Green Technology & More

We are humbled and proud that the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has recognized The Darrow School as a Leading Edge Honoree for its curriculum innovation, specifically in the area of sustainability.

Sustainability is more than a watchword at Darrow. It is integrated into our courses and throughout everyday life across our campus.

One great example of this is The Living Machine™, our innovative ecological wastewater treatment center.

The Living Machine™ was built in the spring of 1998, making it the country’s first ecological treatment center located in a high school, and still one of the very few that exist in the country and around the world.

The Living Machine™ uses hydroponic bioremediation techniques to process all of the wastewater that we produce on our campus and transforms it into clean water, which we release into our watershed. The ecologically engineered system sends water through nine different tanks, using bacteria, algae, protozoa, plankton, snails, and aquatic and wetland plants for various functions to transform the waste materials into harmless compounds, which are then filtered in later steps. Cleaned water travels through Darrow’s wetland, which houses a wide variety of species including corpse flowers and cacti, and from there into a small pond which houses fish, turtles, and frogs, demonstrating the high quality of the water. 

The Living Machine™ removes more potentially toxic pollutants than traditional systems and does not use any harmful chemicals to treat the water.  It is also better able to filter out suspended solids, heavy metals, and other pollutants that pose a difficulty for traditional systems. More importantly, the Living Machine™ is designed to support itself and serve a feedback loop that requires less energy, labor, and money than traditional systems. Our students are active in the maintenance and testing of the system. 

By way of other examples of our commitment to Green Technology and sustainability, we're launching vermicomposting for our entire campus during Spring/Summer 2019. We also host an annual Sustainability Symposium.

Beginning in Fall 2019, we are introducing a senior elective on Sustainability.

Finally, we are in the planning stages of setting a goal of carbon neutrality within the next decade. 


To learn more about our Green Technology, please contact Lily Corral, Sustainability Coordinator, at [email protected].


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