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