Tip of the Week

  • Opt for 95% Less Air Pollution

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Recycled paper generates 95% less air pollution. Each ton of recycled paper can save 60 pounds of air pollution, 17 trees or 7,000 gallons of water.

Sustainability

In valuing cooperation over self-interest and recognizing our role as global citizens, St. Mark’s School actively fosters environmental stewardship and sustainable development in its education, planning and practices.

Area of Focus Current Initiatives

Energ

  • Recent lighting upgrades throughout the School are realizing up to a 50% energy savings in some places. 
  • All paint used in the School emitted zero volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
  • St. Mark’s contracts large printing projects to a completely “green” printer in Maine who is powered by wind and recycles all its gray water.
  • St. Mark’s tabulates savings based on the paper chosen for a particular printing project (Viewbook, St. Mark’s Magazine) that identifies the number of trees saved, amount of water saved, etc. through environmentally conscious decision making.
  • St. Mark’s is currently working on program for computer energy reduction.
  • St. Mark’s created a sustainability meadow, which covers five acres in front of the School, saving 50-60 gallons of fuel over the course of the year.

Waste

  • St. Mark’s updated and upgraded our recycling, moving toward single stream recycling and improving the process for campus residents.
  • All of the food waste generated on campus goes to a local pig farm.
  • Math classes are collecting data on food waste, which will be presented to the entire School later in the year.
  • Computer science students are integrating energy usage data in their programming work of a weather station to add weather as a context for energy usage.
  • St. Mark’s tabulates savings based on the paper chosen for a particular printing project (Viewbook, St. Mark’s Magazine) that identifies the number of trees saved, amount of water saved, etc. through environmentally conscious decision making.
  • St. Mark’s is developing a donation plan for used technology equipment so as to reduce the School’s contributions to landfills.

Curriculum

  • Environment was a unit in Spanish classes and in German III. 
  •  Chemistry 31 (Environmental Chemistry) teaches introductory chemistry concepts by focusing on environmental issues.
  • Math classes are collecting data on food waste, which will be presented to the entire School later in the year.
  • The VI Form English elective “Lost” touched on issues of sustainability and the environment.
  • Studio art classes are researching endangered species and creating art based on this research
  • Art Department Head Barb Putnam’s professional work as an artist focuses on the natural environment and elevates these issues to promote discussion and greater awareness.
  • Computer science students are integrating energy usage data in their programming work of a weather station to add weather as a context for energy usage. 
  • Our Times course is centered on globalization, including discussions of environmental issues on global stage. There is an extensive ecology unit in Biology 30.

Transportation

  • Science teacher Ken Wells uses his electric truck as a teaching tool about transportation issues.

 

Food

  • All of the food waste generated on campus goes to a local pig farm.
  • FLIK, St. Mark’s outside food service company, uses as much locally grown and raised food as possible.
  • The dining hall is trayless so as to minimize water use and food consumption.

 

Purchasing

  • All marketing printing is on a minimum of 30% post consumer recycled paper. Higher percentages are constantly being evaluated.
  • St. Mark’s started to purchase green cleaning supplies, which will have the added benefit of increasing student, faculty, and staff health.
  • All paint used in the School emitted zero volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). The School only purchases energy efficient light bulbs.
  • St. Mark’s has a no plastic plate policy.
  • The School only purchases recycled paper and toner and inks.
  • St. Mark’s contracts large printing projects to a completely “green” printer in Maine who is powered by wind and recycles all its gray water.

 

Water

  • St. Mark’s installed energy-efficient shower heads and other fixtures in bathrooms throughout School to minimize water and energy resources. 
  •  The School does not sell or purchase individual bottles of water, and has instead encouraged community members to purchase reusable personal water bottles and refill them in the dining hall.
  • The dining hall is trayless so as to minimize water use and food consumption.

 

Land Use

  • St. Mark’s created a sustainability meadow, which covers five acres in front of the School, saving 50-60 gallons of fuel over the course of the year.
  • The School now uses only organic fertilizers, and works to keep fertilizing to a minimum.

Building

  • All paint used in the School emitted zero volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
  • New faculty housing was built with conservation and building efficiency in mind (recycled glass countertops, bamboo flooring, etc.).
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Environmental News

  • November 8, 2012

    SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT: Green Team Initiative Brings “Ugly Mugs” to Campus

    The Ugly Mugs have arrived! This week, several hundred ceramic mugs were made available on campus for student and faculty use, in an effort to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the need for paper cups at St. Mark’s. Each month, close to 2000 paper cups are used and discarded by members of the St. Mark’s community. The St. Mark’s Green Team hopes to change that.

  • May 8, 2012

    1st ANNUAL ST. MARK’S SUSTAINABILITY FAIR SHINES

    The 1st Annual St. Mark’s Sustainability Fair was held this past Sunday, May 6, on the School’s Sustainability Meadow, at the corner of Main Street and Rt 85. The event featured a wide range of exhibits, including an environmentally safe car, displays of recycled manufacturing and solar power, and an abundance of plants and animals. There was face painting for the younger kids, food for the hungry, and music provided by a lineup of students, faculty, staff, and special guests.

  • April 16, 2012

    THE CLASSICS & THE ENVIRONMENT: Studying Virgil Inspires VI Former Bringing Bees to SM Campus

    Katie Ballen, a VI Former from Southborough, has established a colony of bees at St. Mark’s among the remnants of the old apple orchard on the east edge of the campus, behind Thieriot House and along School Street. She was inspired by her study of Virgil with Classics Department Chair Heather Harwood, and she developed this idea into an Independent Study Project combining both the Classics and the environment, with Ms. Harwood as her advisor.

  • March 24, 2012

    St. Mark's Participates in Green Cup Challenge

    Many Lessons Learned From First Time Participation
    The St. Mark's Green Cup Team

    It was a great learning experience for the four students who lead St. Mark's in the annual New England Region Green Cup Challenge (GCC).

  • March 24, 2012

    NEW Recycling Bins Have Arrived

    New Blue Bins set up in high traffic areas

    Now we have all three choices in one spot!

  • March 2, 2012

    Environmentally Friendly St. Mark’s Custodial Practices Nationally Recognized as “Green”

    SM custodial/maintenance staff with some of their Green cleaning tools & equipment-- Front (L to R): Maria Frietas, Fernanda Pinto, Jay McManus;  Back  (L to R): Roger Ducasse, Mark Noonan, Billy Weidergott III, Chris Lawler

    St. Mark’s School has been recognized as a certified Green Cleaning School by SCORE, a national organization, based out of Illinois, which consults and then certifies educational institutions for implementing Green Cleaning strategies. SCORE is an acronym for School Cleaning Organization and Redesign for the Environment. With over 600 schools participating in SCORE programs, less than 15% reach St. Mark’s Silver Level SCORE Certification, thus this is a great honor for St. Mark’s and the Custodial Services Team.