Sustainability at SD
San Domenico received the prestigious U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award in 2014. for excellence in sustainability practices.
This important recognition for SD is the culmination of nearly 20 years of passion, persistence, and teamwork across our entire school to make sustainable practices an everyday reality on our campus. Our vision and mission to develop an overall sustainability program for the school began in 1994.
Today, San Domenico is home to a one-acre working organic garden and the largest solar installation in a Marin County school. Our ecoliteracy program is integrated into the K through 12 curriculum with environmental education, engagement, and stewardship at the core of who we are and what we do. SD’s 515 acres and faculty counsel provide students the time and space to work and learn outdoors, allowing for a natural development of reverence, respect, and care for the land. Here students learn to think critically, analytically, and contextually using real life, hands-on, integrated projects to solve real world problems. Ecoliteracy at San Domenico means our students develop a sense of their place on the land, in our community, and in the world at large.
SD's ecoliteracy methodolgy teaches students about natural systems and our connection to them from a social, spiritual, cultural, and health perspective.
The solar installation at San Domenico consists of 2,358 photovoltaic panels, spread across several roof and ground-mounted arrays, covering almost one full football field in total. We thus offset 85% of our electricity costs, reducing carbon emissions by 860,000 pounds annually – the equivalent to removing 70 vehicles from the road, or preserving 3 acres of forest from deforestation each year.
Our one-acre Garden of Hope is not only a sacred place and learning center for San Domenico students and faculty; it has become a model for the greater community.
Conservation at SD means we conserve water usage on campus with low flow toilets and showerheads, retrofitting irrigation, and capturing spring water in tanks to irrigate. To reduce energy use, we have also made extensive retrofits such as installing efficient lighting and boiler systems, and a solar heater for the pool.
Locally grown, organic food makes eating at SD a celebration of abundance and gratitude. Our proximity to a myriad of farmers, growers, and producers, gives our chefs a bounty from which to prepare delicious meals for our students and staff. A portion of our daily food is grown in the San Domenico garden, and mid-morning homemade soup break is a daily ritual appreciated by all.
At SD, we minimize landfill waste by encouraging reuse, recycling, and purchasing products made with recycled content, as well as minimizing disposables on campus. A robust composting program includes food scraps, green waste, and horse manure from our on-campus stables.