DOC First-Year Trips / Sustainability

Sustainability and Trips

DOC Trips has a strong commitment to sustainability. Each year we look for ways to make our program more environmentally and socially sustainable. That includes who we do business with, how we use the trails, what food we buy, and which fuel we consume on our adventures. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us!

Leave No Trace

We recognize the strain that 1,400+ travelers can put on the Appalachian Trail system during the Trips program. Therefore, we train all trip leaders in ’LNT’ (Leave No Trace) camping methods. This includes packing out all waste, respecting wildlife and other trail users, and not engaging in high-impact use (i.e. campfires). In turn, trip leaders teach trippees how to enjoy the outdoors in a manner that will allow New Englanders to enjoy their backyard for years to come.


Trips sources as much local and organic food as possible during Trips. This way we support our local community, ensure students have safe and nutritious meals, and do something good for the planet! Some fun facts:

  • While on their trip, trippees eat a vegetarian diet. With over 1300 students involved with the Trips program, serving a vegetarian menu has huge savings for the planet. By eating this way we reduce our carbon footprint by approximately 30 pounds of CO2 per student (compared to a normal meat-based diet)!
  • All meals on the trail are cooked using Trangia stoves. Trangias were designed in the 1920's by the Swedish and they still are one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to cook in the woods. They burn grain alcohol which is renewable, non-toxic, and does not emit harmful byproducts when burned.
  • Trippees bring their own reusable bowls and silverware from home, and upon arrival receive their own reusable water battle that they can fill up at the many hydration stations around campus!
  • We serve an entirely local meal in both Hanover, before the trips begin, and at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

Transportation and Waste

  • The transportation routes which zigzag across New Hampshire's backwoods are planned to maximize efficiency for each mile traveled.
  • We will also be using B10 Biodiesel in all coach buses this year and are working to incorporate even more biodiesel in the future.
  • The Big Green Bus - a student-run bus that runs on 100% waste vegetable oil (and travels across the country each summer promoting sustainability) - assists us in transporting students during DOC Trips!
  • Nearly all food waste at the Ravine lodge and in Hanover is composted, reducing methane emissions - 21 times more potent than CO2 - from the landfill!

How You Can Help

  • Donate to the DOC Trips Green Fund! Many initiatives mentioned above are sponsored by DOC Trips through generous donations to the Green Fund. On your trip registration form, you can opt to give as little or much as you can to help support our efforts to make DOC Trips as environmentally friendly as possible.
  • Use public transportation such as train or bus to get here!
  • If you know any other students from your area coming on a DOC Trip, we encourage you to carpool!
  • Rather than buying all new gear, check out your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Army/Navy surplus store for slightly used, but still highly functional gear...many good hiking packs, wool clothing, and much more can be found for next to nothing!

Learn More

  • Check out the Sustainable Dartmouth website or email them at:

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