We are Green Schools!

This is a summary of the initiatives our districts have undertaken on the road to reducing our carbon footprint and becoming carbon neutral or negative in the future. We have great community and board support, and even included sustainability as one of the major themes in our Strategic Plan and adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a decision making framework!

Renewable Energy The districts make use of the following sources of renewable energy: 

• Beginning in 2021, the districts bought into a solar farm in Livermore Falls, Maine that provides us with 1 million kWh of power and meets 90% of the electricity needs of our districts

• Our new middle school, completed in 2020, uses sewer thermal heating and LP condensing boilers and heat recovery demand ventilation so that we only need to use propane on very cold days.

• In 2010 and 2015, solar arrays were installed on the main building and maintenance building at CHRHS that produce 150,000 kWh of power that are then used by CHRHS.

• CHRHS bought and installed a wind turbine capable of producing 100kW in 2012 as the culmination of a grassroots student project.

Composting The districts have composted all kitchen and cafeteria food scraps at all three schools with ScrapDogs Community Compost since 2018: 

• CRES and CRMS produce 45-50 gallons of food scraps each week

CHRHS produces 75-85 gallons of food scraps each week

• ScrapDogs creates mature compost with these scraps and returns them to the high school, where we use them in our gardens

Single Use Plastics and Recycling The districts have banned single use plastics and instituted recycling in all five campus buildings: 

• All three schools use reusable silverware and plates/trays 

 • We save 185,000 milk cartons per year from going to the landfill by switching to milk dispensers in each cafeteria 

• Each school practices single stream recycling, which is then sorted by the kitchen and custodial crews

• CHRHS also has a returnables program, the proceeds of which go towards Special Olympics, Unified basketball uniforms, and Special Education field trips

• Unclaimed lost and found items at each school are donated to local consignment shops, who in turn have tabs that families in need can use to purchase clothes and gear from the shop

• The districts purchase Apple technology products in part due to their industry leading aggressive environmental strategies, and contract with third party companies to recycle the devices when they still have usable life. We recycle approximately 3100 pounds of ewaste each year.

Energy Efficiency We have made upgrades at all schools to increase energy efficiency and strive to make energy efficient decisions as we buy and build new now and in the future: 

• CRES underwent a complete outdoor and partial indoor LED retrofit

• CRMS was built with all LED lighting

• CHRHS has had a complete indoor and outdoor LED retrofit

•Underutilized step-down transformers were discovered and DDC upgrades made at CHRHS from 2015 to 2018 to create significant electrical cost savings 

• The SAD purchased an electric bus which completes an AM and PM run every day

•The SAD purchased a hybrid van for van runs 

• The facilities team uses electric John Deere gator tractors 

Instructional Programming Each school offers the following instructional programming opportunities around sustainability:

Camden Hills Regional High School:

• Innovation Center Radical Reuse program

• Coursework in Sustainability

• Outdoor Leadership PE course

• 9th grade Science unit on monitoring energy data

• Windplanners Environmental Student group

• Outdoor Classrooms (including 2 pavilions)

• Ropes Course

• Gardens/Greenhouse Opportunities

MidCoast School of Technology:

• Outdoor Leadership Program

Camden Rockport Middle School:

• Project Based Learning that utilizes outdoor spaces and aligns with UN Sustainability Goals

• Multi-day trips based in the outdoors (Kieve, Chewonki)

Camden Rockport Elementary School:

• Nature-based PreK program

• Outdoor classrooms

• Day trips based in the outdoors (Hurricane Island)