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Below are the most recent sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. Each item is tagged with corresponding subject(s) relating to a specific topic within our website.

VIEW NEWS ITEMS RELATING TO A TAG:
RECOGNITION & HONORS | 10X12 PROGRAM | GREEN ENERGY FEE GRANT PROGRAM | THE OUTBACK FARM
RESRAP PROGRAM | SUSTAINABLE OFFICE CERTIFICATION | SWEATER DAYS | VIKING SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
ENERGY & CLIMATE | TRANSPORTATION | WASTE | BUILT ENVIRONMENT | FOOD | WATER | CLEANING | GROUNDS
PURCHASING | HUXLEY | URBAN TRANSITIONS STUDIO | CSPS | RESEARCH | SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS


Greenest residence hall to be honored April 15

April 15, 2014 |
Western Today
The annual Go For The Green Celebration to honor the campus residence hall that won this year's Total Waste Reduction Challenge is set for 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room.

The event will feature live music, a chance to win over $1,000 in prizes from local businesses in a raffle and an opportunity to meet the Eco Reps of each residence hall.

Outback workshop teaches seed-starting to students

April 11, 2014 |
Western Today
Western students prepare for the spring showers by learning the proper mixture and process to plant seeds in the outdoor classroom at The Outback Farm. Outback farm worker Sam Carlos led the seed-starting workshop Tuesday, April 8, as part of The Outback Farm workshop series.

The workshops happen every other week and are focused to give students a chance to be engaged in an outdoor learning environment. For Carlos, this was his first chance to lead a workshop, and was excited to share his knowledge with other students.

Rain gardens in the works

April 11, 2014 |
The Western Front
The construction of 36 rain gardens will help filter water pollution in downtown Bellingham and is set to start the beginning of May, said Rose Lathrop, green building and smart growth manager for Sustainable Connections.

Rain gardens sit slightly below street level and use sidewalk curves as gutters to funnel street runoff into planted areas that range in size and shape, said Freeman Anthony, City of Bellingham project engineer.

Scientist: Lake Whatcom's problems persist, but are not getting worse

April 9, 2014 |
The Bellingham Herald
BELLINGHAM - The quality of Lake Whatcom water may have stabilized, but it will likely take decades to get the city's drinking water source back to near-pristine levels.

So says Robin Matthews, lead scientist on the team that conducts an annual study of the lake's water commissioned by the city. Tests of 2013 water samples show that levels of most-watched pollutants have been holding relatively steady for several years.

After 53 'remarkable' years, Mookherjee to retire

April 8, 2014 |
Western Today
In late December, the 12th Asian Urbanization Conference convened at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India. Huxley College’s own Debnath Mookherjee, an expert in urban geography and planning, offered the keynote address, speaking about the need for a regional planning approach toward urban sustainability.

Debnath Mookherjee is retiring from Western after 53 years.

Nonprofits host sustainability workshops, galleries

April 8, 2014 |
The Western Front
The weekend of April 4 marked the second year for the Allied Arts of Whatcom County annual Recycled Arts and Resource Expo (RARE) which featured galleries, workshops and performances, all with the common theme of recycling and repurposing materials.

An open gallery featuring art from nearly two dozen local artists was among several of the events hosted by Allied Arts, a nonprofit seeking to engage the public in the arts. The art ranged from acrylic paintings and jewelry to toaster-vacuum hybrids. Other pieces included furniture made from repurposed and recycled materials.

New fabric store opens, reuses old material to avoid waste

April 8, 2014 |
The Western Front
Ragfinery, a textile recycling center, opened its doors to the public Thursday, April 3 as a place for the community to donate, buy and learn to reuse old fabric.

The 4,000-square-foot facility located at 1421 N. Forest St. includes table space, a washing machine, equipment for working and dozens of bins of prepared materials.

Downtown wins national award

April 8, 2014 |
The Western Front
Bellingham’s downtown was recognized as being the eighth best in the nation by Livability.com, a travel and leisure website.

Livability’s “Top Ten Best Downtowns 2014” featured downtown Bellingham, spanning 249 acres with nearly 2,400 residents and about 7,500 employees, as a model city for sustainability and strong local community.

Outback Farm leaps into spring with planting workshop

April 7, 2014 |
The AS Review
Winter is over and the sun is finally out in Bellingham, creating the perfect weather for planting seeds. Gardening may seem impossible for those living in cramped dorm rooms and apartments, but Western’s five-acre farm and wetland restoration site, the Outback Farm, offers students the opportunity to contribute to a community garden.

To get students started, the Outback Farm is offering a free seed starting workshop on Tuesday, April 8 at 3 p.m. Associated Students Outback Assistant Coordinator Grace Coffey described the workshop as a hands-on introduction, aimed at those without a lot of experience. The workshop will educate people about starting seeds, transplanting and which soils to use.

New elk survey takes flight

April 7, 2014 |
Go Skagit
Unmanned aircraft will scout a section of state-managed forest land north of Hamilton next week on the lookout for elk — a known hell-raiser in eastern Skagit Valley.

For several years, a growing herd has caused trouble for farmers, landowners and drivers along Highway 20 and the upper Skagit River.

Turning waste into jobs the goal of new Bellingham business

April 6, 2014 |
The Bellingham Herald
Duane Jager admits he didn't know much about textiles when the Ragfinery concept was born, but he did see a great opportunity for reusing products and creating jobs.

The Bellingham job training business organized by ReUse Works celebrated its grand opening last week at 1421 N. Forest St. and is already showing off a variety of fabric supplies and repurposed products created by local artists and people receiving work training.

New fare boxes but same payment options on WTA buses

April 6, 2014 |
The Bellingham Herald
Riders of Whatcom Transportation Authority buses will notice a change when they board starting Friday, April 11.

New fare boxes will be installed in the entire fleet from Friday to Sunday, but most payment options will remain the same. The exception is that WTA will no longer accept free ride coupons, which must be used by Sunday, April 13.

Bottled water ban officially hits campus

April 4, 2014 |
The Western Front
Students and staff involved with The Bottled Water Free Initiative are working to make sustainable water more accessible on campus after the sale of bottled water was banned Tuesday, April 1.

Western will install a ‘hydration station’ outside of Zoe’s Bagels by the end of April, Students for Sustainable Water member Carolyn Bowie said.

Power down for spring break

March 20, 2014 |
Western Today
If your office or workstation will be vacant for even one day during the upcoming break or holiday, please take the following actions to reduce “phantom” energy consumption while you are away.

Shut your windows; Shut curtains/lower your blinds; Turn off and unplug your computer and your monitor; Shut off power strips; Unplug all appliances not plugged into power strips, including speakers, printers, copiers, fax machines, coffee makers, microwave and toaster ovens, water coolers, etc...

Western wins award from PSE for Best Outreach Campaign

March 14, 2014 |
Western Today
Puget Sound Energy presented Western Washington University an award for best outreach campaign at the PSE Annual Resource Conservation Management Program Meeting in late January. The award, nicknamed a “RCMmy,” is given to a conservation customer that excels in communication to occupants and the community.

Western Washington’s “Sweater Days,” “Power Down,” and “Go for the Green” behavioral campaigns were called out as specific examples for the award. All three campaigns are managed by Western’s Office of Sustainability.

AS votes to pull fossil fuel investments

March 14, 2014 |
The Western Front
The Associated Students Board of Directors voted unanimously in support of divestment on Western’s campus in a meeting on Wednesday, March 12.

With AS approval, the proposal will be presented to President Bruce Shepard, and then to Western’s Foundation, which will be the party deciding the ultimate verdict for the divestment movement.

Late Night Shuttle route may be expanded for 2014-15

March 14, 2014 |
The Western Front
Western’s Late Night Shuttle route may be extended from Bill McDonald Parkway down to 21st Street, east on Donovan Avenue and back north through 32nd Street.

Associated Students Vice President for Student Life Robby Eckroth expects the route to be incorporated during fall 2014 if the neighborhoods accept the plan, he said.

Western to end sale of bottled water on campus

March 12, 2014 |
Western Today
Western Washington University will end the sale and distribution of bottled water on campus on April 1, an effort initiated by students to enhance sustainability at Western.

Western now is the largest college or university, public or private, in the state of Washington to end the sale of bottled water on its campus.

Related Articles: AP Press Release, The Bellingham Herald, King5, SFGate, Q13 FOX, 790 KGMI (Podcast)

Student-assembled sculpture to be relocated to wetland March 12

March 12, 2014 |
Western Today
Western Washington University students participating in the Art and Ecology program will relocate a sculpture at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12 to a boggy area outside of Western’s Fine Arts building.

Students spent a week assembling the sculpture under the guidance of Seattle artist John Grade. The sculpture, which is made of raw materials found in nature, was completed on March 4 and has been on display in the Western Gallery. It will be relocated to the boggy area to be observed over time as it decays as part of the exploration of the effect of time and the elements.

Note: These news items are carefully selected from searching many local resources. They are linked directly to the original articles. We do not own any images or content within each article. The main purpose of this news section is to get the word out!