Go for the Green!

Sustainability Challenge in the Residence Halls


What is Go for the Green?

Go for the Green is our annual sustainability competition between residential communities at Western, focusing on composting food waste and reducing energy usage in the residence halls!

Students can pledge to take part in the competition from February 5 to Earth Day to conserve energy resources and compost on campus! Reduce your footprint and learn how to make sustainable behavior changes that will help you save big in your time at Western.

Students who pledge to Go for the Green get a custom sticker-sheet set and poster to hang on their door and are entered into a prize raffle with gifts from local Bellingham businesses. The community that reduces the most energy consumption will win a dessert bar for their community!


Sustainable Events and Initiatives! 

Join us at these upcoming Go for the Green events:

Join us to celebrate Earth Week and Go For The Green at the annual Housing Sustainability Clothing Swap! 

  • Bring unwanted clothes and swap for new to you items.
  • Food, music, and prizes!
  • Go For The Green winning hall announced! 

Come get involved with WWU Housing Sustainability and celebrate Go For The Green with us! 

Volunteer with us on Thursday, April 25 from 3-8pm at our annual clothing swap and get a limited edition WWU Housing Sustainability 5-panel hat! 

Sign up here!

Where: WWU Wade King Rec Center - MAC Gym
When: Set up @ 3 pm, Event @ 4-7 pm, Take down @ 7 pm (NOTE: Please ensure you can be available for the whole duration of the event from set up to take down)

Need to know:
- Wear something comfortable, we will be movin' and groovin'
- Snacks will be provided
- You can participate in the clothing swap but please know that you are to be facilitating an organized event space and providing support to participants, hosts, vendors, etc.

If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please email Dora at vaughad3@wwu.edu.

Many thanks, and Happy Go For The Green! 

Click here to RSVP to the Clothing Swap and enter to win a free mending kit!


2024 Donors 

Big thank you to our 2024 Go for the Green donors: Third Planet, Neko Cat Café, Worn Again Thrift, Vital Climbing Gym and Yoga, Sweet As Waffles, A Lot of Flowers, Wink Wink, Serena Gelato, Bellingham Food Co-Op, Camber Coffee, Serendipity, ACME Ice Cream, The Daisy Cafe/Union Coffee, Western AS Bookstore, Fairhaven Walkers & Runners, AB Crepes, Cute But Crazy Socks, and El Capitan's!


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some easy ways to reduce your energy usage for GFTG:

  • Wash only full loads of laundry, and wash on cold
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Turn down the heat and bundle up
  • Keep windows closed to conserve heat when you can (aside from airing out room)
  • Turn off the water when you scrub and brush
  • Unplug your electronic devices, lighting, and appliances when not in use
  • Take shorter showers
  • Take the stairs over the elevator if you are able
  • Limit TV time
  • Study in already lit/heated public spaces to avoid increased energy demand
  • Turn off/unplug all devices, lighting, and appliances before you go to bed

To compost:

  • Compost food scraps and soiled paper in the provided compost bin in your room
  • Know where your compost drop-off location is
  • Avoid placing landfill trash in green compost drop off toters to reduce compost contamination

We will be catering a dessert bar for the winning residential community! We encourage all residents from the winning community to come together to celebrate their win, take a load off, and eat some delicious free desserts. You’ve earned it! Vegan and gluten free options will be available. 

Good question! We will be comparing each residential community to themselves in previous years- for example, Nash’s energy use will be compared to an average of Nash’s energy use between 2018 and 2023, so that the change in usage will be relative to its normal energy consumption. We are just comparing the percent change in energy consumption compared to average years, so that we can calculate the impact that students are having! 


How You Can Participate:

1. Pledge to Go For The Green
2. Reduce your energy usage
3. Compost food waste and soiled paper
4. Participate in sustainable events and initiatives
5. Enter our poster submission competition, creating art that inspires sustainable behavior change for the planet - prizes for top 3 finalists!  


Why Pledge? 

  1. It helps build positive, sustainable, money-saving habits that students can take with them when they move off-campus.
  2. It helps save energy at WWU during the coldest months, a high energy-consuming period of the year.  
  3. Diverting food waste from the landfill mitigates WWU's footprint (food waste in landfill produces methane, harming our environment). Reducing compost contamination increases amount of food waste that can be sent to be repurposed.

Go for the Green Tips & Tricks

Go for the Green tips and tricks graphic. Includes tips for beginner pledgers such as; turning off the lights when you leave the room, only wash full loads of laundry on cold, keep windows closed to conserve energy (aside form airing out your room daily), and turn off the tap when you scrub and brush.
Go for the Green tips & tricks graphic. This includes tips such as; keep overhead lighting off when there is natural light, unplug devices, lighting, and appliances when not in use, taking shorter showers, bundle up before turning on the heat in your space.
Go for the Green expert tips

2024 Points Tracker 

The 2024 Go for the Green competition officially begins February 5! Community points and standing will be updated below on a regular basis!  



1st Place



2nd Place



3rd Place



4th Place



5th Place



6th Place



7th Place

Buchanan Towers


8th Place

Birnam Wood


9th Place

Points Breakdown


1% reduction of consumption/person = 100 points


10% reduction (over total period) = 100 points


1% population pledges/in attendance = 50 points (max out at 10%)

WWU Concepts + Poster Submissions

1% of population/community submits entries = 200 points


I Pledge To:

  • Turn off the lights when I leave a room
  • Turn down the heat and bundle up
  • Turn off the tap when I scrub and brush
  • Unplug my electronics when not in use
  • Limit food waste contamination

Contact Us!

Want to learn more? Check out Housing Sustainability or email residencesfacilities@wwu.edu.

GFTG poster
GFTG poster
GFTG poster

Additional Resources

Looking for additional sustainability resources? Use these to take your knowledge to the next level:

We the Power | YouTube

  • Local community members break down legislative barriers and taking power from big energy companies and putting it back in the hands of locals. 

@energy | Instagram

  • The U.S. Department of Energy shares ways to reduce energy use and promote clean energy.

@intersectionalenvironmentalist | Instagram

  • Follow for posts focusing on the intersectional aspects of environmentalism. A great place to start if you’re new to sustainability and want to learn!

Energy Justice & Climate Change Resistance | Podcast

  • Listen to intersectional environmentalist discuss the “link between marginalization + climate vulnerability” and the importance of energy justice.