In the three years since its inception, the volunteer Green Team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education — 15 students, faculty, and staff — has made significant strides. Beyond the Larsen classroom project, the Green Team has:
- Launched a recycling program that includes clearly labeled and conveniently located recycling bins throughout the campus. Additional efforts focus on improving recycling in the café, common areas, and offices.
- Started a sustainable food-service program, using materials that are compostable as well as reusable. One highlight: The exclusive use of organic coffee.
- Diverted more than 200 gallons of food scraps and paperware to composting bins during Commencement 2010.
- Overseen sustainable facility improvements. The installation of low-flow restroom fixtures saved 800,000 gallons of water last year (2009). The conversion of the Longfellow Hall boiler from oil to natural gas reduced the campus carbon footprint. (The conversion was a coordinated effort with the adjacent Radcliffe campus and University Operations Services.) The School won a Harvard University Green Carpet Team Award for this project.
- Installed solar panels on the roof of the Gutman Library. This is the School’s first renewable energy project, and will help reduce the School’s annual electricity use.
- Started Green Team campaigns. Included are an annual freecycle event; zero-waste events; composting programs; and a “Green Your Scene” campaign — public service announcements to encourage students, faculty, and staff to make environmentally conscious decisions.
- Recorded the highest percent participation in the Sustainability Pledge administered by Harvard’s Office for Sustainability.
— Harvard Graduate School of Education