Environmental Stewardship

Grounded in Quaker values, Sidwell Friends is committed to stewardship of the earth. Each day, our students learn how their actions affect the environment, whether they’re studying the energy generated by our three solar panel arrays in science class or scraping leftover food into a compost bucket at lunchtime.

Buildings as Teachers

Our Middle School building was the first K–12 school building in the world to achieve the US Green Building Council’s highest rating. The Quaker Meeting House and Arts Center also earned LEED Platinum ratings, and three other structures earned Gold ratings.

From our constructed wetland that treats and recycles wastewater on-site to wood paneling and windowsills built from reclaimed wine casks, gym bleachers, and barns, our students study in spaces that help them understand humans’ impact on the earth.

Learn more about our green buildings

Eating Green

At Sidwell Friends, we believe that sustainably produced food is better for our planet and for our students’ bodies. Our daily hot lunches feature choices such as locally grown vegetables, all-natural meats, and hormone-free milk.

Table scraps and kitchen scraps are collected daily and composted. Some of the vegetables we eat in our cafeterias are grown in soil that was improved by the compost we help build.

Learn more about our lunch program

Clean and Green

Having an environmentally responsible campus means more than green buildings. For both the health of our community and the health of our planet, our cleaning service provider uses Green Seal Certified cleaning products and green cleaning practices.

We recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, and aluminum, as well as outdated technology. When we replace our computers and other equipment, they are refurbished for a second life or recycled for use in manufacturing.

The School’s integrated pest management program minimizes the use of pesticides, and we’ve been committed to planting only native species for more than a decade, leading to reduced water consumption and the creation of a habitat for wildlife.

Sustainability in Our Curriculum

Students at Sidwell Friends learn to use the tools needed to help address significant global challenges. Environmental education extends beyond any single discipline and into classrooms throughout the School.

Our youngest students collect recycling and learn to take care of their campus. In Middle School, students learn how their building recycles rainwater, generates its own electricity, and conserves energy. Upper School students build on that knowledge in environmental science class and through environmentally focused student clubs.

Explore Environmental Stewardship in Our Classrooms