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Get involved in environmental action on every level. Student groups offer opportunities to work on sustainability initiatives within the dorms and Houses, across the University, within Cambridge, and on state, federal, and even global levels.
Research opportunities with fellow students and professors give you the chance to participate in groundbreaking science, policy, and economic studies. Additionally, the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) invites speakers whose research leads the way in sustainable development. Through grants and fellowships, HUCE also supports research related to energy and the environment at every level.
For over two years, the Green Orientation Program, conceived of by students and managed by the FAS Green Program, have educated and engaged each year’s incoming freshman class about the university’s sustainability goals and commitments.
By partnering with the Freshman Dean's Office and the Harvard College Dean, the Green Orientation Program transforms the first "brain break" of the year in Annenberg dining hall into an environmentally themed study break and information session. Over 1,400 reusable mugs are handed out and students sign a pledge to use their new mugs instead of disposable cups.
Undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program
The Resource Efficiency Program (REP) is a peer education program based in Harvard's undergraduate Houses and Dorms. REP representatives, REPs for short, educate their peers on issues such as energy, waste, water, food, and more through fun, personal, community-building events, competitions, and campaigns. In addition, REPs advocate for programmatic efforts such as recycling, swapping light bulbs for energy-efficient LEDs, and reducing food waste. The program also works with the administration to make facilities and operations more sustainable.
Green Think Initiative
The Green Think Initiative is a think tank comprised of Harvard College first-year students that work on improving sustainability on campus. Each semester, Green Think members develop a project together with a sophomore coordinator to the group advised by the Office for Sustainability Undergraduate Education & Outreach Coordinator. Initiatives from past years range from installing bioretention gardens to getting dual flush handles on campus.
Composting in Harvard Yard:
There is now composting in all freshman dorm rooms.
Here's how to compost in your room:
- Line the compost bin with a provided Biobag.
- Discard organic waste in the bin to keep it out of the landfill (see items listed on bin).
- Bring Compost from your suite to the compost bin located in the trash room.
- Obtain another Biobag bin liner from the trash room.
Pre and post-consumer composting occurs in all Undergraduate dining halls. Harvard also employs single stream recycling campus-wide.
- Compost: Compostable plastic cutlery and paper towel and napkins can be composted, if available.
- Recycling: Aluminum foil and empty pizza boxes can be recycled.
Student Groups and Resources
Council of Student Sustainability Leaders
The Council of Student Sustainability Leaders (CSSL) is a partnership between Harvard's environmental community, students committed to personal and institutional action on Harvard's sustainability Goals, and the Office for Sustainability. CSSL is an opportunity to connect and network with sustainability leaders—students, faculty, and administration; to provide feedback and recommendations on Harvard's environmental initiatives; and, to lay the groundwork in preparation for advancing Harvard's Sustainability Principles. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Crimson Crave is a student group and blog on campus providing, recipes, dining hall hacks, reviews, and Boston-area food information.
Spearheaded by Harvard Students for a Just and Stable Future, Divest Harvard is calling upon Harvard to divest from fossil fuels.
Environmental Action Committee
The Harvard College Environmental Action Committee seeks to help achieve a sustainable world and protect the environment for its human and non-human inhabitants. To this end, the EAC aims to raise the consciousness of Harvard’s students to the effect of their own actions on the environment and to their status as stewards of this planet’s resources. The EAC advocates specific changes at the campus, local, national, and international levels.
EnviroEd is an after-school program that sends groups of volunteers to Boston and Cambridge Public Schools to teach elementary and middle school students about major environmental issues.
Freshman Outdoor Program
The First-Year Outdoor Program is Harvard’s largest and oldest pre-orientation program. FOP's mission is to provide group adventure-based experiences that promote the development of social support and self-awareness for first-year students, and leadership development for members of the Harvard community.
Food Literacy Project
The Food Literacy Project (FLP) cultivates an understanding of food from the ground up. Education focuses on four integrated areas of food and society: sustainability, nutrition, food preparation and community. Ultimately, the project goal is to promote enduring knowledge, enabling consumers to make informed food choices. Find your FLP REP by housE
Harvard College Review of Environment and Society
Founded by Harold Eyster, College '16, and Daniel Dong, College '16. "The principle behind our publication was to create a forum where different information about the same environmental concern can be brought in and discussed together."
Harvard Community Garden
In a space that is both beautiful and productive, the Harvard Community Garden brings together members of the community to raise awareness about the critical role that food plays in our environment and our health.
Harvard Council on Business and the Environment
The Council on Business and the Environment is a student-run not-for-profit consulting group based out of Harvard University. The Council works with early-stage green startups locally and nationally to achieve their strategic intent, grow their bottom line, and innovate both as businesses as well as socially conscious ventures.
Harvard Outing Club
Founded in 1939, the HOC exists purely to help the Harvard community get outside and have fun in the outdoors.
Harvard Undergraduate Beekeepers
The Harvard Undergraduate Beekeepers seek to enlighten community members about the marvel of the honeybee and provide students with the opportunity to be active contributors to discussions about beekeeping, agricultural ecology, and food systems, and learn about the role and importance of bees in biodiversity conservation.
Students for a Just and Stable Future
SJSF is a statewide student network fighting to ensure a just and stable future for our generation and the generations to come that are threatened by runaway global warming.
Grants and Funding
Student Sustainability Grant Program
The Harvard Student Sustainability Grant Program provides seed funding to graduate and undergraduate students/student groups for environmental projects that contribute to Harvard’s campus sustainability goals.
HUCE Undergraduate Summer Research Fund
The Center for the Environment’s Undergraduate Summer Research Fund provides financial support for student research projects related to the environment. The Fund offers independent research and research assistantship.