Growing a Greener Archer: Archer Community for Sustainability sets norms for new campus


Photo credit: Misha Mehta

Juniors Misha Mehta and Chloe Powers came to school during winter break in January to transplant the Archer garden. The garden, along with other projects, aims to encourage sustainability within the new campus.

The Archer Community for Sustainability, a group of students working together to implement sustainable initiatives into the school, has been tasked with a project: creating sustainable guidelines for the new campus. As Archer moves forward into the new campus, the ACS is also moving forward with the implementation of sustainable practices and even sustainable buildings.

“I think that we view the move as an opportunity to really implement some good, positive changes campus-wide,” ACS club adviser Casey Huff said.

Archer has incorporated both sustainable lifestyle practices and sustainable physical additions to the new campus. According to Archer’s website, sustainable elements of the new campus include heat deflectors and solar power. The ACS is also looking to implement environmentally-conscious changes to products the community uses daily.

“We’ve been talking about…paper usage. So we’re looking at some alternatives to tree-based products, like in the restrooms or even for paper that faculty and students use,” Huff said. “We’re examining the use of cleaning products, making things a little more non-toxic.”

Senior Aviva Intveld, a member of ACS, works directly with the sustainable practices happening on the new campus and is strategizing with Huff and other members of the ACS to make sure those are being implemented.

“[The ACS is] involved in the dining service process. So we created a sustainability brief outlining all of the concerns that we have and things that we want to prioritize for the dining service. That included where food would be sourced, and what types of meals will be created, and how much student involvement can there be in the dining service,” Intveld said. “We presented that sustainability brief to the different dining services. They responded back with really detailed explanations of each of the criteria that we had outlined.”

Intveld also explained that the ACS worked with Head of School Elizabeth English to execute her ideas concerning sustainability for the new campus.

“One thing that [English] really wants to focus on is paper waste, and so we’re implementing a lot of different initiatives to reduce paper waste on campus,” Intveld said. “There’s a lot of support from the administration.”

Fellow ACS member Norah Adler ‘21 echoed Intveld’s positivity about sustainability in the future, specifically focusing on the chance to explore Archer’s new, greener spaces.

“I hope we have a garden that people will use,” Adler said. “[I’m working on] the garden, so I know we wanted to try to make the garden a more enjoyable and popular place to go.”

Adler also suggested that spaces like the garden could be better integrated into the Archer community.

“Maybe there can be classes that go there… or, just making it more of an open space for people to relax during the day,” Adler said. “We want to also try to bring back… the teachers’ farmers market with the vegetables we’re growing.”

Intveld said that she is optimistic about the future of sustainability within the new campus. 

“I think the new campus has a lot of opportunities to create new community norms, and I think that having a new environment can inspire new habits,” Intveld said. “I’m excited for the Archer community to become more passionate and more excited about environmental justice in the path of sustainability and also perhaps [become] more involved because there will be more spaces on the new campus to support sustainable practice.”