Cool Schools

UW Bothell Efforts Contribute to Sierra Magazine “Coolest Schools” Ranking   

UW Bothell

From worm composting to saving water, the University of Washington Bothell’s sustainable practices helped the University of Washington rank fourth in Sierra magazine’s annual ranking of green colleges.

Sustainability efforts from each of the University of Washington’s three campuses (Bothell, Tacoma and Seattle) were considered in the university’s ranking.

Schools were ranked on a variety of factors provided through an in-depth survey, which includes questions regarding energy consumption, transportation, waste, investments and student engagement.

“As a university, we’re committed to the principle of sustainability,” says Tony Guererro, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services. “UW Bothell has a long list of demonstrable practices that protect the environment.”

A commitment to environmental and human sustainability is one of seven campus priorities identified in the 21st Century Campus Initiative, which serves as a roadmap for the university.

The campus of UW Bothell and Cascadia Community College includes a 58-acre wetland that ranks among the largest floodplain restorations in the Pacific Northwest. UW Bothell plants more than 3,000 trees each year in the wetland and other areas around campus.

Other green practices on the UW Bothell campus include:
Pesticide-free methods are used to fertilize grass, plants and for weed control

  • Since October 25, 2004, the campus has used Red Wrigglers worms to compost the garbage. 
  • Variable output building heating and cooling system is used to regulate building temperatures. This allows fine-tuned control of energy use in maintaining interior climate. Our buildings also have computerized HVAC and lighting systems.
  • Lighting retrofit in our garages saves more than $40,000 per year
  •  From October 2007-October 2008 the UWB/CCC campus diverted over one-half of its waste to be recycled; 2600 Cubic Yards to landfill vs. 2678 Cubic Yards recycled.
  • Campus Grounds: Funding was secured and is being implemented to expand recycling services and availability across campus.
  • Water reduction methods have saved more than 700,000 of gallons of water this year.

Read the Sierra magazine "Coolest Schools" issue"

Quick Facts

  • UW Bothell has been herbicide-free since 2006
  • All campus lighting is high-efficient, 277 volt, with electronic ballasts.
  • Our campus uses only green cleaning products.
  • We have 58 acres of restored wetlands requiring 5,300 hours of labor to maintain.
  • We use Red Wrigglers worms to compost our garbage.
  • A computerized irrigation system saves water.
  • All HVAC and external lighting is controlled by automated systems.