All of us at Pine Street School believe that our actions can reverse global warming and build a healthier and more sustainable world. We also believe that it is our responsibility as educators to understand the world your children will inherit and prepare them for it as best we possibly can.

In this vein, we have a firm commitment to sustainable practices, both as a school and as individuals. In everything we do, everything we produce and everything we purchase, we ask ourselves if we are making a decision that supports the most sustainable possible outcomes.

Please use this page to learn more about methods and organizations that promote sustainability so that as you make your own choices each day, you know what to look for.

sustainable school floor


Our floor is linoleum, made from all natural materials and almost completely carbon neutral.

sustainable school lunch


Our forks, knives and spoons are corn starch rather than plastic, and only used for event. For lunches, we use reusable cutlery.

sustainable school plates

Our plates are 100% compostable sugar cane fiber and are only used for events. For daily lunches, we use reusable plates.

sustainable school cups


Our coffee cups are corn-based polyactic acid (PLA) and biodegradable. Our clear cups are corn resin - compostable, petroleum-free, renewable and biodegradable - and are only used for events. For daily lunches, we use reusable cups.

sustainable school soap

Soaps & Cleansers

Our hand and dish soaps are plant-based, contain no triclosan (poisonous in water) and are biodegradable. Our disinfectants contain no chlorine, acids or petroleum.

sustainable school coffee


Our disposable coffee pods are 100% compostable and made by Tayst, a company committed to being carbon neutral as well as supporting the communities that make the coffee.

sustainable school water


Our sensors and push handles reduce water use by 50%.

sustainable school garbage bags

Garbage Bags

Our garbage bags are made of 50% recycled plastic.

sustainable school lighting


Our sensor and times reduce energy use by 50%.

sustainable school towels

Paper Towels, Tissues, Wipes

Our paper towels are 60% recycled fiber (40% post-consumer). Our tissues are Green Seal Certified and 100% recycled content (90% post-consumer). Our wipes are compostable, plant-based and renewable.

sustainable school totes

Tote Bags

Our tote bags are 55% hemp, which needs no pesticides, removes carbon from the soil and requires less water and land than cotton. They are made by Econscious, a company committed to reversing global warming and ensuring that every step of production is earth- and human-friendly.

sustainable school paper


All of our paper materials are locally produced in upstate New York by Mohawk, a company committed to sustainable and carbon neutral practices. This paper is 100% recycled content, processed without chlorine or harm to forests and Greal Seal Certified.

sustainable school carpets


Made by Interface, a company with a mission to reverse global warming through mindful design and manufacturing practices. Our carpets are 100% carbon neutral.

sustainable school shirts


Some of our t-shirts are 100% organic cotton, which doesn't use pesticides and requires less water and land. The rest of our shirts are partly made of organic cotton and 50% recycled plastic (RPET).

sustainable school food


All of our lunch leftovers are donated to Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, which then delivers the food to local homeless shelters.

Sustainable Printing

There are 6 symbols we look for when we make decisions about paper and printing:

  • Recycling: These products are made from recycled material and are recyclable. As a school community, we aim to reduce waste and using recycled/recyclable products is part of that mission!
  • Processed Chlorine Free (PCF): When recycled materials are processed with chlorine, the reactions produce toxic chemicals known as dioxins, which are an extremely potent carcinogen. We always used products that are PCF.
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products have been monitored to have a sustainable chain of custody throughout the production process. This ensures forest management has been environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable.
  • Green Seal is an independent, non-profit organization that provides a rigorous certification that products and servies meet credible and transparent environmental standards. For paper, this means it is made with a minimum of 30% post-consumer fiber and milling processes and packaging are environmentally responsible.
  • Green-e signifies that production companies are using renewable energy to reduce the environmental impact of their electricity use.
  • Carbon Neutral Plus is a commitment from Neenah Paper to not only continue their efforts to conserve the environment by reducing carbon emissions, but also to support conservation and biodiversity projects that protect and restore natural habitats.

Founder's Favorites

Dr. Jennifer Jones has collected some of her favorite sustainable projects and initiatives to share!

Composting Locations in NYC

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine

"Climate Beneficial" Wool Hat from Carbon-Positive Sheep

The Companies We Use

Econscious - tote bags

Green Paper Products - plates, napkins, paper towels, etc

Mohawk - paper products

Tayst - coffee pods