The Ins & Outs Of Star Island [Infographic]

Jul 14, 2014

As sustainable as Star Island's systems are, the folks at Star Island Corporation are working to make them even more efficient, making improvements that mean bringing less onto the island, sending less off, and making more use of what's there.

The graphic below outlines what comes onto the island - either naturally or shipped by boat - what gets sent off, and where everything goes in between.

(Click to enlarge)
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR


  • As reported by NHPR's Sam Evans-Brown, the island is installing a solar & battery array to reduce their use of diesel.
  • Boat water - potable water pumped from the ferry Thomas Leighton - is considered energy neutral, because the ferry transports passengers to the island and pumps while it is in dock.
  • Both boat water and drinking water created through the reverse osmosis system are used to fill the cistern, usually early in the season when rainwater can be scarce. The fire suppression systems require a minimum of 5' of water in the cistern. When rains are abundant, the excess cistern water is pumped out to sea. The planned UV filtration system will allow excess cistern water to be turned into potable water.
  • "Yomp" (commercially compostable material, as defined in the graphic) consists mainly of compostable plates/cups and meat & dairy scraps. They would eventually like to be able to compost this material on-island.
  • While most cardboard is currently recycled off-island, they are trying to shred it and use it on-island. They have started experimenting with it as a carbon source in their compost.
  • The island plans to acquire the machinery necessary to turn glass bottles into sand, rather than send most of them off-island. This sand would be used for infrastructure projects, such as shoring up dock moorings and mixing cement.