CWU News

CWU Invites Campus and Community to Contribute to Sustainability Efforts

How can Central Washington University be a leader in enhancing environmental Sustainability Graphicsustainability and lessen the university’s impact on the community? Attend the next Sustainability Café on January 23 at 3:00 p.m. in room 137A/B of the Student Union and Recreation Center to discuss current goals and learn how you can get involved.

Sustainability Café brings together students, staff, faculty, administration, and community members interested in working towards established goals in the areas of education, waste, food, grounds, and transportation.

“I think that’s the beautiful thing about sustainability, because it’s such a broad topic it involves everybody,” said Kate Doughty, farm and sustainability manager in auxiliary enterprises.

“There’s lots of opportunities for innovation and bringing new ideas to the table and embracing the interdisciplinary nature of it. That’s part of the intent of the Sustainability Café, to bring together people from all over campus and the greater community.”

Some projects to be discussed during the upcoming café include a Bike to School/Work Day event to increase a low emission form of transportation and establishing a sustainable garden.  Additional projects involve efficient water use of the Brooklane Apartment grounds, infusing sustainability into campus tours and recruitment, waste reduction in residence halls, and the reduction in food waste.

Of these topics, the 2018-19 goals focus on areas such as waste, education, and food.

Currently, CWU does not have a composting program. More than 4,515 dining transactions are conducted on campus daily. The food waste, instead of being composted where it can be reused in a garden, is sent to the landfill where it emits excess greenhouse gasses.

The initial step in the composing project is to determine how much is being sent to the landfill, then determine ways to lessen kitchen and post-consumer food waste. This is a larger venture likely will extend into next year.

Creating a mini food forest, or sustainable farm, is also on the list this year. The group will plant perennials that are native to the environment and students are asked for their input and help in the process.

“We’re not making it so that you have to be involved in ag or environmental studies or science to participate, because food is central to everyone,” said Doughty.

The Sustainability Café is sponsored by CWU Sustainability Council. Cafés are held quarterly and all are encouraged to participate. The next café will be held April 3 at 3:00 p.m., location to be determined. For more information on Sustainability Cafés, contact Susan Kaspari, professor in the geological sciences department at 509-963-2738,

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,