At the conference, a papier-mâché polar bear and a petition with 1,000 signatures was presented to Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-WA), asking that the Washington state legislature make climate change and other environmental issues a top priority.
Junior Tamara Mitchell gave a speech addressing why climate change is an important issue for the legislature and important to college students across the country.
Tomorrow, students from WashPIRG chapters at the UW, as well as Evergreen State College, Whitman, Western Washington and Green River Community College will be taking their Campus Climate Challenge to Olympia for a day of environmental awareness and advocacy.
WashPIRG members will be meeting with several state representatives and senators to discuss four environmentally progressive bills, which they hope will be passed by the end of the current legislative session on March 12.
Students in the residence halls are struggling to eat their food. The chief culprits in this dilemma are the compostable, corn-based cutlery now being used by Housing and Food Services (HFS) as part of a composting and recycling program.
The new cutlery was implemented this year as part of the larger composting program instituted last February. HFS ultimately hopes to achieve a "zero waste target" through this program.
"Last year, we bought over 3,000,000 forks, knives and spoons, and they all went to a landfill," said Michael Meyering, HFS project manager.
The UW Custodial Services is kicking the bucket and replacing it with a new program called Green Cleaning, intended to reduce the UW's impact on the environment.
The UW Custodial Services and environmental groups such as Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED) are working to make the University community a more environmentally friendly place not only in the dorms, but also on campus as a whole.
The day of action was started in 1970, a time when, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, "rivers caught fire and cities were hidden under dense clouds of smoke." Twenty million people celebrated the first Earth Day, with numbers growing ever since. To get involved, check out these Web sites:
A Supreme Court ruling earlier this month ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take action to limit the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere could make profound changes throughout the country.
The Supreme Court decision stated, "A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."
The amount of materials recycled on campus has more than doubled since UW Housing and Food Services (HFS) introduced its new recycling plan in January.
Before the plan was initiated, campus recycling totals were 14.34 tons a month. By February, monthly campus totals rose to 34.94, with 20 tons of new recyclables originating from the residence halls alone, said Pat Kaufman, HFS recycling program operations manager.