This summer, July 1-6, Seattle and the University of Washington will host the Special Olympics USA Games. Anticipated to attract more than 70,000 spectators, athletes and coaches from across the United States, Seattle is presented the challenge of planning this large-scale event with sustainability at the forefront of its operations; this includes tackling areas like waste management, food production, transportation, and education and outreach. Going above and beyond green operations, the Special Olympics plans to create a legacy of sustainability so that visitors of Seattle, regardless of their prior practices, may take home with them and share their positive experiences in sustainability, fostering sustainability in their communities as well.
The UW Seattle campus will host more than 4,000 athletes and coaches as well as host eight of the fourteen Special Olympics USA Games events. Special Olympics USA Games needs volunteers to make sure that the USA Games are a success and that the athletes, their families and spectators have a great time.
Program on the Environment’s Winter Sustainability Studio worked directly with the Special Olympics volunteer team to envision sustainability initiatives to implement during the games, and one recommendation, Cupanion, a program aimed at reducing single-use liquid containers, may be in use. Learn more about the games sustainability goals.
How you can get involved
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities including joining the games’ Green Team. Green Team volunteers will help support games and activities highlighting sustainability initiatives, and help people properly recycle and compost at key waste stations.
To volunteer, go to the Special Olympics USA Games UW Volunteers site and click “register.” On the next screen you’ll need to choose the “Access Coded Companies and Groups” option and then enter the code DAWGS2018.
Look for “University of Washington Green Team” to help with sustainability efforts, or choose any of the many other volunteer opportunities available. You’ll need to sign up for the volunteer shifts you’d like to help with, as well as a training & orientation session.