Whether they’re recycling, riding mass transit, or developing the latest clean technology, UW students are at the forefront of many environmental movements. While Huskies do a pretty good job living an environmentally conscious lifestyle, there is one area in which students could have a greater impact: promoting sustainable farming through community-supported agriculture (CSA).
UW Housing and Food Services is one step closer to reaching its goal of zero-waste with the introduction of the first compostable soda cup lid.
Previously the on-campus community was taught to compost both the straw and cup, but to remove the lid. A compostable soda straw has been used on campus for over two years and a compostable cold-beverage cup has been in use since November of 2008. The lid was the missing link up until last week.
Now when a soda cup is purchased on campus, every piece is compostable--making composting more user-friendly.
If green is the new black, then the University of Washington is one of the trendiest campuses in the nation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the UW is the second most eco-friendly college in the country, behind only the University of Colorado, Boulder. The UW’s high ranking is largely due to the fact that Housing and Food Services (HFS) recently teamed up with International Paper and the Coca-Cola Company to create an ecotainer cup that is 100-percent compostable.
University of Washington recognized for leadership in sustainability according to Inhabitat.com, a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
Think about where your salad comes from — the crisp bed of greens you find in the dorm cafeteria or conveniently prepackaged at the supermarket. There’s a chance the lettuce hails from Mexico, the tomatoes were plucked in California and the carrots, quite possibly, traveled to your plate all the way from Chile.
Fourteen UW students know precisely the source of their food, and it’s as local as a piece of land bordering Fluke Hall. In an organic garden dubbed a P-Patch, they tend 10 plots of vegetables, fruits and herbs from seed to harvest.
Just last month, UW’s Housing and Food Services (HFS) representatives proudly added a compostable soda cup to their line of sustainable dining products.
During the ‘70s, at University of California at Santa Cruz, Alan Trimble got his hands dirty on the school’s student farm. He remembers the experience as a significant factor in teaching students where their food cones from — a lesson he feels UW students need to better learn.
Today, Trimble, a UW biology lecturer, is founder of the Greenhouse Farm. Most students probably don’t even notice the building, which is nestled behind some trees in the southwestern part of campus. Surrounding it are rows of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and other vegetables.
The UW group Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED) has transformed an unused overgrowth between Hall Health and Fluke Hall into a blossoming garden.
The garden, known as the P-Patch, is a project that includes a diversity of plants, said Ariana Taylor-Stanley, a junior at the UW who spearheaded the project.
Flowers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, strawberries, melons, peas and lettuces are already growing in the gardens.
A bus running on vegetable oil was parked near By George Café last week as part of the national BioTour, and a bluegrass band performed on top of the bus by plugging their amps into its solar panels.
The UW chapter of the Washington Student Public Interest Research Group (WashPIRG) booked the bus for a tour stop and invited the student band Old Technology to play a concert on top of it. Though WashPIRG members were a majority of the audience, the curiosity turned more than a few heads and attracted Tukwila School District students who were touring the campus.
Espresso Express looks like any other independent coffee place in Seattle. Behind a counter, an espresso machine steams milk for a nonfat, extra hot cappuccino and a stained microwave heats up an unusually large croissant. A glass display case holds a variety of baked goods begging to be eaten. At tables, people make use of the free Wi-Fi, checking their e-mail and surfing the Internet.
Customers stream in and out; some are regulars, some are just stopping for a quick pick-me-up, and others are paying to fill up their cars with biodiesel at the pump outside the café.