Sustainability matters at Bastyr University. We understand that human health and ecological health are inseparable. They find root in the same soil, drink from the same waters, and grow in the same air.

Here's a look at how Bastyr pursues environmental and social wellness on campus in Kenmore.


Bastyr's academic programs rest on the philosophy of vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature. The connection between healthy ecosystems and healthy humans pervades every class in every program.


  • Our celebrated Dining Commons serves delicious plant-focused meals with 99 percent of ingredients coming from organic Pacific Northwest sources. Meat is sourced from local humanely raised animals and seafood comes from responsible local companies.
  • All disposable utensils, dishware and grab-and-go packaging is 75 percent biodegradable.
  • Compost bins reduce landfill waste and help fertilize our campus garden.
  • Our campus garden provides organic vegetables for nutrition and culinary programs along with medicinal herbs for botanical medicines. Garden jobs let students gain experience in local food systems.
  • All Bastyr students learn about whole-food nutrition, a system that emphasizes plant-focused diets and minimal processing. These approaches have lower greenhouse-gas impacts than industrialized foods.


  • Our shuttle vans let students ride between campus and our teaching clinic in Seattle. The coverage area includes a wide swath of northeast Seattle, where the shuttle meets riders at their preferred pick-up location.
  • The Bastyr Bikes program lets students check out a tuned-up bicycle for a quarter, providing an easy way to zip around campus and nearby destinations.
  • We encourage carpooling with discounted parking rates and carpool parking spaces.
  • Our electric car charging stations accommodate low-carbon vehicles and have enabled several campus members to buy electric cars.


Our LEED Platinum-certified Student Village includes 11 unconventional cottage-style dorms built to encourage interaction among residents. The dwellings feature natural ventilation, radiant floor heating, high-efficiency boilers, low-flow plumbing and Energy Star appliances. Distinctive "butterfly roofs" catch rainwater and reduce runoff pollution, while other buildings support rooftop gardens.

The project was awarded Outstanding Multifamily Project of the Year in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Homes program. It has also been praised in the Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges. Read more about living in the Student Village.


  • Automated low-wattage lighting and outdoor LEDs reduce campus's total electricity load, saving an estimated 26,500 kilowatt-hours per year, or the equivalent usage of two American homes.
  • Through Puget Sound Energy's Carbon Balance Program, we offset the energy footprint of our Student Village by investing in local projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Our 2012 contribution helped a Washington dairy farm capture methane (a potent greenhouse gas), providing an environmental benefit comparable to planting 4,200 trees.

Water and Waste

Workplace recycling awardOur campus has been recognized as one of "King County's Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction" for the following efforts:

  • Widespread compost and recycling bins
  • CFL-collection stations
  • Battery recycling stations
  • A Styrofoam and composting program that diverts 51 tons of materials from landfills annually
  • Low-flow and waterless bathroom fixtures
  • Recycling cooking oil (creating savings equivalent to 1,840 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in 2012)


Healthy Materials

  • Our bathrooms use LEED Platinum-certified products and paper towels, toilet paper, and facial tissue with the highest-available recycled content.
  • All printers and copiers use recycled paper.
  • Our Student Village was built with locally sourced, Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood.
  • We use no pesticides or lawn care chemicals, no volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, and low or no VOC carpets made of recycle materials.
  • Our new flooring is made of natural rubber with cork for sound absorption.

Additionally, the Bastyr University Research Institute funds research into toxins and human safety, such as this study on sauna detoxification therapies.

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