Sustainability

    Washington College is committed to supporting the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.

    Washington College sustainability

     Illustration by Nicole Hatfield

     Sustainability Starts with You

    Before we can heal the earth and create environmental and social change, we must learn how to heal and care for ourselves. Personal health and wellness improves our quality of life and enables us to better help others. Environmental resilience starts with personal resilience, and the health of the world manifests through our collective vitality.

    Candle

    Prioritize Sleep

    Keep your immune system in peak condition. Quality sleep slows aging, improves strength and stamina, and calibrates your metabolism to use energy effectively during the day. Awaken rejuvenated with clarity, focus, and insight into how you choose to live. Take steps to sleep soundly.

    Sugar

    Avoid Sugar

    Sugar can become an addictive source of unstable energy, and we should enjoy only natural sugars in moderation. Excess sugar wreaks havoc on the body, leading to impaired blood flow, kidney damage, increased risk of heart attack, arthritis, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and dementia. Learn more about sugar.

    Olive oil bottle

    Use Traditional Fats

    Industries have devised cheap seed oils that form free radicals in our bodies. Seed oils accelerate aging and are linked with chronic disease. Manufacturing these oils requires the use of fossil fuels and monoculture farming, which destroys biodiversity. Seek real food prepared with traditional fats.



    Smart Spending

    In our current consumer-driven economy, we are constantly being overwhelmed by single-use products and unsustainable commodities. Washington College follows institutional purchasing policies to avoid and reduce waste. As individuals, we can help reduce waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Focus on quality of life, not quantity of stuff. Invest in durable goods that will last. Support the campus recycling program to keep cardboard, paper, plastic, Styrofoam, cans, bottles, metal, and glass from the landfill.

    Honor the Oceans

    Honor the Oceans

    From balloons to plastic straws and snack packages to yogurt cups, our waterways are polluted with single use trash. Find meaningful alternatives: celebrate with banners and bubbles, sip from reusable cups or use metal straws, and make your own snacks and yogurt.

    Chestertown Fountain

    Support Locally Owned Businesses

    When you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community. Shopping local increases support of local charities while reducing environmental sprawl, habitat loss, and pollution. Visit the Chestertown Farmers’ Market on Saturdays!



    Conserve Energy

    As an institution, our four geothermal fields heat and cool 12 campus buildings, reducing energy use by 50-70%. And our carbon trading program extends our reach to help community partners to reduce their footprints. We have 23 electric submeters on campus to economize energy use, and we purchase about 75% of our energy from solar arrays.

    Unplug

    Unplug

    Support Washington College’s commitment to work toward climate neutrality by reducing energy use. Take shorter showers, turn out lights, unplug phone chargers and printers when not in use, and put your computer to sleep.

    UCapture

    Use UCapture

    Generate carbon offsets when making online purchases by installing the UCapture Browser Plugin. Choose what carbon projects to support with your purchases while saving money with automatic coupons.

    UCapture


    Produce No Waste

    In nature, the concept of waste doesn’t exist, rather everything flows or cycles through the ecosystems. Campus policies are in place with contractors to reduce landfill waste, save money, and realign with nature’s principles. By working toward becoming a zero waste campus, we seek to create a culture of abundance.

    Back to Tap

    Go Back to Tap

    Bring a refillable water bottle with you to take advantage of our refillable water bottle stations at convenient campus locations. Help phase out single use plastic bottles from our world.

    FRN

    Join the Food Recovery Network

    Resource recovery drives regenerative food systems. Get to know our campus neighbors and help to overcome systemic disparities in food access with the Food Recovery Network.

    Compost

    Compost

    We’re scaling up our composting program to restore the soil food web. Bring your own organics to recycle at our curbside composting location, and contribute food scraps from meals in the dining hall. Help build our organics recycling program by joining the Compost Team.



    Explore Our World

    Get to know Maryland’s Eastern Shore, starting with our beautiful campus. Washington College celebrates its commitment to biodiversity with its Bee Campus USA and Tree Campus USA certifications. We harness water in the landscape with stormwater management systems and a Bay-Wise program. Venture beyond campus to parks, watershed vistas, and farms. Open yourself up to perspectives to make informed decisions about how you choose to live. 

    Bikes

    Foot and Pedal Power

    Bring your own bike to campus, or participate in our Bike Share program. Be sure to visit the Chestertown waterfront and check out Semans-Griswold Hall, our regenerative “living building” that is home to waterfront academics and our flagship CES team.

    Chester River

    Ride the River

    Explore the picturesque streams and abundant wildlife along the Chester River by kayak or paddleboard, or connect at higher speeds with the Wakeboard and Waterski Club. Join the Shoreman Rowing or Sailing Teams to cultivate personal strength and connection to teammates.

    Telecommute

    Telecommute and Carpool

    In the era of remote working and learning, take advantage of telecommuting whenever possible to avoid unnecessary vehicle use. Travel with friends to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions.

    Plug in Your EV

    Plug in Your EV

    Washington College purchases Renewable Energy Certificates to reduce our carbon footprint, which means that as you recharge your electric car on campus, it’s fueled by sunshine. If considering purchasing an electric vehicle, talk with campus EV owners to help answer your questions about the technology.



    Reconnect with Food

    Food has the power to bring people together, keep tradition alive, and provide a creative and comforting outlet for all people. Through food, we are able to reconnect with both our bodies and our natural environment. Eat real, whole foods, follow the seasons, and listen to your body to understand what nourishes you most.

    Forage

    Forage

    Food security begins by knowing what is locally available and how to prepare it. Challenge the concept of agriculture through wild foods literacy. Learn how to identify safe and nutritious foods wherever you are, in every season. 

    Grow Food

    Grow Food

    Expand your horticultural expertise in the Campus Garden program, which uses the permaculture design philosophy to demonstrate how to produce food for people while restoring the environment.

    Farmers Market

    Shorten Your Food Chain

    Every Saturday morning, the Chestertown Farmers’ Market brings local producers to Fountain Park with a variety of fresh offerings. Learn how to work with seasonally available foods, and how to prepare them to be as nourishing as possible.


    Center for Environment & Society
    CES develops programs, opportunities, and resources to promote community learning and environmental resilience.

    Eastern Shore Food Lab
    ESFL promotes nourishing food in support of human and environmental health from breadmaking to wildcrafting.

    River and Field Campus
    RAFC dedicates 4,700 acres to grasslands restoration, bird banding, labs, wild food research, and a plans for a student farm.

    Rose O’Neill Literary House
    The Lit House hosts speakers and workshops that examine how stories, language, and ideas connect us.

    Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience
    The Starr Center promotes the study of American history and culture, providing context for social and ecological justice.

    Campus Garden
    Students explore permaculture practices to achieve food security through ecological design.

    Composting Team
    Students promote organics recycling and community education at the campus garden. 

    Food Recovery Network
    Students serve Dining Hall leftovers at a weekly community dinner to families in need.

    Student Environmental Alliance
    The Student Environmental Alliance promotes ecological health in our global community.

    Student Government Association
    The SGA directs student leadership to support campus sustainability initiatives.

     


    Please contact Shane Brill '03 M'11 for more infomation about Washington College's commitment to sustainability and regenerative living.