WWU's GEF Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm Pilot

Sustainable Transportation

This weeks Eco-Challenge was inspired by the Go For the Green competition. Residences can receive points for their hall by attending Eco Rep events and challenging themselves to reduce their water, waste, electricity, and natural gas.

Transport donuts                                      Transp Peopple

This week, I hosted an Eco Rep event about sustainable transportation. Western students are fortunate to have many alternative transportation choices including: train, bolt bus, city bus, late night shuttles, well-established bike lanes, and Zipcar. Over 3,000 Western students take their cars to campus, a car may seem like a necessity, and in some cases it is, but given the variety of options to walk, bike, and ride, a car can be used sparingly. In addition to hosting an event, I earned points for my hall by submitting pictures to the Office of Sustainability (for their Eco Challenges Campaign) of ways I reduce waste. The first step is awareness, since it is easy to reuse containers, compost, and unplug devices. Gradually, with awareness, one will form new habits that uphold the three pillars of sustainability: health, economy, and the environment.

Help spread the word, choose Sustainable Transportation!

– Meriel


Don’t Miss a Drop

We’ve seen changes in illumination, refrigeration, personal expectation, and a list of other non-“ation”s. But the spirit of SEED extends beyond those elements. And while we may not have seen the beginnings of SEED in its infancy last Spring, we think the spirit of SEED extends into the future, and promises a continuation of the love and innovation that first created the project.

In this instance, we think once again of our water—particularly, the installation of low-flow faucets that occurred before we moved in. Without having seen the “before”, it’s a little harder to grasp the impact of the “after”.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned in regards to water, it’s that it goes fast. For every 100 seconds our shower is running, a gallon of water is used.  This access to an instantaneous clean water supply while convenient can easily go unappreciated.  The work required for using this precious resource is minimal, but for some the task is far more laborious.

According to, a nonprofit working to provide access to safe water for developing nations, 780 million people do not have access to clean water.  Personally it’s difficult for us to comprehend the consequence of this- we’ve not been exposed to the daily struggle that an astounding 11 percent of the world’s population, or one in ten people experiences.

What can we do here in Bellingham to appreciate and protect this resource then?  We think using the technology we have- water saving devices such as dual flush toilets and implementing low flow showerheads and faucets is an important step, but not the most crucial.  It’s the consciousness of recognizing this privilege we’re so fortunate to have and working to protect it for ourselves and promoting it for those that don’t.  We’ll simply ask you to consider how much water you would use if you had to carry and purify every drop you used.  How would you use it differently?


In the visually-driven society we live in, it’s easy to forget that change is not only occurring in obvious places. Change doesn’t need spectators. What change needs are dreamers and innovators—dreamers who aren’t afraid to act, and innovators who make dreams reality. All of us can be the change. We’re already on our way. Are you?