The Goal of Sustainability

By: David Peterson

Making The Goal of Sustainability Come True

Cape Cod Sea Camps works to educate campers and staff in environmentally sustainable practices. Cognizant of the limits of natural resources and mindful of the interconnectedness of people and environments, we seek to meet our needs while respecting the needs of future generations.  Our camp’s 130 acres, which include our buildings, playing fields, and natural surroundings require an approach to stewardship that is ever-evolving.

Through education and understanding, the impact of our individual and collective actions, Cape Cod Sea Camps prepares campers and staff to address the environmental challenges facing our communities.  We continue to identify areas for better practices and move toward collective goals to achieve sustainable outcomes.

Community Consciousness: Campers are reminded at many of our morning assemblies on the choices they make and the impact those choices have on their environmental footprint.

Cabins and Activity Areas: We have made a concerted effort over the years to upgrade our appliances, lighting, engines, pumps, and motors to be more energy efficient.  We have moved from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent and ultimately we moved to LED. This was evident in the Wood Shop and Cooking Center this past summer.

Beach and Bay:  In an effort to maintain our wonderful waterfronts and important dune habitats, CCSC has installed a unique dune fence that allows for the buildup and redistribution of sand onto our Brewster beaches.   This is an environmentally friendly approach to shoreline and beach integrity. In addition, we plant dune grass periodically to stabilize the dunes.

Renewable Energy: CCSC began a solar energy initiative in 2011 which provides over a third of our electrical use throughout the year.  Here are some lifetime statistics from the 3 solar arrays on the reduction of our carbon footprint. 

         459 MWh produced over the life of the panels

         265 Tons of CO2 emissions avoided

         36,350 Gallons of gas offset

         75,681,465 Smartphones charged (of course we are screen-free)

         12,178 Nights powering the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza

         13 Days of powering 1 search engine data center

         17,046 Electric Cars Charged

Food: We purchase a mix of local foods and fresh produce as much as possible while still providing variety and choice for our campers and staff.   We encourage campers to reduce their amount of discard and all of that is processed in our Food Dehydrator with the resulting compost available for gardens and lawns.

Single-Use Plastics:  CCSC is working toward educating campers and staff to limit their use of single-use plastics.  While some of these are still necessary to service our diverse programs, we encourage all campers to use water bottles rather than plastic cups.  Plastic Cups used for meals in the dining hall are recycled each day. 

Land Use: We are conscious of the sole source aquifer that exists on Cape Cod.  CCSC works with local and state agencies to limit our impact with appropriate technologies and limited use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.   Our tick and mosquito control programs utilize organic products to limit the negative impact on beneficial insects. Our 70 acre Long Pond Site is undeveloped other than the waterfront which helps to protect the Long Pond and Pleasant Bay Watersheds.  We closely monitor water usage and have installed water-saving devices throughout camp in showers and toilets. 

Camp Gardens:  Campers enjoy working in the camp gardens, learning about organic gardening and feeling good about contributing to snacks for their friends.  The gardens are designed as picking gardens for the campers with larger items like squash going up to the dining hall. The favorite outcome is our bakery chef’s zucchini bread. 

Waste: We are committed to limiting the organic and non-organic waste produced by both members of the community and campus processes. CCSC works to promote the re-use of materials and resources, to encourage recycling and composting, to avoid excess procurement of food and materials, and to heighten community awareness in order to eliminate wasteful practices.

We recognize we are not 100% sustainable and still have work to do, but as we continue to educate we also continue to reach goals that better our impact on our environment.  Goals continue to be set and realized as we advance our mission of an environmentally friendly camp experience on Cape Cod. 

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