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Green Kripalu

Think the environment’s important?

So do we. Here at Kripalu, we make a sustainable relationship with the natural world a priority. We’re committed to doing our part to be green and support a healthy environment for future generations. In our day-to-day operations, we strive to reduce our environmental footprint through efforts that include

  • Recycling paper, glass, plastic, and electronic waste
  • Using recycled paper or paper made from rapidly renewable resources in-house whenever feasible
  • Printing all of our marketing materials on recycled paper
  • Utilizing green cleaning products and biorenewable soaps
  • Choosing building materials that take environmental factors into consideration
  • Cooking with local, organic, and GMO-free ingredients whenever possible, and composting.

With ongoing commitment, we are working to raise awareness among our staff and guests, and we continue to research economically viable ways to improve our environmental stewardship; we look forward to keeping you updated on new developments.

For details on Kripalu’s efforts, explore each section below.

Read More on Recycling

In the spirit of the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), we recycle paper products as well as glass and plastic containers, and keep recycling bins handy in offices, bathrooms, and key gathering spots. Most of our marketing materials are printed on recycled paper, and our Mailroom and copy center uses 100 percent recycled paper or sustainably harvested sugarcane paper whenever possible. Many offices in the building also reuse paper that’s still good on one side (“GOOS” paper).

In addition, we recycle much of our electronic waste, including unusable printers, CDs, hard drives, disks, rechargeable batteries, cables, and cords, using a service called GreenDisk. This company takes old equipment, refurbishes what it can, and recycles the rest, giving old products new life and keeping hazardous materials out of landfills.

As we move forward with our recycling efforts, we are looking into better recycling receptacles that can be more widely distributed throughout our main building.

Read More on Cleaning Products and Bathroom Supplies

As part of a campus-wide “clean-‘n’-green“ program, we’ve switched to green cleaning products. We currently use floor cleaner, surface cleaner, disinfectant, and all-purpose cleaner that contain no chlorine bleach, ammonia, petroleum distillates, APEs, ozone-depleting ingredients, phosphates, carcinogens, butyl solvents, cholorinated solvents, reproductive toxins, heavy metals, or phthalates. The products we use all contain biodegradable surfactants and come in post-consumer recycled and recyclable packaging. We also use biorenewable hand and body soap in our bathrooms.

We’re currently researching ways to use bathroom paper products that contain the highest available recycled-paper content.

Read More on Energy and Fuel

We’ve undertaken several efforts to reduce our energy consumption. In December 2006, we purchased a Toyota Camry hybrid vehicle, and we’re committed to purchasing hybrid company vehicles in the future, as long as there’s a hybrid model available to meet our needs.

To reduce our overall energy use, we’re also replacing standard lightbulbs with compact fluorescent ones in compatible fixtures, as well as using Energy Star fixtures for all new lighting projects.

In 2012, we converted our heating fuel from oil to natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While there are controversies about natural gas development, we believe that the benefit from this conversion is still worthwhile.100 percent of our electricity comes from renewable resources.

Read More on Building Materials

In upgrades to Shadowbrook, our main building, as well as in new building projects, we strive to incorporate environmentally friendly materials into our plans. We’ve installed a new PVC-free carpet that has been certified as an Environmentally Preferable Product, SCS Sustainable Choice Gold. All of the furniture that we construct in-house (e.g., tables and shelves) is made of Extira, a wood composite made from sawmilling by-products that have no added formaldehyde.

In the planning stages of building and maintenance projects, our Facilities team researches paint, adhesives, and other materials to ensure that the products we purchase are nontoxic and low-fume.

Kripalu’s most recent building, the Annex, is a state-of-the art, environmentally green building designed to support the educational immersion experience at Kripalu. Designed by Peter Rose of the award-winning Rose+Partners Studio in Boston, Massachusetts, the Annex draws on European-inspired technologies and aesthetics and serves as a “paragon of environmental thoughtfulness and responsibility.”

The Annex requires approximately half the energy that is used for a building the same size constructed with conventional methods. Some of the factors that make this possible are the location, orientation, and design of the building, which takes maximum advantage of sunlight and wind patterns; interior climate control achieved primarily through radiant heating and cooling of the concrete skeleton underneath the interior finishes, reducing carbon consumption; and a retractable exterior shutter system that utilizes the sun’s energy through floor-to-ceiling windows without allowing the rooms to overheat.

Read More on Local, Organic Food

We acknowledge the impact that food choices have on the environment and, accordingly, strive to make decisions in our food purchases that support the environment and local economy. In season, we strive to purchase as many locally grown vegetables as possible(from the Berkshire Grown network of farms). Our Executive Chef and Purchasing Manager meet annually and individually with these local organic farmers to ensure that their farms grow produce that meet the Kripalu Kitchen’s needs.

When produce is not in season locally, we buy primarily organic (all our fruits and greens are always organic; other produce is organic when not price-prohibitive). All the meat we purchase is organic or natural (no artificial ingredients or added color; minimally processed, if at all, and nitrate-free). Our eggs are organic cage- free, free-range, and omega-3; our chicken and turkey offerings are natural; and our fish is chosen based upon the sustainability in which it is caught or farmed. We also purchase locally produced apple cider and maple syrup.

Read More on Composting and Food Waste

Vegetable waste that is generated in the preparation of Kripalu meals is taken to Fadding Farm in Stockbridge, where it is used to feed livestock. Prepared food leftovers (including food from guests’ plates) are composted at Holiday Farm in Dalton, which uses the compost to fertilize its organic vegetable fields.

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