By Toren Elste | Feb 18, 2016

The first annual UW Safety, Sustainability, and Preparedness Expo turned out to be a fantastic event, with about 550 guests stopping by the HUB to learn from more than 70 exhibitors. The expo showcased a variety of environmental- and safety-related programs and initiatives on campus, connecting sustainability and safety through a variety of departments. It was also a great event to link faculty, staff and students as well!

We began planning the event in August 2015 with a committee comprised of nine committee members from four different departments; UW Sustainability, Finance and Facilities, Environmental health and Safety (EH&S) and UW Emergency Management. Weekly meetings led to many items which needed to be taken care of in order to make sure everything came together for the February 10th event. When the day came, it was great to see everyone who attended and be excited to learn something new from the exhibitors.

The most rewarding part was seeing the event come together and hearing invitees say “I learned SO much” or “this event was great." Bringing people together is an essential part of community, and this event helped solidify the UW sense of community while also educating people on being sustainable and safe in their homes, offices or labs.

A few of my favorite vendors included UW Emergency Management and UW Transportation Services, who both brought fabulous games to the event, where patrons would spin a wheel and answer questions to win really awesome prizes (I won a glow in the dark flashlight). ErgoFit consulting brought their “treadmill” desk and let participants test it out. Image Source was another great vendor to see at the event, with a fleet of promotional products for attendees to check out too.

People were also encouraged to make their own personal emergency kit including items like flashlights, hand sanitizer, batteries, first aid kits and toothbrushes. They were also given “bingo” cards and were encouraged to visit at least eight different vendors for the chance to win cool prizes donated by Puget Sound Energy, Ready America, Office Depot and many more.

If you were able to attend the event, we thank you! If not, we hope to see you there next year.