In October the Harvard Business School (HBS) Green Team held its 2nd Annual Green Fair in Shad Hall, the School’s physical fitness center.  The event, which was open to the School community, brought together campus, local, and national organizations that share a passion for protecting the environment. 

One of the most popular exhibits was a display by ReRev, a Florida-based company whose technology converts the kinetic energy produced by people using gym equipment into a usable form of renewable energy. ReRev’s interactive exhibit  allowed visitors to step on an elliptical cardio machine and power a freestanding lamp with either a traditional incandescent bulb or more efficient CFL bulbs while they exercised. Hudson Harr, the firm’s president, explained how the process worked. 

Carolyn Gould, an HBS Green Team member and program coordinator at Shad, noticed the difference in the amount of energy required to power the two light bulbs, “It’s amazing how much harder it is to power the incandescent light than the CFL,” she said. ”I guess I can have an easier workout while benefiting the environment!”

An exhibit run by Carol Healy from the Harvard University Office of Sustainability included a quiz about recyclable versus non-recyclable items. Participants who scored 8 out of 10 or better received a free, reusable bag with recycling tips printed on it. According to Carol, the purpose of the quiz was to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and waste management at HBS. (For example, the average Harvardian, including students, staff, and faculty members, generates about 1.58 pounds of trash and .79 pounds of recyclables each day.) 

John Broderic, volunteer and outreach coordinator for the Charles River Conservancy (CRS) spoke to Green Fair visitors about efforts to clean up and preserve the Charles River Parklands, from Boston Harbor to the Watertown Dam. In the near future, a CRS initiative may allow public swimming in parts of the Charles River—something unimaginable just a few years ago. 

Other exhibitors included HBS Restaurant Associates, Harvard University Commuter Choice, and a Harvard University Farmers Market.

Hosting an annual Green Fair is just one of the ways that members of the HBS Green Team spread the word about sustainability efforts on campus that will help the School reach its 30 percent Green House Gas Reduction goal by 2016. An HBS energy competition and Earth Day activities are being planned. Stay tuned for more information.