Going Greener: Sustainability Efforts at RiverWoods Exeter

Raised beds for accessible gardening at RiverWoods Exeter in Exeter, New Hampshire.
Resident-managed gardening beds provide herbs and garlic for our kitchens.

Sustainability has been one of our Core Values since the founding of RiverWoods Exeter.

Rooted by that early commitment, both residents and staff are empowered to seek out and make changes which are happening every day. We’ve made small steps of progress, like our IT team updating default printer settings in order to reduce paper and ink. We’ve made major changes including our Environmental Services team achieving an Organic Landscaping certification by Northeast Organic Farming Association. RiverWoods Exeter is now the only certified organic organization in the state.

We’re also the only certified organic CCRC in the world.

Picnic area and gazebo for outdoor activities at RiverWoods Exeter in Exeter, New Hampshire.
From outdoor BBQs in the summer to cross-country boot camps in the winter, Gooch Park is a green space right on our campus that residents enjoy year-round.

But, we’ve done a lot more than just move towards organic landscaping.

We’ve also added two hybrid cars to our fleet. Our Fitness team expanded a campus bike-share program providing bicycles throughout campus for residents and staff. Our residents are working with Dining on sustainability efforts, including sourcing more healthy and fresh ingredients through local farms. We’re producing enough compost to top-dress the lawns but also for residents to use in their raised-bed gardens. We’ve built an Experimental Greenhouse where we’re testing ideas like growing hydroponic vegetables. Our Environmental Services team is now using low VOC paint, energy efficient lighting, and more eco-friendly cleaning products. Energy improvements include automated heating and cooling systems, reducing the amount of energy we use.

Our combined efforts have resulted in the Green Alliance awarding RiverWoods Exeter their highest possible rating.

Even with such assurances that we’re on the right track, we always strive to Be Better, ever more thoughtful and consistent. We’re exploring ways to be even greener in the future, which is where our community will always be looking.