Monday, July 18, 2011

PA Goes Green-er

Project Adventure’s Office Recycling Program

Although Project Adventure staff have been recycling to some extent for many years, the program has been intensified and energized since we moved to our current office building.
Staff are now encouraged to have bins in their own offices. There are signs throughout the building reminding people to Recycle. Our office cleaner supports and monitors our efforts. We have become more sensitive about paper use. Staff is also encouraged to drink Beverly water which is safe rather than bottled water.

PA’s Challenge Course Design and Installation (CCDI) department recycles all of their used steel cable and aluminum hardware in a 15 cubic yard capacity metal recycle dumpster which is
CCDI Recycling Dumpsters
Retired Strandvice, ready for recycling
maintained by Waste Management Co.  A week ago the dumpster was emptied with a total weight of 4.5 tons!  Our installers are even taking it as far as dismantling retired strandvices to separate the different metals, making it easier to recycle and more cost beneficial.  The money gained through this recycling initiative is used to purchase new tools and equipment for the CCDI department.

PA Staff Garden
Recently PA staff worked together to create a staff vegetable garden on Moraine Farm.  The project, headed by Norrie Gall, is well underway with three lush beds containing a wide variety of local vegetables.

Project Adventure Leveraging Technology

Project Adventure’s recent push into a web-centric future holds many significant green initiatives. With tools such as email blasts and online shopping carts, we are effectively able to reduce the amount of waste that we were producing.

Website (
A new website provides the hub of our online presence and enables us to share valuable information about our business without sending hard copies and also saves time. Our e-commerce capabilities allow us to steadily decrease the number of paper orders that are being processed.

The Cloud
Today we are able to share information with each other internally through the use of “the cloud”!  By hosting our information within a web-based server, we are able to share information among staff, anywhere in the country. Viewing these documents online drastically cuts back on the amount of printing and faxing needed.

Remote access for employees not working from our headquarters in Beverly has also allowed us to downsize our physical infrastructure resulting in the use of much less energy. Our new space is much cozier, but we like it here.

In the past, we produced a publication called ZipLines, a magazine that was sent to thousands in the adventure education industry. While we no longer publish ZipLines, we are focusing on utilizing our Blog as a new resource for our clients to access valuable PA and industry information. By sharing information electronically, we are not using all of the paper that we had in the past.

Social Media
Social media is another great example of how we are connecting with people without having to send print materials. The utilization of Facebook provides us with the opportunity to update our extended community on a regular basis.  Our YouTube channel provides the opportunity to share videos with the world.  We encourage our trainers, clients and extended networks to share their adventure education video experiences to continue showcasing the impact of our work.

The use of webinars allows us to hold meetings with people from all over the world with the single click of a button. This technology allows us to use less gasoline and eliminates all of the energy associated with travel.

Email Marketing
For the past few years, Project Adventure has focused more on reaching our clients through email marketing techniques. By doing this, we have drastically reduced the amount of print materials that we send out. Help support our efforts by clicking here to join our mailing list!

Individual PA Staff Green Initiatives

Much of the energy behind PA’s current program comes from the green initiatives of individual staff. The following are examples of this inspirational commitment.

Nate and Michelle
Hollis, NH

After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Nate and Michelle became more aware of where food comes from. They began to purchase food more locally – from a farm stand down the street and farmers’ markets. They have also begun to grow their own food. After a trip to Costa Rica, they decided to turn their lawn into a more edible landscape of herbs. Currently, they are partnering with their neighbors to raise free range chickens and to create an edible garden for children in the neighborhood.

Other initiatives that Nate and Michelle have taken on are:
•    As often as possible, not buying bottled drinks
•    Compost year-round using a method known as vermi-composting (
•    Use a clothesline.
•    Consider where things come from before buying. Use essential oils for cleaning, e.g., clove oil rather than bleach.
•    Drive a Prius and a Subaru Outback.
•    Try to work at home whenever possible.

Beverly, MA

In a recent conversation about personal efforts to live more ‘greenly’, Norrie said, “I’ve begun to change my relationship to Stuff.”

In the process of this change, Norrie taught herself to sew and says that she will soon debut a skirt that she made from curtains that once hung in the PA conference center. She has also re-covered used chairs with curtains from PA. Additionally, she has made dolls for her baby out of her old clothes. And, this year, she made all of her Christmas gifts.

She has also given away many books, learned how to can and buys clothes for herself and the baby on consignment which says is not only more economical but also more fun.

In the food realm, Norrie says that, after reading Food Matters by Mark Bittman, she has begun to have two of her three meals a day be vegetarian. She has also made most of her own baby food and buys organic, following the guidelines of what is good to buy organic.

From biking more to gardening and hanging clothes on the line, Norrie says that life is good for her and her baby. Her exuberance affirms that.

Beverly, MA

Suzanne has participated in Beverly’s Community Garden in the past, but has since become a backyard gardener, growing raspberries, rhubarb, grapes, tomatoes and various herbs. She also believes in making food “from scratch”, not purchasing processed foods. She buys locally and is a member of Moraine Farm’s CSA.

Suzanne also uses a clothesline and waxes poetic about the scent of sheets that have hung on the line.

When she can, Suzanne walks to work.

PA Staff - Vehicles
When you arrive at Project Adventure's headquarters it is clear that the majority
of the staff are driving Subarus.  After speaking with the owners, it was apparent that Subarus are preferred not only for their exceptional performance in New England weather but also Subaru's sustainability efforts

CSA  (Community Supported Agriculture)

Thirty acres of Moraine Farm land, owned by the Batchelder Trust, was donated to
the Trustees of Reservations. The trustees in turn have donated 2-3 acres to the Food Project (a program that teaches children how to farm).

The CSA’s season runs from May to October.  Shareholders buy a season’s share and whatever is harvested during a week is divided evenly among them. Shareholders receive notification by email when the crops are ready.

North Shore Sustainability Partnership (NSSP)

History and Mission
Moraine Farm Advisory board’s long standing member Caleb Loring helped Project Adventure to establish the North Shore Sustainability Partnership in January, 2009.

NSSP provides participating North Shore schools and colleges with a forum for collaboration to significantly advance their sustainability education and sustainability operations initiatives. The scope of work in each participating school is to be enhanced by collaboration with the other schools and engagement with their extended school communities.

The NSSP sustainability mission is to be achieved by engaging participating school communities in active pursuit of the following goals:

1.    To advance existing and new green initiatives that address degradation of the natural environment and
 climate change
2.    To develop and share sustainability curriculum and student-led efforts
3.    To foster habits and cultures of generosity, responsibility, and an ethic to ‘give back’
4.    To build community and pro-social skills within and across school communities to support sustainability education and practices

These goals will be pursued by sharing promising practices, pursuit of collaborative projects, and by schools supporting each other for achieving agreed upon goals.

Common Projects
Bottled water elimination has been significantly advanced in all participating schools. For some schools, this initiative has been extended from school-based to educating and influencing family behaviors.

Another common project is the support of local food production and awareness of local food consumption benefits. This involves the possibility of school food services buying locally, schools and families joining CSAs, growing food on campuses, students volunteering on farms and mapping environmental impacts or energy savings achieved through local food consumption.

What you can do to help
You can support our efforts by doing the following:
- Like us on Facebook to get frequent PA updates and special deals on products!
- Subscribe to our Blog to learn more about PA and the Adventure Education Industry.
- Join our e-newsletter mailing list to receive important updates and special deals.
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun industry-related videos.
- When you take a workshop here at Moraine Farm, be sure to utilize our recycling receptacles.
- Call us if you have an old Challenge Course that is no longer in use.  We would be happy to help dismantle and recycle it or potentially get it back up and running! 978-524-4500