In our actions
• We encourage paperless communication. When we print, office machines operate with a 30 percent recycled paper.
• When possible, campus publications are printed on 100 percent recycled paper, and we support the use of inks made from vegetable products.
• A comprehensive, campus-wide recycling program is in place to collect mixed paper, plastic, aluminum and glass containers, cardboard, batteries, light bulbs, and copier and printer cartridges.
• Durable products are favored over single-use or disposable items. Paper products such as paper cups, napkins, paper towels and toilet paper, are made from 100% recycled paper fiber.
• The dining hall is trayless, reducing the need for dishwashing. When dishwashing is needed, a newly installed dishwashing system uses less water and electricity, and operates with concentrated, low-phosphorous detergent that requires less plastic packaging.
• Students have begun a composting program to utilize food waste proactively, and a student garden is planned for 2015.In our operations
• Building renovations are furnished with carpeting that is both made with recycled material and is recyclable.
• Low VOC paints and adhesives are used wherever possible.
• Low-flow aerators have been installed in the sinks in the dorms, and programmable thermostats have been phased in throughout campus.
• An energy curtailment program is in place to reduce the amount of energy used when students are on breaks, and an overall campus energy audit has been completed.
• Most incandescent bulbs have been replaced with energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) throughout campus.
• As part of the Green is Clean Program, buildings are cleaned using reuasble cleaning cloths and environmentally friendly products with minimal packaging.
• The computerized heating and cooling system in the Athletic Complex now operates in conjunction with the existing global system to allow for efficient equipment scheduling and to remotely control the heating, ventilation and cooling equipment in the Athletic Complex, the Ford Library, Olin and pool buildings. These improvements maximize energy savings while maintaining comfort and improving indoor air quality.
• When sidewalks are repaved, we utilize a 70 percent recycled tire product.
In student organizations
Earth Club and Garden Club
The Earth Club is an active, student-run environmental group on campus. With a focus on community education and activism, the group sponsors events and programs that promote environmental stewardship both locally and globally. Recent and ongoing projects include:
• Selling reusable organic cotton shopping bags to raise funds to start an on-campus community garden and compost.
• Sponsoring a mug drive in the dining hall to replace the disposable cups used for hot beverages with a fun, eclectic mix of mugs from home.
• Coordinating and promoting Earth Week each April. The club plans a theme for each day, and hosts a variety of activities including the annual Rainforest Alliance Concert, an all-school Earth Day Assembly, and a clothing swap.
• Selling TerraCycle articles, reuseable bags and water bottles.
Environmental Proctors (E-Proctors) play an important role in promoting Porter’s campus sustainability efforts in the areas of energy efficiency and recycling
Student Conferences and Events
• Sc3 – Student Climate and Conservation Congress hosted by Green Schools Alliance. This week-long program over the summer includes hundreds of students nationwide seeking a unique student-run program about sustainability and climate change issues.
• Green Schools Alliance Sustainability Conference
• Field trip to Connecticut College to visit composting systems and discuss their system with the sustainability director
• Farmington Town Wide Clean up – Porter's Earth Club group has won the award for most trash collected for two years running.
• Field trip to SubEdge Farm to help plant crops in the spring
• People’s Climate March - 15 students attended the largest Climate March in history held in New York City in 2015.