The Green Dawgs Program at the University of Washington encourages RSO’s to help make their meetings, events, and member practices more sustainable. Green Dawgs Certification recognizes student groups who implement sustainable practices. The program provides the framework for self-evaluation as well as resources to help student groups implement sustainable practices within their clubs.
Any member from an RSO can apply to receive a Green Dawg Certification, provided they or a member of the club knowingly volunteer to serve as that club’s Green Dawg Representative. Our brief online survey allows RSOs to recognize what steps their club is already taking to be green, and areas where there is room for improvement. Qualifying RSO’s will be recognized at different levels of certification based on the criteria they meet.
The certification is based on club practices in action areas such as energy conservation, green meetings, paper conservation, waste diversion, transportation, and more. All practices encouraged by the program are in alignment with strategies laid out in the UW Climate Action Plan, and with the intent to enhance campus ability to fulfill the goals outlined in the plan.
How does an RSO apply for Certification?
To participate in the Green Dawg program, a representative from the applying UW Seattle RSO should be selected as the designated point of contact, and should complete the online application form. Once the form is filled out, you will receive an email from us within a few days with more information as well as sustainability resources available to you.
How was the program developed?
A student intern with UW Sustainability initiated the program, and brought together staff and student members from various departments on campus who have expertise in different aspects of sustainability and Student Life affairs (see below). Other interested student interns helped to develop the framework and criteria for the program by writing an intensive project proposal that outlined strategies, goals and more. Staff members of UW Sustainability provided resources and expertise in the functioning of the established Green Certification programs that the office offers, while staff from the Student Life Office provided guidance on how best to engage student groups. After the UW Sustainability Director approved the project proposal for a pilot year, the student interns worked on developing informational materials to market the program to the student body. By working with UW sustainability staff members, and student groups life EcoReps and CSF, the Green Dawgs team was able to assemble resources to implement the pilot program. The focus of the team’s research was accessible sustainability, that is, the way that both individual students and clubs could participate in sustainable action easily and within their day to day lives.
Why is the Green Dawg Program Important?
Though offices, labs, residence halls and public buildings can be certified green, there is no defined way to certify the practices of individuals or a group. Being that a large part of a sustainable campus has to do with the actions of staff, faculty and students it is important that there is an accessible ways for students to learn about sustainability and be recognized for it. On the Green Dawgs Team, we believe that the future of sustainability on campus, and around the world, lies within the potential of students and youth to mobilize resources, expertise, information and concrete action to protect the nature and society from environmental degradation.