Sustainability at Scripps


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The Platt Islands turf removal project, removed 17,000 square feet of turf on Scripps Campus. Previously, the turf required over a million gallons of water per year. The new landscape will use 66% less water.

Campus Edibles

From the annual olive harvest to weekly compost delivery to San Antonio High School, sustainability at Scripps is distinguished by a commitment to community. Approximately 15,000 pounds of pre-consumer scraps are collected each year from the dining hall for composting on campus grounds. Students can pick fruit from 23 varieties of edible plants on campus, including oranges, figs, and pomegranates.

Scripps College Olive Oil

Long renowned for its stunning landscape, Scripps College is entering a new era where the campus is not only beautiful, but also bountiful. The Olive Oil Project is the culmination of faculty, student, and staff efforts to turn Scripps’ edible landscape into a virtual classroom for hands-on learning and embrace an ethic of sustainability. This project would not have been possible without the support of Lola Trafecanty and the Grounds Department.

Scripps College Olive Oil

Water Conservation

With Southern California in a perpetual drought, Scripps is taking measures to conserve water.

    • In October 2014, The Platt Islands turf removal project removed over 15,000 square feet of turf on campus, saving nearly 700,000 gallons of water per year.
    • In 2015, many of the main lawns including Jaqua Quadrangle and Bowling Green were replaced with Bermuda grass, which requires much on average 30% less water than other species and also goes dormant during the winter. The dormant grass turns brown and has the appearance of straw! Additional smaller lawns were removed and repurposed for usable spaces such as the barbeque and herb garden between Toll and Browning. Other areas received decomposed granite and low-water groundcover that requires even less water than the Bermuda grass.
    • The Alumnae Athletic Field is our first ‘green roof’; it serves as the roof for our parking garage where vehicles are kept cool during the hot months of the year. The lawn is never over-seeded in order to save water and material costs throughout the year. By allowing the field to go dormant in the winter months, 10,000 gallons of water are saved per month that the field is dormant.
    • In our buildings we have also made efforts to conserve water. We now have low flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets. New construction efforts also prioritize water conservation, as exemplified by NEW Hall’s innovative sustainability features.

Along with physical changes to the campus, the Scripps community has come together to promote water saving efforts in the residence halls and academic spaces. By changing the way we think about and interact with water, we have been able to save a sizeable amount by just being informed and adapting our daily actions to be more water conscious.

Green Building

In Fall 2016 construction was completed on the campus’ newest residence hall, “NEW Hall,” Scripps’ first LEED designated building. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), is administered by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has certified NEW Hall as LEED Gold. NEW Hall encompasses approximately 38,700 square feet, with beds for 110 students. Outdoor and indoor spaces were designed to seamlessly intertwine; there are four courtyards, a second story breezeway and edible gardens. It boasts sustainability features such as low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, ENERGY STAR® appliances, drip irrigation, a stormwater retention system that assists with percolation and ground water recharge and many other green features.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

The College has been making efforts toward reducing our energy need and use. During Summer 2015 the pool received a variable speed drive pump. In 2016 solar panels were installed on the Garrison Fine Arts Building and Routt Residence Hall (to supply electricity to NEW Hall). All around campus energy efficiency is already in effect through use of efficient LED bulbs.
Scripps also outreaches to students, faculty, and staff to inform what can be done individually to reduce energy use, for example unplugging appliances that are not in use, not over-charging electronic devices, washing clothes with cold water and not using the dryer (Students see the Green Guide for more information).

Recycling and Composting

In an effort to make recycling more visible and accessible, in 2017 outdoor recycling bins were designated with clearly distinguishable blue lids. Blue recycling bins also accompany trash bins in residence halls and office spaces.
Compost created from Malott Dining Hall food scraps diverts food waste from the landfill. Most of the pre-consumer food scraps are composted right here on campus.
Composting in all residence halls was implemented in 2016 from a student initiated pilot project and continues to be a student run program, encouraging students to think about their wastes and be active agents of information dissemination and change. These food scraps are composted in the student garden.


Green News

Miriam Raffel-Smith ’20 Publishes Climate Change Opinion in SF Examiner

Miriam Raffel-Smith '20 urges California's political leaders to continue taking measures to abate the harmful effects of pollution in an op-ed column published recently in the San Francisco Examiner. 

Scripps College Honored with “Excellence in Design” Award by City of Claremont

Scripps College has been recognized by the City of Claremont for the design of its NEW Hall residence building, which was completed in summer 2016 at the prestigious women’s college. City officials presented Scripps with a 2017 Excellence in Design Award for “new construction” at a public award presentation on June 14, 2017 at City […]

LEED Gold Certification: Scripps College’s NEW Hall Receives Top USGBC Rating

Scripps College announces it has been awarded LEED gold certification for its NEW Hall building, the Claremont, Calif. college’s newest residence hall.

Scripps College Olive Oil Receives Awards

This year’s Scripps College olive oil entries to the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition yielded a Silver medal in the “light, delicate” variety of olive oil, and Bronze recognition for the bottle's label design created by Scripps sophomore Mary Alexandra “Molly” Vaughn Antell.


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