Formed in 2006, the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Green Team works to build environmental awareness through a series of sustainable initiatives across the HGSE campus.

Comprised of staff, faculty, and student volunteers, the HGSE Green Team is educating tomorrow's educators about the importance of individual behaviors and actions in creating a more sustainable future. By encouraging green living, the team is spreading the message of sustainability one tip at a time. 


Green Initiative Highlights

  • HGSE composts not only front of the house at the Gutman Commons Café, but also back of the house in the kitchen areas. HGSE also composts back of the house at all of the satellite event kitchens (Longfellow, Larsen, and the Gutman Conference Center)
  • In 2009, new HGSE classrooms in Larsen Hall became the first in the world to achieve LEED-CI Platinum certification. 
  • In 2010, HGSE Operations installed solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of Gutman Library.
  • In 2012, the popular Gutman Library Renovation Project received its own LEED-CI Platinum distinction from the USGBC. Check out the Living Walls (pictured above)! 

Waste Reduction


Freecycles: The HGSE Green Team hosts frequent freecycle events on campus to help promote reuse. Check out this awesome Freecycle Data from the past three freecycle events on campus. 

Year Quantity of items before Freecycle Quantity of items after Freecycle Percent of items "Freecycled"
2013 1858 225 88%
2012 830 94 89%
2011 3130 537 83%

Reusables: During Orientation the HGSE Green Team distributes HGSE Nalgene water bottles to all incoming students. In conjunction with the Dean’s Office long standing tradition of passing out HGSE canvas bags during Orientation, both of the reusable items encourage, promote, and instill HGSE's commitment to sustainability. 

The Green Team reinforces the message of reusables by promoting filtered water stations across campus for not only students, but HGSE staff and faculty as well. 

Composting and Recycling

Help HGSE reduce waste by composting and recycling whenever possible. By diverting food waste from landfills we are helping the environment and contributing to Harvard’s sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction goals!

HGSE Waste Posters

Most of the packaging and dining ware throughout the Gutman Commons Café is made with 100% recycled fiber, or plant based biopolymers. Café staff members are well versed in the compost and recycle program and will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Learn more

HGSE employs Single Stream Recycling. Recycle, compost, and trash stations are located in the Café and are equipped with clearly marked posters to help you sort your refuse. The HGSE Green Team does periodical outreach and education about the compost and recycle program, including sorting assistance and compost audits.

Learn more

Filtered Water

Students Faculty and Staff are encouraged to refill their water bottles and reusable mugs for free at these filtered water stations, and fountains around

Filtered Water Fountains:

Gutman Library
All water fountains in the Gutman Library are filtered. Including the free filtered water in the Commons.

Longfellow Hall

  • Lower Level
  • First Floor
  • Second Floor
  • Third Floor

Larsen Hall

  • Ground
  • First Floor
  • Second Floor

Filtered Water Stations:
HGSE Currently has two filtered water stations, one in our Commons at Gutman Library Cafe, and another in the lower level of Longfellow-Hall.

Temperature Policy

Keeping it comfortable for you and the planet.  HGSE is committed to the University-wide Temperature Policy:

  • 68-72 ⁰ F in the winter heating season (November-March)
  • 74-78 ⁰ F in the summer cooling season (June-September)

Health and Wellness

The HGSE Green Team partners with Gutman Commons Café to promote and incorporate the Harvard School of Public Health's Healthy Eating Plate, offering well balanced meals for the active community. Look for the Green Apple Logo throughout the Café for daily nutritious choices. 

Healthy Eating Plate

Green Cleaning

Squeaky clean and green!  98% of the cleaning products used by HGSE’s Custodial Team Products are Green Seal Certified.  These products clean just as well as conventional options, even if they're harder to notice (don't smell as much) and they're better for our bodies and the planet.


Biking to the HGSE campus? Lock up your bike at one of these locations:

  • Gutman Front Entrance
  • Larsen Front Entrance
  • Larsen Rear Entrance

Learn more