2014 EcoChallenge

Welcome to the 2014 EcoChallenge

Seattle University’s EcoChallenge is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to raise their awareness and adopt new habits to sustain a healthy and just planet. In 4 weeks you will challenge yourself to learn, do, advocate for and share what you’ve learned in a 4 person team.

How it works? Every Monday, participants will receive an email with the challenge content for that week. Each week has a different theme. You choose one topic you want to learn more about, one new habit you want to adopt, one issue you are passionate about that you want to advocate for, and share what you’ve learned with your team mates. Extra points can be earned for attending events. Every Monday you fill out your scorecard for the week you just completed and plan what you will do for the coming week.

Why Should I Take on the EcoChallenge?

  • Fun:  Learning and doing things with friends is more fun that by yourself. 
  • Prizes: Collect points for participating and you might win a prize. 
  • Inspiration: With so many things that need to be changed, it can be overwhelming.  We inspire you with knowledge and new habits you can adopt.
  • Community:  Connect with others who are taking on the EcoChallenge through the Facebook page. Together we can inspire each other and be a force for change.
  • Accomplishment:  Now is your chance to give a new habit a shot—you may find it’s easier than you imagined.  We encourage you to share what you’re learning and doing with your teammates, friends and family.
  • Challenge:  The EcoChallenge is an opportunity to raise your awareness and adopt new habits that make progress toward an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future.

2014 Weekly Themes:

Week 1, Monday, March 31- Sunday, April 6: Energy and Water

Arguably, enjoying reliable access to energy and clean water will be the defining issues of this century. Water is pretty obvious – we can't survive without it. And energy drives our economy. Our dependence on fossil fuels for energy drives the climate crisis. The climate crisis affects rainfall patterns -- increasing droughts in some areas and floods in others. In such a connected world our lives are inextricably connected to these concerns.

Week 2, Monday, April 7- Sunday, April 13: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We know you've heard it a thousand times before, but with the "green" word now co-opted in the service of sales, the three R's are a phrase -- and a principle -- worth reviving.  

Week 3, Monday, April 14- Sunday, April 20: Transportation

The modern world is built on fossil fuels with the transportation sector one of the largest consumers. Transportation produces almost 30% of all U.S. global warming emissions. As the availability of easily accessible fossil fuels declines, the problem we face is not a lack of alternative technology. The problem in the U.S. is that for over 60 years we have built our transportation infrastructure and designed our communities to function almost exclusively with privately-owned gasoline-powered cars and diesel-powered trucks. This has made the American culture addicted to the convenience of a private car. This trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure would take many decades to retrofit for a world without cheap oil — decades we do not have.

Week 4, Monday, April 21- Sunday, April 27: Food

Food connects us daily to soil, water, plants and animals, farmers, ranchers and truckers, migrant farmworkers, and to those with whom we break bread. Food connects us to national farm policies and the health of rural communities here and across the world. Religious traditions recognize that in receiving food we are ultimately receiving a gift – the gift of a fertile Earth. Other than transportation choices, our daily food choices make up our largest environmental impact. In America today, the average food morsel travels about 1,500 miles to reach our plates. Clearly, the choices we make about what we eat and where that food comes from has far reaching consequences.