The holiday season brings out the consumer in all of us—Thanksgiving tables piled high with food, Black Friday sales, then Cyber Monday, then gifts and cookies and cards and trees and plane tickets.

But the holidays are also a time for reflection and giving thanks. In that spirit, the Law School’s Green Living Program hosted its first-ever “Thank-Q” survey table on Tuesday, November 26, the last day of class before many law students headed home for Thanksgiving.  Students who stopped by were asked to answer a few questions about the Green Living Program and the sustainability infrastructure on campus. In exchange, each student was given a sustainable “Thank-Q” prize. Prizes included reusable shopping bags, camping sporks, upcycled notebooks, and the iconic “Green is the new Crimson” HLS coffee mug.

Green Living Reps who manned the table agreed that this was one of their most successful outreach efforts this year. More than 50 students filled out the survey in person on Tuesday, and additional online submissions brought the total participation count to 80.

In their survey responses, students expressed interest in seeing the Law School achieve greater efficiency in terms of both energy use (i.e., heating/cooling and lights) and waste disposal (i.e., availability of compost bins and clarification as to what should be composted). Many students would like to see the Green Living Program host additional workshops or other participatory events promoting and elucidating sustainability. Responses also confirmed what Green Living Representatives had suspected: the biggest hurdle the Green Living Program faces is being heard over the clamor of competing activities and obligations which define the HLS experience for most students.  

Based on this highly-unscientific sampling, Harvard law students want to practice sustainability, and many are making serious efforts to do so. The Green Living Program will use the survey results to plan future programming and always welcomes feedback and suggestions from students at sustainability@law.harvard.edu.