Sustainability

We believe that Pingree has both a responsibility and an opportunity to be a leader in creating sustainable change. We are striving to build a culture where individuals understand and believe in their personal responsibility to combat climate change. That personal commitment will translate into action in all that follows - whether here at Pingree, at home, or in the workplace of today and tomorrow.

Pingree is committed to making our campus and wider community more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Here are some specific areas where our community is focusing these efforts.

Food Sustainability

Did you know...

  • 40% of all food in the United States is wasted (source)
  • Each year, the United States spends just $1.2 billion dollars on school lunch compared to the estimated $218 billion dollars of food that is wasted.

What Pingree is doing about it…

  • All food and brown paper waste is collected for composting. Composting is sent across the road to Brick Ends Farms where it is processed into usable fertilizer.
  • Fresh vegetables and herbs are grown year-round in our greenhouse. These are donated to the ACORD Food Pantry and other local shelters.
  • Our aquaponics system is a sustainable model for alternative farming. It combines aquaculture (raising fish) with hydroponics (gardening without the use of soil).

Energy

Did you know...

  • The United states only accounts for 5% of the world’s population, but consumes 23% of its energy. (source)
  • The U.S. wastes approximately 60% of its energy through inefficient practices (source)

What Pingree is doing about it…

  • In 2013, Pingree began installing solar panels on the roof of the H. Alden Johnson Ice Arena. Now we have installations on the Athletics Center (added in 2014) and the academic buildings (added in 2018). We are now producing 398 KW of solar energy on our campus!
  • An electric car charging station is available to all students, faculty, and staff to encourage electric car use.

Waste Reduction

Did you know...

  • The average human generates 4 pounds of plastic per day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. (source)
  • At least 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. That’s similar to emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute. (source)

What Pingree is doing about it…

  • Single stream recycling is available in every classroom, office, and common space on campus.
  • We are actively working to reduce our paper consumption. Pingree purchases 100% recycled printer paper and has instituted a program called Paper Cut to minimize unnecessary print jobs.
  • Pingree actively unsubscribes from bulk mailings and catalogs, often as a team-building activity for our athletics programs and clubs.
  • Single-use plastic cups and plates have been eliminated from our dining commons. Reusable cups and mugs are available for the community on a daily basis. For special events, 100% compostable dinnerware is used.
  • Each year Pingree hosts a Savers Fund Drive which collects thousands of pounds of clothing and other home goods to be donated to the Savers consignment store.

Sustainability in Action

Ways to Get Involved

At Pingree, there are a number of opportunities available for students to get involved with sustainable initiatives and projects.

  • We have an active Green Team club that meets weekly to discuss ways to educate our community and improve our school norms around sustainability. Each year the Green Team organizes an Earth Week event to highlight important issues and promote action in our school.
  • The Pingree Community Garden Club works to keep our greenhouse up and running. They meet weekly to plant, harvest, and donate!
  • Elective and H-block courses focus on sustainable themes. For example, students can choose to take science electives in Energy, Ecology, Marine Biology, and Oceanography. Past H-block courses have included Sustainability, Pingree Outside, Aquaponics, and Design for a Better World.

Getting Greener

In 2018, Pingree conducted a school-wide self-survey to assess the sustainable practices of our community. The results of this survey are being used to guide and foster current and future sustainable initiatives. If you would like to learn more about this work, you can see our Pingree Sustainability Report.

Also in 2018, Pingree worked with a consulting forester to develop a stewardship plan maintaining and preserving the fields, meadows, pond, woodlands, and wetlands that surround our campus.

Check out our student-run Instagram pages to see more ways that students have become involved in the cause!


Pingree Community Garden


Pingree's Getting Greener