Sustainability In Action
One of Evergreen’s first accomplishments was the creation of the Organic Farm. Founded in 1972, the farm serves as a living laboratory for students, a valuable community resource, and a beautiful complement to the woods and beaches of Evergreen’s campus.
Since then, Evergreen has stayed ahead of the latest eco-friendly technology, offering LEED certified buildings, composting and recycling options, and support for alternative transportation. Student-led programs, such as the Bike Share program, RAD services, and the Flaming Eggplant café, make it easy to live, work, and play with sustainability in mind.
For those who want to study sustainability, Evergreen offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on policy, the environment, and more.
The Evergreen State College students, faculty, and staff defined two key sustainability goals in 2005-06, to be both a carbon-neutral and zero-waste campus by 2020. These goals were adopted into the college's updated Strategic Plan in 2007, and the campus Master Plan in 2008. Sustainability values permeate all divisions and levels of college operations, and the college coordinates and integrates its decisions and actions with those values in diverse ways.
The Office of Sustainability coordinates and supports:
- Work on the college's carbon neutrality and zero waste goals
- Sustainability work in college operations and academics
- Institutional assessments and reporting (such as AASHE STARS)
- Collaborative community engagement and events
Small Steps, Big Impact
The college has reduced energy use by 15 percent since 2009. Many of the efforts are not immediately noticeable but small actions make a big difference. For example, lights on Red Square and across campus have been converted to LED, and the college has three solar installations: one on the Daniel J. Evans Library in Olympia, one in Evergreen's modular housing in Olympia, and one on the Tacoma campus building.
You Can Help
If you have ideas for improving the college's sustainability, you can apply for a grant from the Clean Energy Committee. Student fees fund campus sustainability projects and new applications are always welcome.
Whether or not you join an on-campus group or take a sustainability-focused academic program, you can always make a difference! Remember to turn off lights and computers when you're not using them, sort recyclable and food waste to reduce landfill, and carpool or take alternative transportation if you can!