WSU faculty, students, staff asked to take “One Thing Challenge” for the environment starting today

PULLMAN, Wash.—If you were asked to change just one thing for two weeks that would help the environment, would you?

This year, everyone at WSU—faculty, staff, and students—is invited to participate in the “One Thing Challenge” and make one or more changes in their lives and habits to be more sustainable. This year’s challenge starts today (Nov. 12) and runs through Nov. 24.

The One Thing Challenge has actually existed for several years and is managed by the Sustainability Committee in Residence Life. Students in WSU residence halls wage a pre-Apple Cup behavior-changing competition against counterparts at the University of Washington. WSU has won four out of six years, based on the number of students signed up to participate.

Individuals pledge to do something to make their day-to-day environmental life better. An online registration site allows them to select from options that range from transportation to recycling and composting, sustainability to energy usage, and from consumption to bulk buys and service projects.

For the first time, WSU faculty, staff, and students living outside residence halls are encouraged to participate in the tradition. They can also register on the online site to identify what they will do differently—at least for two weeks.  The Sustainability Committee has added separate links for faculty and staff, and for non-residence hall students.

“There have been many hands-on activities this fall related to the 2014-15 Common Reading Program’s book Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affairs with Trash by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Humes,” says Karen Weathermon, Common Reading co-director.

“The students and First-Year Focus faculty involved with the common reading have enjoyed digging in campus trash, and learning about composting, for example. We asked the Sustainability Committee and other groups about expanding the one-thing challenge, and they were excited. We’re not all part of the student competition, per se, but we are challenging the whole campus to think for these two weeks about sustainability.

MEDIA: Karen Weathermon, WSU First-Year Focus Director and Common Reading Co-Director, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488,

Charlie Beckers, Residential Education Director of Scott-Coman Halls, WSU Dept. of Residence Life, 509-335-2123,

Hannah Mitchell, Residential Education Director of McEachern Hall, WSU Dept. of Residence Life, 509-335-6278,