Sustainability at Branson

You will notice a culture of conservation and environmental responsibility across our campus and throughout all programs.

Leading Branson’s greening are our incredibly dedicated students. In clubs such as Sustainable Seas and Environmental Action Committee, along with classes like Advanced Environmental Science, students are the drivers—and the facilitators—of nearly all new sustainability programs on campus and throughout their local communities. They get their hands in the dirt and in the ocean. They conduct background research, perform risk analysis, develop proposals, and present their findings and ideas to better our little part of the world, our regional environment, and the larger scientific community.
Compost Anyone?

Hands draped with hummus and soiled veggie-kebab napkins, Anna Dworetzky looked up from her squat position and smiled. Strange, you might say, especially given that she was wrist-deep in the trash and food scrap remains of another delicious lunch at The Commons. What caused the smile is the fact that concrete steps are being taken to start an official compost program at Branson, a program that will help to avoid harmful levels of methane emissions from landfills. 

A few weeks ago, members of the Environmental Action Committee (EAC) met with representatives from Marin Sanitary to complete a waste audit. The audit acts as a baseline, detailing where we are as a community, while also highlighting clear steps we could take for more sustainable waste management. After the audit, the numbers told a clear story. The majority (88.6%) of the material collected was compostable, with food scraps accounting for most of the weight and volume. This confirmed what we already knew, and further emphasized the need to implement a composting program. Keen to get the ball rolling on this initiative, the EAC is even more excited to involve the rest of the community with this important step in reducing the environmental impact of our campus. Stay tuned for more announcements from the EAC on the future of the composting program. Huge thanks go out to Dave Schneider andMarcus Trigg for helping with the audit and supporting these efforts! 

We Share Solar, Too!

With training from We Share Solar (WSS), Science Teacher Peter Zdojewski says, “I can now lead students in building a portable photovoltaic lighting system known as a We Share Solar Suitcasea 12-volt DC stand-alone, fully operational solar system. As students build, they learn about global energy poverty, basic electricity, solar energy, and engineering. When applicable and financially supported, students can deploy their built suitcase to a school or community center in an energy-poor region of the world.”

WSS works with partners in Kenya, Uganda, and the Philippines to select energy poor schools and community centers as placement sites. The partners conduct solar installations and provide training to suitcase users. Once installed, the partners share stories and photos from beneficiaries with the student builders so that students can see the full impact of their work. 

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Keeping Branson Green

  • Branson Garden
  • Environmental Action Committee
  • Food Sustainably Sourced and Prepared
  • LEED-Certified Commons