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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


Students live in efficient resident hall

April 22, 2014 |
The Western Front
In honor of Earth Day, two Western students tabled Saturday, April 19, showing off their eco-friendly resident hall.

Western’s first Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm (SEED) monitors energy consumption and water use as part of a pilot project funded by the Green Energy Fee Grant Program. The results from this project could influence sustainable choices in other residence halls.

Edens/Higginson wins green residence contest

April 21, 2014 |
Western Today
Every winter quarter, the Residents’ Resource Awareness Program at Western Washington University holds "Go for the Green," a competition amongst Western's nine residence halls to reduce water, waste, electricity and natural gas. Last quarter, residents saved 91,374 kilowatt hours through energy reduction practices.

The winner of this year's "Go for the Green" challenge was Edens/Higginson. Through winter quarter, Edens and Higginson had 60 percent of residents sign reduction pledges and had the largest reduction in electricity use.

Kenmore student helps WWU team wins $10,000 in Environmental Innovation Challenge

April 21, 2014 |
Bothell/Kenmore Reporter
Kenmore resident Sarah O’Sell helped a team of six Western Washington University students win $10,000 for their NOVA Solar Window plan during the Sixth Annual Environmental Innovation Challenge on April 3 at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall.

The Western team won the $5,000 second-place prize sponsored by Puget Sound Energy and the $5,000 Clean Energy Prize sponsored by the University of Washington Clean Energy Institute. The annual Environmental Innovation Challenge encourages interdisciplinary student teams to define an environmental problem, develop a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates the commercial viability of their product, process or service. More than 90 collegiate teams competed in the contest.

Student group demands university divests from fossil fuel

April 18, 2014 |
The Western Front
Western currently invests approximately $2.3 million in the fossil fuel industry. The Students for Renewable Energy wrote letters to Western Monday, April 14 urging the university to divest these funds by removing university money from fossil fuel companies. The Western Foundation Board of Directors yet to make a decision.

Freshman Chiara D’Angelo said Western’s eco-friendly appearance is ironic. She said Western is supposedly a sustainable campus but invests in fossil fuels, which support the destruction of the planet.

Students to pay more for on-campus living

April 18, 2014 |
The Western Front
A four percent increase in on-campus housing rates starting this fall will help pay for more sustainable food options, keeping residence halls open during breaks, as well as improving dorm safety, said Leonard Jones, director of University Residences.

After meeting with over 150 students from the Residence Hall Association, the Associated Students and individual hall councils, University Residences decided these changes would better support students who lived in the dorms, Jones said.

Students volunteer with Growing Veterans

April 17, 2014 |
Western Today
Volunteers, including Western Washington University Associated Students board members, volunteered with Growing Veterans April 12 as part of WWU's Volunteer Week.

Photos by Mindon Win / WWU Communications and Marketing intern

Clubs, Environmental and Sustainability Programs prepare for Earth Week

April 15, 2014 |
The AS Review
While Earth Day is traditionally celebrated on one day of the year, Western students are eager to expand the celebration across a week with an array of events and activities.

“This year we wanted to focus on diversity in the environmental movement and celebrating that and trying to increase the diversity in the people coming to the Environmental Center events,” said AS Environmental Center Coordinator Monica Tonty.

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.

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!