At The Nature Place we are dedicated to living on our planet gently. This means expanding and adapting our ideas of what sustainability looks like, and creating and educating a community that takes action for the earth.
As a summer camp we have a unique opportunity to extend our sustainability reach exponentially! We’re lucky to work with hundreds of campers and staff each summer. When individuals take what they learn about caring for the earth back to their families, schools and communities, we have the potential to reach the world. We do not take this opportunity lightly, and each summer we challenge ourselves to be the greenest we have ever been.
Some ways sustainability happens at camp:
- Making sustainable supply choices (buying in bulk for snacks and camping trips, printing only on paper that is made from 100% post-consumer-waste and is processed-chlorine-free). One thing we’re really excited about is our ice pop evolution! We realized that the ice pops we were providing campers with each Friday were producing a lot of waste, between the boxes they came in and the plastic each pop was individually wrapped in. So, last summer we purchased 10 industrial stainless steel ice pop molds, which allow us to make ice pops in-house, sans the packaging and sans the waste!
- Being mindful of our waste stream (composting everything that can be composted, recycling, and education around these systems). We’re excited to share that we’ve purchased a Terracycle box for this summer, which will allow our camp to recycle things that can not normally be recycled, like e-waste, plastic packaging, and used-up art supplies!!
- Asking families to pack “green lunches” (read more about lunch at camp here), as well as partnering with the Threefold cafe to use stainless steel containers to pack lunches for camp families who purchase lunch.
- Leading a sustainability workshop with our staff during Staff Orientation, which also serves as an incubator for new sustainability ideas that they can then bring to their campers.
- Our blog titled The Sustainability Scoop goes in depth into different areas of sustainability each month, providing resources on each topic.
- Hosting community conversations in partnership with the Hungry Hollow Co-op. The Community Exchange is a place where anyone who is interested can come to discuss a different sustainability topic scheduled throughout the year.
- Integrating Leave No Trace Ethics more rigorously into our camp programming to ensure that we all understand how to best steward our planet.
- Embarking on camp-wide and camper-group wide initiatives towards greater sustainability (garbage can challenges and more).