When you think of ‘sustainable fashion’, does your mind evoke images of dated hippie clothes, or maybe bizarre runway fashion? While not entirely wrong, this popular perception is greatly flawed. To dispel this misbelief, the student group Net Impact recently hosted a Sustainable Fashion Panel with speakers Sean Schmidt from UW Sustainability and Richelle Bush from Buffalo Exchange.
The average American uses nearly 100 gallons of water a day, for drinking, washing and more. Demand for water continues to grow with the population, and climate change means water sources are subject to droughts and other uncertainties. Each of us can take small steps which add up to big water savings over time.
You’re standing in front of three large bins (recycle, compost, and trash), trying to figure out where exactly to throw away a milk carton. You're pretty sure it shouldn't go in the compost, but you're not sure if it should be recycled. Should you throw it in the landfill bin just to be safe?
Deciding what to recycle can be tricky – we’ve all been there. Luckily, Sqwatch is here to help.
We're lucky in Seattle to have city-wide composting, which makes it easy to keep food scraps out of the landfill. Choosing compost instead of the landfill bin reduces methane emissions and allows for the material to be re-used to increase soil nutrients. However, the city still sends about 100,000 tons of waste to the landfill each year which could be composted.
You already know that cutting down on purchasing helps the environment, but sometimes you can't help it. In those cases, where you decide to shop can have a major impact on your local economy and the environment.
Buying locally helps reduce processing, packaging and transportation waste – all leading to less pollution. Plus, local businesses put more of that money back into the local economy.
I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of interviewing Sqwatch, our UW Sustainability mascot, and get his thoughts on office paper reduction. He's a busy guy but we were able to chat with him for a few minutes!
Toren: Sqwatch, Thanks so much for joining us today. We’re excited to chat with you about paper reduction since after all, you are a Paper Reduction Pro. So Sqwatch, why should we reduce paper?
The holiday break is just around the corner and many of us are looking forward to taking some well-deserved time off campus. But before you rush off to relax and recharge, remember to turn items off in your office to save energy while you're gone. Power down your office before you leave to power down yourself!
A few ways to save energy during holiday vacations:
Cars and trucks on the road lead to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. When you can, instead of driving choose safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation options.
During the SustainableUW Festival our office asked a UW daycare to help us celebrate by coloring pictures of our mascot, Sqwatch. When we stopped by at the end of the festival to see the artwork, we brought a surprise - Wizard, a representative from the Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League. We also got an added bonus, as the children were dressed up for Halloween.
Check out pictures from the day, as well as some of the coloring entries, below.
Meetings and paper go hand in hand – whether it’s passing out printed agendas or meeting notes. But, what if there was a way to transform the way meetings are conducted and at the same time, reduce the constant use of paper?
The best way is by replacing paper handouts with e-documents. Technology is everywhere! Get out your laptops, iPads, iPhones, or Android devices. Share agendas and other documents electronically before the meeting instead of printing them out.
You can find more tips on the Green Office resources page.