Getting Greener Every Day

Students of politics learned from Tip O’Neill, the long-serving Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, that “all politics is local.” So too is human impact on the environment. Our own actions affect the natural world.

We strive to live sustainably at Centerbrook. Our buildings seek simpatico relationships with nature. As new technologies emerge, we embrace them, but first test them on our 19th century mill offices. Pond-source geothermal, hydropower, photovoltaics, recycled materials, LED lighting, and low-flow fixtures are a few we’ve embraced.

But a dishwasher? That is decidedly old-school.

For years, we’ve served drinks and meals with disposable cups, plates, and flatware – a lot of it. According to a rough estimate by Misha Semenov, more than 8,000 pieces of plastic flatware and paper plates, and about 10,000 paper cups every year.

Enter Caitlin Fearon and Sue Wyeth, who spearheaded the installation of a dishwasher and secured reusable plates and flatware. Now our meals, whether Lunch & Learn vendor presentations or our weekly all-staff Friday breakfast, are more eco-friendly. But we still had to purge the remaining paper cups. Sue had a plan.

Working with potter Susan Gerr of the Birch Mountain Pottery studio, Sue and Mark Simon designed custom stoneware mugs adorned with our logo. The result was quintessentially Centerbrook: bespoke, practical, and sustainable.