UWT Fifth Place in National Sustainability Competition

UW Tacoma is taking part in a national competition to make the most sustainable and environmentally sound changes through the Net Impact organization.

Net Impact is a nonprofit organization of thousands of student volunteers who focus on sustainability and making eco-responsible differences in the world. Divided into chapters in high ranking schools and undergraduate campuses across the U.S., UW Tacoma is currently the only undergraduate sector in the Northwest.

Representatives from UW Tacoma attended the 20th annual Net Impact Conference in Baltimore, Md. with the goal of “tapping into the collective knowledge and collaborative spirit of those who share the drive” of working harder to create a sustainable world.

Campus leader Patrick Miles said in an email about the recent conference, “We were able to meet with many members across the globe. I was able to create relationships with other Seattle area chapters and due to this we are already in the process of working on collaborative events.”

What’s next is the Small Steps, Big Wins competition among undergraduate schools. The winning campus will have made the most positive changes in their daily lives and relayed them to Net Impact. UW Tacoma is ranked five out of thirty schools currently with 1204 points. The gap to first place is wide: Wartburg College students have collected 5960 points.

Prizes include passes to Coachella 2013, free roundtrip airfare to any part of the U.S., gift cards, and t-shirts.

Dozens of students have reported points to the Net Impact website, whose featured actions change every month. These are small changes that collectively will add up to make major environmental differences such as “ditching the car” for a day, drying your laundry on a line instead of using the dryer machine, and recycling aluminum cans. Each action is accompanied with statistics about its impact globally. For instance, landfills would harbor 17 billion less aluminum cans if everyone recycled one more can a week than they do now.

Several actions can be taken on Facebook by liking the Small Steps, Big Wins challenge page, reading and commenting on inspirational stories, recruiting a friend, and spreading word of the competition.

Joining this challenge and helping UW Tacoma is an easy five points: head to and click on the “Start Taking Action” button to sign up with the campus and begin reporting healthy habits today. With only a week left in November, hurry to accomplish the above tasks and be on the lookout for more in December.