A crowd of University of Washington students, many wearing trademark purple-and-gold shirts, on Thursday urged UW regents to divest the university’s investment portfolio of all stocks in Big Oil, Big Coal, and all companies comprising the backbone of the fossil-fuel economy.
Unusual for Seattle, it was a protest lacking in jargon and detailed in argument.
“We believe investment in oil companies is unnecessary, and will expose our endowment to unnecessary risk,” Kyle Murphy, a UW senior and political science major, told the regents.
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the most efficient and environmentally friendly light bulbs on the market. But they come at a higher up-front price than other bulbs, especially the ones with warmer and more appealing hues.
Researchers at the University of Washington have created a material they say would make LED bulbs cheaper and greener to manufacture, driving down the price. Their silicon-based nanoparticles soften the blue light emitted by LEDs, creating white light that more closely resembles sunlight.
Two processes that turn woody biomass into transportation fuels have the potential to exceed current Environmental Protection Agency requirements for renewable fuels, according to research published in the Forest Products Journal and currently featured on its publications page.
The king tides that swamped Alki last winter might be a harbinger of the effects of climate change on Seattle. Diminished snowpack in the Cascades could mean less drinking water and less cheap hydroelectricity. A 3-meter rise in sea level could swamp the Duwamish Waterway, the working port, Sodo and its industrial lands.
While steps Seattle takes to reduce emissions would have little effect on the global climate and those potential threats, they could demonstrate what one city can do to dramatically reduce its own sources of greenhouse gases, said City Councilmember Mike O’Brien.
At the end of a long day, it can be more convenient to order your groceries online while sitting on the living room couch instead of making a late-night run to the store. New research shows it’s also much more environmentally friendly to leave the car parked and opt for groceries delivered to your doorstep.
Mac-Gray Campus Solutions supplies the UW with laundry machines and services. Their "Lighten Your Load" initiative, started in 2008, reduces the carbon impact of laundry services through investment in high efficiency technology, awareness generation, and carbon sequestration. The University of Washington joined this initiave, neutralizing their laundry carbon footprint with offsets.
When I think Cleantech, my mind goes straight to the triangular logo on my waste container at work: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” These three words are central to most enduring cleantech innovations, though sometimes in paradoxical ways. “Reduce” is the most prone to paradox, since reducing one thing generally happens by increasing another. Let’s explore this “reduce” paradox via two well-known examples in that space.
EHS collects used, clean empty metal and plastic drums from campus departments that receive bulk chemicals. EHS reuses them to store and transport hazardous waste. This program saves the UW up to $10,000 a year on container costs, and reuses over 2,000lbs of what would otherwise be solid waste. Additionally, empty chemical containers are very difficult to manage as solid waste.