2010-11 Student Sustainability Grants now available

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It’s time to get those green creative juices flowing. The Harvard Office for Sustainability has announced the application timeline for this year’s round of 2010-11 Student Sustainability Grants, available at

Now in its second year, the grants program funds on-campus environmental projects by undergraduate and graduate students that contribute to achieving Harvard’s sustainability commitments, including the University’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2016, including growth.

Last year’s sustainability grants were awarded to a wide variety of projects, from the creation of the Harvard Community Garden and an undergraduate bike sharing program to zero waste events like the Center for Astrophysics’ summer barbeque—less than 5% of total waste collected went to the landfill. The “mobile ethnic garden,” a set of moveable raised planter beds designed by grantee Christina Cho of the Graduate School of Design, was recently featured on the popular environmental blog Treehugger.

Seed funding of between $500 and $5,000 per project will be awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students for their creative, pragmatic plans to reduce waste, cut energy use and create a more environmentally sustainable campus.

Grant applications are due by midnight Monday, Oct.25, 2010 and recipients will be announced on Monday, Nov. 15.  Projects must be completed by April 27, 2011. Applications are available on the Common Grants website at and on the University’s sustainability website at An information session will be scheduled in early October to answer questions from interested students about the application process.

“Harvard is committed to confronting the challenge of climate change and environmental sustainability by encouraging creative problem-solving and promoting culture change at every level of the University,” said Heather Henriksen, director of the Office for Sustainability.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a University-wide selection committee and decisions will be based on a variety of criteria including: measurable impact on Harvard’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, waste, or water use; cost savings resulting from resource conservation; innovation; teamwork; visibility; and replicability.

The Student Sustainability Grants program was created by the Office for Sustainability to encourage collaboration and creating thinking among students, staff and faculty as the University seeks to create a more sustainable campus through behavior change initiatives and by creating replicable models of cost-effective solutions that can be applied at Harvard and beyond.