Living Our Values
Grounded in the Quaker value of simplicity, Tandem Friends School is committed to practicing responsible environmental stewardship. We believe that becoming stewards of the earth, beginning with caring for our own school community, is central to our purpose. Stewardship touches nearly every aspect of the Middle School curriculum, from Morning Meeting Stewardship Minutes, to participation in Friends Environmental Conferences, to classroom topics.
Here at Tandem Friends School, we are actively cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards, because we acknowledge the destructive events our environment has endured. Whether initiating new projects or revisiting current ones, we aim to reduce our overall negative environmental impact. We welcome advice about ways to improve our actions for the betterment of the environment from every voice in the Tandem community.
We start by working to reduce the amount of waste generated. We try the live the mantra “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” We encourage everyone in our community to reduce their carbon footprints. In each classroom, outside each building, and in each eating area, there are recycling bins, where students can deposit paper products, plastics and aluminum cans. Each year we recycle a small mountain of plastic bottles. We would like to encourage everyone to use a reusable water bottle rather than disposable plastic bottles. Water coolers that provide chilled spring water are located all around campus, as are drinking fountains.
We keep hens in a beautifully designed and functional chicken coop designed by longtime Tandem parent and artist Wayne Cain. These hens eat the lunch scraps that are scraped each day into 'chicken buckets' - scraps that would otherwise end up in the landfill - and they turn them into lovely eggs. Not only do the hens produce eggs, but they also make great compost for our Tandem garden. Middle School gardeners plant and tend the garden. The organically grown lettuce and tomatoes are sometimes served during Monday lunches; other vegetables have been shared with The Haven, which feeds local homeless people.
We keep a great deal of trash out of the landfill and conserve resources by using plates, glasses, silverware and serving dishes that can be run through the dishwasher rather than using disposables. We encourage all community members not to bring styrofoam on campus.And when we need to use disposable products, we try to use biodegradable ones.
The 8th grade students serve a taco lunch on Mondays. We have made a commitment to purchase as much of the food as possible from local producers. Our tacos are made with locally grown tomatoes, salsa, lettuce and beef.
We realize tremendous energy savings and reduce our carbon footprint by asking our community to do the following: 1) turn off lights in unoccupied rooms; 2) turn off computers at the end of the day; 3) keep the thermostat cooling setting at 78°F and the heating setting at 65° F; and, 4) refrain from sitting in cars with the engines idling. Carpooling is encouraged.
The faculty and staff are committed to making double-sided copies whenever possible. Our copy paper is recycled and composed of 35% post-consumer content. All of our publications are printed on recycled paper, and we have committed to online Admissions and online forms wherever possible.