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To: President of Central Washington University

Sustainable CWU

Sustainable CWU

As an environmental studies student here at Central Washington University, I feel it is my responsibility to raise awareness of the lack of sustainability here on campus. I believe Central should create a sustainability program here on campus to improve our movement to a greener campus. Other fellow state colleges have installed a successful program that will be similar to the future one here on campus. For example, Western Washington University has a great template of a sustainability program on campus. If we were to follow the same steps towards a greener campus, then we will be leading the nation for sustainability.

Why is this important?

In order for Central Washington University to become more sustainable, there needs to be a program for sustainable energy on campus. This program will allow for students to get involved with future plans of sustainability for Central. They will be allowed to reveal their personal innovations and inputs about sustainability plans. It will be a democratic process in which everyone’s voices will be allowed to be heard. There are many colleges in Washington that already have this system in place. Western Washington University has a sustainability program that will be a great example for the future program here at Central Washington. One aspect of the sustainably plan would be to strive for climate neutrality. Western has a campus-wide climate action plan to set net zero carbon emissions. Western also joined the American College and University President Climate Commitment which supports their goal of climate neutrality. This membership is nation-wide, and if Central were to become a member then it would be taking the right steps forward to becoming a sustainable campus. The RCW 70.235.050 is a state regulation for all state agencies to adopt a strategy for reducing carbon emissions. Central has only comprised of a recycling program in every building on campus. This plan is headed in the right direction; however, there needs to be a more direct and aggressive plan set in action for Central to truly be sustainable. Western’s sustainable program also encompasses a zero waste program which helps reduce Western’s waste. Campus currently diverts 72% of all containers, paper, and cardboard from the landfill through the AS Recycle Center (Pierce & Smith, 2010). That’s a large amount of recycling. Here at Central is it said that 10% of the students actually do recycle (Pappas, 2013). Last year, housing recycled 35,000 pounds of cardboard, 10,000 pounds of aluminum, 25,000 pounds of paper, 14,000 pounds of plastic, and 46,000 pounds of glass. Johnson also said housing contributes about 433 tons of garbage to the landfill per year (Pappas 2013).With these numbers, it is quite obvious that Central needs to have a well-planned out program for recycling, and the future sustainability program will be able to put that program into place properly. Another aspect to Western’s sustainability program is the 20% Real Food. This program encourages campus to have 20% of its food either locally produced, organically grown, fairly traded, and human raised (Pierce & Smith, 2010). Campus acquires this food from several companies, for example; Growing Washington is a farmer cooperative ad Charlie’s Produce is a produce supplier based in Seattle, Washington (Pierce & Smith, 2010). With Central Washington being located on the eastern side of the state, there are many opportunities for campus to acquire real food.
As a part of the Climate Action Plan Western has made, there is a program call 10x12 which builds infrastructure to create a system of decentralized, building-based coordinators within Western Washington University eventually, realizing energy savings and other resource conservation benefits (Pierce & Smith, 2010). If the pilot year prove successful, consider expanding the program each year until the whole campus is operating with ongoing conservation measures in every building and increasing efficiency over time, leveraging utility savings to increase participation and expansion to other buildings (Pierce & Smith, 2010). With this plan, Western will be able to cut their CO2 emissions while potentially saving money in the long run. Using a pilot year will be a good start for Central because campus will be able test out what works and what does not work.

Central Washington University, East University Way, Ellensburg, WA, United States

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Reasons for signing

  • A sustainable campus will ultimately decrease costs for the student and make CWU a good member of the community.
  • Recycling is just the beginning of a sustainability program at CWU. students should take a careful look at CWU's Foundation investments and join the global Divestment initiative to quit supporting the fossil fuel industry. Such dirty investing makes Foundation funded scholarship dirty too. CWU can do better than that!


2017-02-24 12:46:49 -0500

25 signatures reached

2016-01-15 01:05:11 -0500

10 signatures reached