Our goal is to imbue every part of the program with an environmental component; and to endow every student and teacher with an understanding and appreciation of his or her role in stewarding our resources.
Paul J. Stellato, Head of School

Our Green History

In 2006 we held our first large school brainstorming sessions on sustainability, deciding at those meetings to make greening the school one of our major initiatives. It was clear to us that a 21st century education was not complete without teaching ecoliteracy and having our institutional behavior and campus model sustainable decision-making.

Our Philosophy

Princeton Day School’s mission is to prepare students “to act knowledgeably, to lead thoughtfully, to share generously, and to contribute meaningfully.”

To fulfill this mission we must graduate students who understand the ecological consequences of their actions, who have a sense of long-term decision-making and its effect on ecological health.

Princeton Day School believes that students are our largest carbon footprint, that their personal and professional decisions now and in the future will help determine the fate of the planet.

Our Goal

Our goal is to nurture a culture of environmental stewardship by working simultaneously in the areas of facilities, behavior, and curriculum. We want our graduates to understand that how they use resources affects the ability of future generations to also use those resources.

Green Ribbon Award

Outdoor Classroom/Garden Film

Idling Information

Idling Facts and Myths

Protect our children, our air, and your wallet.

Did you know PDS has a no car idling policy?

It’s easy:
Switch off your engine if you’re standing still for more than 10 seconds at drop-off or pick-up. Consider carpooling.

Did you know that:

  • Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine
  • Idling causes harmful fumes and is expensive
  • Idling for more than 3 minutes is illegal in NJ

Myth: The best way to warm up a car is by letting it idle for several minutes
Fact: Idling is not an efficient way to warm your vehicle, even in cold weather. A slow drive-off during the first mile is the best way to warm a vehicle’s transmission, tires, suspension, steering, & wheel bearing.

Myth: Eliminating unnecessary idling won’t save money
Fact: One hour of idling can burn up to one gallon of fuel, and avoiding 5 minutes of idling each day can save $35 every year. When you idle, you go 0 miles per gallon—talk about money going up in smoke!

Myth: Frequent re-starting of car engines damages my car
Fact: Re-starting has little impact on engine components like the battery and starter. You can actually reduce wear and tear when you turn off your vehicle rather than idling. Excessive idling can damage your engine components like cylinders, spark plugs, and the exhaust system.

Myth: Shutting off and restarting my vehicle uses more gas than if I left it running
Fact: Thirty seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine. If you are going to stop for thirty seconds or more (except in traffic), turn off the engine. Some experts estimate even 10 seconds is the break-even point.

Myth: Pollution emitted from idling cars is insignificant to my health & environment
Fact: It’s quite significant because toxins emitted from idling can impair our lungs & heart. Idling fumes have been linked to asthma, decreased lung function, cardiac disease, cancer & other serious health problems. Those most at risk are children, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments. Prolonged exposure can possibly lead to death.

Myth: Sitting in an idling car prevents exposure to car exhaust fumes
Fact: Not so. According to the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA), exposure to most car pollutants, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) & carbon monoxide (CO) is much higher inside vehicles than on the road side. Higher exposure occurs when sitting in traffic congestion, highways or in a line-up of idling vehicles at a school or drive-thru. In these situations, CO levels can be seven times the outside air level.

To learn more

How and Why We Compost

This "How and Why We Compost" video, created entirely by students, is a tool used to prepare students for their annual week of compost duty at the school. It serves to not only explain the composting process at PDS, but also to help students understand the impact each of them can have in reducing waste.

Campus Trail Map

News & Events


2016 Gold-Level River-Friendly School Certification from Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School

2015 New Jersey Green Ribbon School

Green Restaurant Association - 3-Star Designation

Garden of the Year from NJ Farm to School Network 2015

2011 Bronze Level River-Friendly School Certification from Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association

2009 Kiwi Magazine Grand Prize “Crusaders Award for Excellence in School Meals”

2009 Green Cup Challenge national winner (for energy reduction)

Garden and Garden Classroom Sign
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