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Green Guide to Campus Living

Whether you are a student, faculty or a staff member of Whitman College, we’d like to give you a few tips to help you on your journey to a greener lifestyle.

Eating and Drinking

students eating outside Cleveland Commons

  1. Buy your produce at the Walla Walla Farmers Market. The farmers market usually begins in early May and goes until late October. It takes place every Saturday at Crawford Park on the corner of Main and Fourth Street.
  2. Use a reusable bag. Starting in 2021, single-use plastic bags will be banned in Washington State and stores will begin charging for paper. This is a great time to practice bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store.  
  3. Buy organic whenever possible. Organic produce is grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers and is more gentle for the environment. Clothing can be certified organic too!
  4. Choose plant-based foods on campus. Plant-based options at Cleveland Commons, Reid Market and Jewett Café reduce carbon and conserve water and they are healthy and delicious!
  5. Grow your food at the Organic Garden. Learn more about the Organic Garden Club on the Campus Organizations page.
  6. Request an Eco-Takeout at Cleveland Commons. Reusable plastic clamshell boxes are available for carry-out.

Use a reusable beverage container to reduce waste. This does not have to be anything fancier than a single-use water bottle that you consciously reuse.

In the Residence Halls

Prentiss Hall exterior

  1. Green your room. If you are looking to furnish your room, shop second-hand at the local Goodwill, on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. This benefits the local economy and cuts down on the environmental impact of manufacturing. When you move out, don’t throw everything away. Give it to a charity that accepts donations. At the end of the school year, Resident Directors will place cardboard boxes in the main lounge where you can put clothes, hygiene products and other personal items to donate.
  2. Conserve resources by taking shorter, cooler showers, shutting off the water when you brush your teeth and turning off the lights when you leave a room. 
  3. Wash only full loads of laundry, select cold water and air dry whenever you can. 
  4. Recycle. See our page on waste for information on recycling.
  5. Join the forsale listserv . This is a good way to buy and sell things within the community so they don’t go to the landfill.


students studying in Penrose Library

  1. Consider a major in Environmental Studies. Whitman’s Environmental Studies program has a unique design that allows students to combine their study of the environment with a selection of other subjects, ranging from physics to art. 
  2. Master of Forestry or Master of Environmental Management. Whitman offers a 3-2 program in partnership with Duke University that grants a Whitman degree in either Biology or Geology and a Master’s degree from Duke. See the College Catalog for more information. 
  3. Purchase used books. Whitman College Bookstore offers gently-used copies of textbooks.  
  4. Minimize printing. Work electronically when you can and remember to print double-sided. If you need help, ask the Library Technology Desk
  5. Educate yourself.
    • Reading:
      • Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
      • This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
      • The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh 
      • The End of Nature by Bill Mckibben 
      • A Great Aridness by William duBuys
      • Reason in a Dark Time by Dale Jamieson
    • Watching:
      • Planet Earth II (2016)
      • An Inconvenient Sequel (2017)


students cycling on campus

  1. Vote. Voting is the bedrock of democracy and an opportunity for nearly every citizen to collectively choose American leadership and local policy. Register to vote in Washington State at votewa.gov. Engage in politics and larger movements in other ways as well, such as phone banking, donating or letter-writing.
  2. Join an organization. This could be on campus or in the community.
  3. Bike, walk and use public transit. The Bike Share program maintains 8 bikes for checkout at Penrose Library. Stop by anytime. Or, pay 50 cents to use the Walla Walla Valley Transit. Routes 1 and 4 pass very close to campus. See the Whitman College Transportation Guide for more information.
  4. Consider taking on a sustainability project yourself! Whitman College’s Sustainable Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) provides funding to support innovative projects that promote sustainability on campus. Please contact the Office of Sustainability with any ideas or questions you have!

Questions, comments, or want to get involved? Connect with Whitman’s Office of Sustainability at sustainability@whitman.edu.

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