Residence Education


SEED logo

We meet every Thursday in Maple 217 from 5:30-6:30 pm–new members are always welcome!

We are SEED (Students Expressing Environmental Dedication), a student led organization that works to increase sustainability across the University of Washington campus alongside Housing & Food Services. Our mission is to promote environmentally sound practices in the residential communities and dining facilities among staff, residents, and administration, along with raising awareness about environmental issues that affect student on both local and global scales. We also provide the opportunity for leadership development and community building through our project committees, meetings, and more!

Interested in joining SEED? Any and all residents are welcome, any time! We always have snacks!

What We Do

SEED organizes a wide variety of events and campaigns relating to sustainability. Most are planned by a collaboration between SEED leadership and general council members.  We focus on advocacy, education, and building community through our passion for sustainability.  We bring in speakers to share about current topics in sustainability, host discussions, program in the communities, and more!  Because SEED is sponsored by Housing and Food Services, our scope focuses on making change within HFS.

Current Programs

The legacy program SEED is most proud of is the Composting Program in which SEED works with Residential Life Staff to check out in room compost bins to students in the residential communities.

In Winter Quarter, SEED led a tour of Theo’s Chocolate Factory and the Bullitt Center, as well as a DIY focused meeting where we made soap and reusable cleaning wipes, Trash Talkers at our Dining Facilities, and a Leadership Workshop!  We also had guest speakers attend our meeting from HFS Facilities to discuss HFS’s sustainability efforts in our building design and share information about a recent waste study, where we learned that over 50% of items found in the trash should have gone in the compost bin!

We have lots of things coming up in Spring, so stay tuned, and check out our Facebook and Instagram for more info!


History of SEED

More than ten years ago, several students were frustrated that the only place to recycle paper in the residence halls was the outside dumpsters – which could be as far as 11 FLOORS DOWN! They created SEED during the 2002-2003 school year in an effort to get recycling bins on every floor of the residence halls. In January 2006, the group achieved its goal. The members were now faced with an important decision: declare “mission accomplished” and disband the group, or continue to capitalize on the momentum they had worked so hard to create?

Needless to say, those SEEDlings chose the latter course, continuing to undertake new tasks. While some of our activities are one-time events, one of SEED’s greatest hallmarks is a willingness to take on large, long-term projects. Being part of Housing & Food Services grants us a unique level of influence and collaboration, increasing the likelihood of success for such initiatives. Though these projects are more difficult and risky, the scale and permanence of the change they effect is well worth it.

Among our current large-scale projects are to restart a program to promote reusable tote bag usage at the District Market and at the Nook in McMahon Hall. We are always looking for new ideas and input from residents in our communities. Our organization’s name has proven prophetic: just as a small seed grows into a large and productive plant, what began with a few students and a simple goal has become a powerful organization working on many different fronts.

Thanks to HFS funding over the years, we can provide free sustainable merchandise for UW students. Visit us during our tabling events for free items!

Notable years in SEED history

  • 2002-2003: SEED was founded by less than ten students in a successful effort to place recycling bins on every floor of the residence halls

  • 2008: First year of the One Thing Challenge against Washington State University

  • 2009: Unveiling of the Coca-Cola compostable cold drink cup (first in the world) with Housing & Food Services, International Paper, and Cedar Grove Composting

  • 2010: SEED hosted the Institute on Sustainability

  • 2011: SEED was the winner of the Husky Green Award, HFS’ Program of the Year Award, and multiple National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) awards

  • 2015: University of Washington won 2nd place in the Kill the Cup Competition out of 16 total competing universities

  • 2016-17: Implementation of unified composting in North Campus and our “Tote Bag or No Bag” pilot