Rivers is making a concerted effort to adopt
sustainable practices whenever possible on campus.

As stated in our Core Values, our actions have a profound impact on ourselves, on others,
on the environment, and on the community as a whole.

Sustainability News

Footprint Group

The Footprint Group was formed in 2009 by a group of faculty members to investigate current practices and institute a cultural change in The Rivers School’s environmental consciousness, habits, and choices. The group, which includes student representatives, informs the Rivers community about sustainability issues and provides practical ways to incorporate sustainability practices into the daily routine on campus and at home.

Initiatives have included a professional development day with Jamie Cloud of The Cloud Institute devoted to the issues as well as videos for students highlighting specific behaviors, such as turning off lights and composting. The group oversees the Upper School Environmental Action Club and the Middle School Roots and Shoots.

Activities and Initiatives

List of 5 items.

  • Upper School Environmental Action Club:

    an all-encompassing environmental group that works to improve awareness of issues such as recycling, energy use, and sustainability at Rivers. It organizes annual “Campus Clean-Up” events and initiatives, and occasionally consults with the Head of Dining Services and the Director of Facilities about environmental issues on campus.
  • Middle School Roots and Shoots:

    based on a program by the Jane Goodall Foundation, to engage and inspire students through community service and service learning. The goal is to "make positive change happen—for our people, for animals and for the environment." In recent years, the Rivers program has focused on gardening, with such projects as making soil from compost.
  • Curriculum and Community Initiatives:

    • Courses: AP Environmental Science; Alternative Energy elective; Sustainability, Ecology, and Environment for Grade 7
    • Professional Development: with workshop presenter Jamie Cloud of The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education.
    • Videos to educate the community about electricity waste and dining hall recycling
    • Transportation options include two bus routes as well as carpool information
  • Food Services, Purchasing, and Recycling:

    • All food wastes and biodegradable napkins composted at a local farm
    • Trayless dining service, reducing food waste and saving water and energy
    • Reduction of energy use as part of annual Green Cup challenge 
    • Increased use of paperless communication through use of website, email, and online forms
    • Use of FSC Certified paper with 30% PCW for view book and biannual alumni magazine
    • Use of newsprint rather than coated paper for student newspaper, the Edge
    • Paper and cardboard recycled biweekly
    • Use o f BP free water bottles by Middle School students
    • Use of bottled water eliminated at all meetings
  • Facilities:

    • Campus Center built on 4 x 4 grid to minimize material waste
    • Buses obey state anti-idling law on school grounds to decrease exposure to harmful fumes. Parents waiting to pick up students are encouraged to comply.
    • Energy efficient lighting in the ice arena and both gymnasiums to significantly reduce energy usage
    • Older lighting fixtures in other campus buildings replaced with newer, more efficient fixtures as needed
    • Occupancy sensors installed in classrooms and offices to control lighting 
    • Recently renovated bathrooms feature low-flow toilets and dryers
    • Fluorescent bulbs routinely used as replacements in fixtures
    • Green Thumbs Up for Earth Day

Footprint Group Faculty

List of 6 members.

  • Ms.  Nicola  Leiter 

    Annual Giving & Campaign Director
  • Ms.  Melissa  Dolan 

    English, Coach
  • Ms.  Catherine  Favreau 

    Language Department Chair, Latin, Performing Arts, Grade 6 Dean
  • Mr.  Paul  Kara