DOC Trips Preview: What sustains you?

Hi all!

Sam Parker coming at you as this year’s Sustainability Coordinator for DOC First-Year Trips. I am so excited to meet all of you in just a few short weeks, but before I do I want to give you a quick update on what Trips is doing to promote a healthier relationship with our environment.

Sam is from Leawood, KS
Sam is from Leawood, KS

This year, we are operating under the theme “what sustains you” because we believe the things that personally sustain you – healthy food, clean water, interpersonal relationships, spirituality, physical exercise, conversation, purpose, or whatever you feel you need– are important for developing sustainable communities. This year, we challenge you to reflect on the things that support you both mentally and physically as a way to connect with your peers and the surrounding environment, both of which will help you define your experience and sense of place here at Dartmouth.

Because we believe that a healthy environment is essential for building sustainable communities, we have developed a few key initiatives to minimize our impact on Trips.

Food and Waste

Trips sources as much local and organic food as possible to support our local community, ensure safe and nutritious meals for our students, and reduce our carbon footprint. Some fun facts:

• During the Trips program, approximately 1,300 trippees, trip leaders and support croo members eat a vegetarian diet, reducing the carbon footprint of each student by approximately 30 pounds of CO2.
• All meals on the trail are cooked using Trangia stoves. Trangias were designed in the 1920’s by the Swedish company Trangia AB and they still are one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to cook in the woods. They burn grain alcohol which is renewable, non-toxic, and does not emit harmful byproducts when burned.
• Trips produces little waste as trippees, trip leaders and support croo members use reusable bowls, silverware and water bottles for meals and compost leftover food at the Lodj, reducing methane emissions, which are 21 times more potent than CO2.
• Trips serves a locally sourced meal in both Hanover, before trips begin, and at the end of each trip at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.


• The transportation routes which zigzag across New Hampshire’s backwoods are planned to maximize efficiency for each mile traveled.
• Trips uses 10% biodiesel, made using waste vegetable oil, in all coach buses to reduce our overall carbon emissions.
The Big Green Bus – a student-run coach bus that runs on 100% Biodiesel (and travels across the country each summer promoting sustainability) – assists us in transporting students during DOC Trips!

Again, I look forward to meeting all of you in the fall! Lookout for another blog post coming your way soon about all of the ways you can get involved with Sustainability at Dartmouth, and if you have any sustainability related questions feel free to email me at

– Sam


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