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Please check back soon as we continue to develop our Sustainability section so you can learn about CFS' longstanding and ongoing efforts at environmental stewardship. We have so much more to share with you!

At Carolina Friends, our sustainability work is rooted in one of the six tenets of the School's philosophy:

Effort to instill a sense of awe and reverence for nature; responsible stewardship of all our resources; intentional teaching of a humble interaction with, rather than an arrogant attitude toward, living things; commitment to serve and empower others; celebration of the inner life of persons; respect for the harmony of mind, body, and spirit.


Here's the Carolina Friends School Statement on the Environment, drafted in April 2007 by the Stewardship Committee with input from staff and students. 

The Quaker value of simplicity, enshrined in our school’s statement of philosophy, accords with one of the most pressing issues of our times: the necessity to conserve, if not to restore that of the Earth that has been passed to us, before it passes away in the face of short-term human needs.

To meet that purpose, our school needs to extend its existing mission to active environmental stewardship, including the wise and sustainable management of energy, water, wildlife habitats, and human activity. We feel that only through such long-term and conscious management, can both the school’s spiritual values, and its physical segment of the natural world, be properly maintained.

We, the students and the staff at Carolina Friends School, are committed to making our school more “earth friendly,” as we work toward reducing our “carbon footprint.”

    • We commit to reducing our electricity use through conservation both by employing new technology and by raising our community awareness regarding electricity use.
    • We commit to continuing to reuse and recycle materials properly and in earnest whenever and however we can. 
    • We commit to the inclusion of environmental education in all units throughout our school and are committed to expanding environmental education at CFS.
    • We commit to buy only alternative fuel vehicles in the future as we replace old ones in the coming years.
    • We commit to including “green” building design and materials in all future buildings on our campuses.
    • We commit to scrutinizing our purchases as related to their environmental impact before and after use.


We endeavor to fulfill these resolves in a variety of ways, as individuals and as a community. 

Carolina Friends, for example, is pleased to join more than 2,750 other institutions as a member of the Green Schools Alliance, whose mission is "to connect and empower K-12 schools worldwide to lead the transformation to global sustainability."

Uniquely created by schools for schools, the GSA is a global network of schools represented by Sustainability Coordinators -- faculty, staff. students, administrators and others -- working together to solve climate and conservation challenges. GSA Member Schools share and implement sustainable best practices, and promote connections between schools, communities, and the environments that sustain them. We do this by: creating Peer-to-Peer forums; exchanging resources; offering original programs and curriculum developed  by Member Schools' goals, vision and experience; and connecting youth to nature. GSA schools set and meet goals, and quantify progress. They coordinate governance, operations and curriculum to advance sustainability.

GSA envisions a healthy, abundant, equitable, ecologically diverse world, connected through a global community of schools. In this vision, schools worldwide work together across boundaries to achieve an environmentally sustainable future that respects and protects all living things and wild places without depleting the resources on which they depend.

Please learn more at www.greenschoolsalliance.org. Our specific GSA profile page gives extensive information about our stewardship efforts.

Our Middle School Eco-Chicos (advised by staff member Anna Lynch) and our Upper School Environmental Club are examples of student-led initiatives

A staff Stewardship Committee (clerked by Lower School teacher Michael Bonsignore) works--often in conjunction with the student groups--to ensure CFS is adopting best practices in sustainability matters. For example, the group conducted an audit of the School's energy use:


Average per year expenditure on energy: gasoline, electricity, and LP gas. (Figures have been averaged over the last three years.)

Total square footage of CFS: 83,950 sq. ft.

    • gasoline (and diesel): $15,044
    • electricity: $100,832.00
    • LP: $1200.00
    • Total energy cost per year: $117,076

The average energy cost for schools who draw power from the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives (of which we are a part), is $1.25 per square foot for heating and cooling only. This does not include lighting, plug load, etc.

CFS spends $1.21 per square foot for all electricity and LP gas needs. This figure is well below the national average as posted on Touchstone Energy Cooperatives' School Energy Facts website. We also pump all of our water and sewage with this power as well  as satisfy all of our other electric demands.

In the new construction made possible by our capital campaign, Building Friends, we've incorporated a variety of green practices. For example, the renovated and expanded Middle School featured more solar energy use. The Quaker Dome is heated and cooled by a geothermal system, thanks to an anonymous gift, and the new Lower School addition and renovations benefit from a geothermal system whose pipes are laid in the adjacent pond. The planned Performing Arts Center will also be a geothermal project.


We've been fortunate to receive a generous corporate donation of 240 photovoltaic panels that have been installed on the Gym and other CFS structures.


A great source is the Summer 2010 issue of our We & Thee magazine, focused on environmental education at CFS. It includes curriculum vignettes, profiles of alumni (from an internationally-recognized authority on water law to a San Francisco transportation planner), a look at the Eco-Chicos group, an explanation of our socially-responsible investment practices, and much more.

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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