Sustainability on Trips: Katie Rowe ’16

Hello, dear trippees! My name is Katie and I am the Sustainability Coordinator for Trips this year. When it comes to being green at Dartmouth, I’m happy to help you find your way. I want to tell you a little more about sustainability on Trips and how you can be a part of it!

Here in Hanover, sustainability is a big deal. Trips is a giant program, and we send about 1300 people out into the woods over the course of two weeks—that has the potential to create a huge footprint. My job is to make sure that we leave the beautiful woods, rivers, and mountains of New Hampshire as pristine as they were before Trips. Here are some ways that we are doing that:

  • Food: The food that we eat on Trips is vegetarian. Livestock is responsible for around 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, so we save a lot of CO2 just by eating our veggies! We also source as much of our food as we can from local, organic growers. Food on the trail is cooked on Trangia stoves, which are very earth-friendly and burn a safe, non-toxic, renewable grain alcohol that does not pollute the air with harmful gases when used.
  • Food Waste: We compost and recycle as much waste as we can. Your trip leaders will show you how to sort your trash on the trail, a skill you will be using for the rest of your time at Dartmouth! We also are working hard with your trip leaders and support croos to produce as little food waste as possible by only ordering what we need, sharing between trips, and being mindful of our leftovers. Get ready to yum yum!
  • Transportation: Directorate spends a lot of time planning out bus routes to make sure that we do as little driving as possible. This year, thanks to the help of one of our awesome support croos, our director Peety was able to cut out an entire coach bus from our fleet. That means less gas, less exhaust, and more happiness.
  • Gear: We encourage you all to borrow gear first, not buy it. The Dartmouth Outing Club also generously allows us to loan out its equipment for Trips, and this year we added some more extra gear with a gear collection from our graduating seniors. Recycling gear, renting gear, and sharing keeps everyone from consuming more than we need to.
  • LNT: Trips follows the “Leave No Trace” philosophy. We make sure that all of you are prepared with the gear and knowledge you need to travel safely through the woods without leaving any evidence that you were ever there. Your trip leaders have been trained in LNT, and you will all partake in an activity to learn its principles when you get to Hanover. If you’d like more information now, you can check out this website:
  • Mindfulness: Sustainability is about much more than recycling. This year, we are working very hard to incorporate social sustainability into Trips, too. That means building lasting relationships, finding your sense of place, and creating a program that will allow people to thrive at Dartmouth for years to come. We have some special activities just for you in Hanover and at the Lodj that will help you figure out what sustains you and how you will bring that to Dartmouth.

One of our big goals as a Trips program is to help you get to know Hanover, the amazing place you are going to get to live in for the next four years. We love the Upper Valley, and we think it’s really important to take care of it. That’s why sustainability is key! In order to make all of this happen, we need your help. Be mindful of your footprint on Trips, ask questions about sustainability to your wonderful trip leaders and croolings, and think about the beautiful place that you are going to get to know. Get ready for an amazing trip!

Katie (bottom left) with the trip she led in 2013.
Katie (bottom left) with the trip she led in 2013.

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