea and organic fertilizer for the athletic fields.
  • Renovated two century-old buildings for student housing to environmentally sensitive standards.

trees are important on Seattle University campus

 

The university also was certified in 1989 as a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, so horticulture classes from other colleges go there to see its many environmentally-friendly practices in action.

 

More Sustainable Ideas

There's more! Seattle University's website is filled to the brim with sustainable ideas to help the environment.  At http://www2.seattleu.edu/Sustainability/Inner.aspx?id=640, some suggestions, to name just a few: Buy Products Without Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Clean Healthy, Buy Organic, Buy Less Stuff. 

What do students want?  Well, in 2007 when they were surveyed, they wanted "post-consumer food waste compost collection in the residence halls, a community garden at each hall for students to grow food and flowers, environmentally responsible paper use, more energy conservation, more low-flow water fixtures..." and "secure indoor bike racks and bike rentals..."

Sustainable Recommendations to University Departments

Also on Seattle University's website is a list of recommendations to all departments.  It asks that all departments:


  • "Upgrade to double-sided printers"
  • "Require all paper products purchased contain recycled-content"
  • "Train senior staff members on sustainability issues so they can model sustainable practices to students"
  • "Transition to a paperless office within two years."

Even with all these ideas, and many, many practices put into place already, the school still feels that the staff, faculty and students can do more to reduce the campus' contribution to climate change.   They have a collaborative atmosphere and want everyone to share their ideas for continued and ever advancing sustainable plans.

a view of trees which adds sustainability


Other blogs of interest:
5 Colleges Working On Their Green Efforts
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