UW Combined Fund Drive

October 4, 2021

World Habitat Day

October 4th marks World Habitat Day! First designated by the United Nations in 1985, the first Monday of October every year is dedicated our habitats and the basic right to adequate shelter. This year, World Habitat Day’s theme is all about becoming a more carbon free world.  

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, human activity is the largest source of greenhouse gas emission increase from the last two centuries. Of these activities, fossil fuels are the largest contributor. Even now as we remain effectively under quarantine conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we often rely on fossil fuels for transportation, heat and electricity in our daily lives. 

In the initial stages of quarantine, carbon emissions and the like fell sharply due to transportation activity essentially disappearing. Despite this, even on a global scale, it was predicted that the drop in emissions wouldn’t last long, and at the time, it was not sufficient enough to significantly alter climate change.  

It is not feasible at this point in our time, society or history to isolate in our houses for the rest of our lives and generations beyond. Additionally, staying inside alone and not driving, as referenced by the previous linked article, would not be enough to fix the damage already inflicted and present in the atmosphere.  

UW has already started working to reducing its carbon footprint, and has set out a Sustainability Action Plan to work on decreasing waste and increasing sustainability measures – including a single UW sustainability framework by next year – as well as increasing reliance on local food production.  

Every one of us has the power to do something about the climate change issue, whether that’s switching to more sustainable means, talking to friends and family about it, or researching the issue in order to reach out to political representatives and discuss the issue with confidence.  

Want to help but not sure where to start? Here’s a few ways to get started:

  • Figuring out how much carbon you create is a great start to learning about sustainability! Find out how much carbon you emit here. 
  • Cut out what you don’t need: If you have a programmable heating system, try to have it active only when you’re in the house in cooler settings and bundle up.  
  • Try to limit your water while bathing/showering as heating water also requires energy.  
  • Advocate for clean energy: This map shows that the US has great capacity for more sustainable energy and give you an idea of what type of energy might suit your location best.  


Consider making a one-time contribution or setting up payroll deduction to one of our CFD member organizations working to create a carbon-free world:

Carbon Washington Foundation (charity code 1482524): Focused on accelerating the transition to a vibrant clean-energy economy. Advocates for carbon reduction policies.  

Carbonfund.org Foundation (charity code 1481702): Prioritizes climate change education, carbon offsets and reductions, and public outreach. 

Friends Of The Earth (charity code 0314972): Promotes clean and sustainable energy, clean transportation, climate justice for poor and vulnerable populations, responsible use of technology and protection of the earth.  

EarthShare Washington (charity code 0316709): EarthShare brings together individuals, workplaces, and communities to protect our planet’s health. We are a network of local and national nonprofits working to improve and preserve the environment here at home and around the world.

Contributed by UWCFD Campaign Assistant Camille Nagasawa
Camille is a UW graduate who double-majored in Japanese and Asian Language and Culture. Her hobbies and passion include Japanese traditional tea ceremony and culture.