UW students invest their energy, ideas and cash in green projects
From a student-run farm to fix-it-yourself bike stations around campus, students at the University of Washington have taken a campaign to increase environmental sustainability in new directions over the past two years.
On Friday, during the school's annual Earth Day ceremony, the UW will celebrate its environmental efforts as part of HuskyFest, a three-day celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the university's founding.
Last year, Sierra Magazine — the magazine of the Sierra Club — rated the UW the most environmentally friendly school in the country. The UW scored well on the 10-page questionnaire for getting its electricity from a renewable source (hydropower), but it was also helped by its student-led examination of campus life and efforts to make the school more sustainable, said Avital Andrews, the lifestyle editor of Sierra Magazine.
Students created a Campus Sustainability Fund two years ago, after more than 5,000 students signed a petition asking that a small portion of student fees be used for environmental projects.
The program awards between $300,000 and $350,000 a year to student-designed projects. The money represents about 2.5 percent of the $118-per-quarter student fee.