Harvard School of Public Health is at the forefront of research addressing the most pressing global health and environmental issues facing us today. The HSPH community strives to minimize the School's environmental impact through the adoption of sustainable business practices.

A truly sustainable campus requires the cooperation and inclusion of everyone in the community, and in this spirit the HSPH community formed The EcoOpportunity Team. This collaborative forum for knowledge creation and transfer, fosters an environment where sustainable initiatives are developed and executed.

EcoOpportunity Team

The EcoOpportunity team, HSPH's Green Team, works hard to brainstorm new ideas or campaigns to educate and inspire individual behavior change among the HSPH community. 

Mission

The mission of the EcoOpportunity team is to institutionalize sustainability practices on the School of Public Health campus. This group will:

  • Serve as the primary point of communication for sustainability efforts on campus.
  • Work with the Facilities and Operations Group to establish best practices, policies, and/or standards for sustainable design and operations on campus, where appropriate.
  • Identify and prioritize resource conservation opportunities in offices, labs, and residential buildings.
  • Inspire the HSPH Community to reduce environmental and health impacts, and help HSPH become a leader in campus sustainability efforts.

EcoOpportunity is coordinated by the HSPH Operations Department and Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, with the participation of many administrative and academic departments around the School.

Contact: Ecoop@hsph.harvard.edu

EcoOpportunity Committees

Green Dining: Work to encourage the use of reusable containers available at the HSPH cafeteria, encourage departments to switch to compostable coffee pods. Contact: David Havelick

Recycling/Composting: Organize ambassadors to stand by waste stations at key points in the year to help people decide which bin to throw their waste; improve waste station signage; manage the new “Green/Reuse Room” at HSPH and the "Closing the Enveloop" interoffice envelope reuse program. Contact: Jen Bowser

Green Offices: Encourage and make it easier for departments to pursue green office certification. Contact: Caitlin Key Alfaro

Labs: Find ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency in labs (recycling programs, etc.). Contact: Hardeep Ranu

Communications: Compose a monthly newsletter to be hung in bathroom stalls (Eco Mosquito), provide aid to people who want to advertise green events. Contact: Jen Bowser

Events: Organize city safaris (lead walks to local parks and green spaces), seminar series (monthly seminars on environmental topics), happy hours, trivia night, Earth Week. Contact: Cristin Martineau

Campaigns: Organize the Take the Stairs campaign and vacation campaigns (encouraging folks to unplug refrigerators and power strips during holiday breaks). Contact: Colin Fleming

Bikes: Improve infrastructure for bikers, maintain website, advocate for biker priorities, find ways to encourage biking, organize events (repair classes, bike fair, bike breakfasts). Contact: David Havelick

EcoOpportunity Campaigns and Events

Earth Week

Earth Week is always a busy time of year. Special events including talks, Take the Stairs Campaign, and a Sustainability Fair in the cafeteria are organized annually.

Take the Stairs Campaign

EcoOp organizes the popular Take the Stairs Campaign, which promotes healthier, more sustainable choices, by challenging people to take the stairs instead of elevators. In 2013, HSPH had the most climbers in the six years the campaign has been running—73 teams; 353 climbers. 

Summer City Safaris

During the warmer months, the Events Committee organizes walks around the surrounding neighborhoods. The Safaris visit places such as the Countway Garden, Mission Hill Farmers’ Market, and Kevin Fitzgerald Park. 

Sustainability Seminar Series

The EcoOpportunity team hosts an ongoing sustainability seminar and workshop series, inviting HSPH and Harvard faculty members to speak to the community. These events take place at HSPH but are open to the public. 

Eco Mosquito Newsletter

The EcoOpportunity team publishes a monthly newsletter, which hangs in bathrooms around the school and helps to spread the word about sustainability.

Read past Eco Mosquito Newsletters

Energy and Utilities

At HSPH, we believe that every effort be made to conserve energy and natural resources with careful consideration of the indoor environmental quality of our built environment.  We also believe this commitment will be beneficial to our students, faculty, staff and alumni in prudent financial management and the saving of energy.

Operations Office personnel understand the importance of managing our building systems portfolio in an energy efficient manner as demonstrated by our standardization on high efficiency lighting fixtures and motion sensors, ventilation system control logic enhancements including equipment start-stop optimization, enthalpy based programming, real time IEQ sensing and control, preventive maintenance practices, continuous commissioning of energy consuming building systems, and demand side management programming. Operations Office personnel will continue to monitor energy consumption real-time and maintain accurate energy consumption and cost documentation.

Waste Reduction

Composting, Recycling, Trash Guidelines for HSPH

The HSPH community has made remarkable strides to reduce waste on campus. HSPH is increasing recycling rates, decreasing solid waste volume, and increasing financial savings with regard to waste management.

In 2009, Sebastian's Café at HSPH introduced a post-consumer composting program. The Café offers compostable plates, cups, cutlery, and to-go containers. Learn more

HSPH also employs single stream recycling campus-wide. Learn more

Use this guide to find out what products from Sebastian's can be composted, recycled, or trashed.

Compost Recycle Trash
Bowls Bowl lids Butter wrappers
Chopsticks Salad dressing containers Jelly (one-serve packet)
Clamshells Sushi container Ketchup packets
Coffee cups and cup lids   Peanut butter (one-serving container)
Coffee stirrers   Sugar packets
Cups and cup lids   Teabag wrapper
Cutlery and utensils    
Food containers    
Food waste    
Napkins    
Parchment paper (for taking baked goods)    
Plates    
Straws and wrappers    
Teabags    

Use this guide for products NOT from Sebastian's.

Compost Recycle Trash
Food waste Glass bottles Non-compostable utensils
Packaging from Clover food truck Metal cans Styrofoam
  Plastic bottles Tinfoil (dirty)
  Tinfoil (clean)  

Reuse

The Green Room
Located in the basement of Building 1 next to Mailing and Receiving

Please bring your used and unwanted items to the Green Room for recycling and reuse. 

What items can be accepted for recycling?

  • Styrofoam
  • Nespresso pods
  • Printer ink cartridges
  • Gel ice packs
  • Small e-waste items such as CD's, cell phones, chargers, etc.


What items can be donated for reuse?

  • Office supplies/equipment in good, functional condition
  • Lab supplies/equipment in good, functional condition (and sterile, if applicable)

*CHEMICALS AND BROKEN OR DAMAGED EQUIPMENT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Contact ecoop@hsph.harvard.edu with any questions or ideas.

E-waste

E-waste recycling tubes are located across the HSPH campus. Please recycle all dry cell batteries, cell phones and chargers, MP3 players, PDA's, handheld electronic devices, and inkjet cartridges in the blue collection tubes. 

Locations:

  • Kresge Building, first floor main elevator lobby
  • FXB, main entrance lobby
  • Freecycle Room, SPH1 basement, room SB02
  • 90 Smith Street, first floor lobby
  • Shattuck International House, mailroom

Contact HSPH Facilities at 617-432-1152 to have your larger used electronics picked up for recycling.

  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Office equipment

Lab Equipment Recycling

Reuse or donate your unwanted lab equipment on the university-wide Labs Reuse List.

Labs Reuse List

Seeding Labs, a Harvard graduate student organization, is collecting new and surplus lab equipment from your department to donate to basic science and clinical needs in developing countries.

Seeding Labs

Styrofoam Recycling

Styrofoam recycling in labs is campus-wide at HSPH, as well as at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. For effective recycling of EPS (Styrofoam) coolers, tube racks and packing materials, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Only dense, white polystyrene can be recycled
  • Remove coolers from inside cardboard boxes and place beside cardboard for recycling pickup
  • Remove ice packs, stickers & other materials from coolers
  • Smaller materials such as packing peanuts, can be bagged and left beside cardboard for pick up

Learn more

Toner and Ink Cartridge Recycling

Through Harvard’s preferred vendor, WB Mason, recycling ink and toner cartridges is free! Learn more

Transportation

CommuteWorks

As the Transportation Management Association for the Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA), CommuteWorks helps employees and students better plan their commutes with information about MBTA, ridesharing, shuttle, and walking/biking options.

Longwood Shuttle

Bikes

The Harvard Longwood Bicyclists (HLB) was created to unite and advocate for bikers around the Longwood campus. Started by the EcoOpportunity Team’s Bike Subcommittee under the leadership of David Havelick; HLB is a great example of One Harvard in action. The group currently has over 500 members, and is comprised of staff, students, and faculty from the entire Harvard-Longwood spectrum.

Additionally, two bike repair stations have been added near the bike cages on the Longwood Campus thanks to David and the HLB

Bike Cages at HSPH

Learn more

Environmental Groups, Resources, and Academic Programs

Center for Health and the Global Environment

Environmental Health and Sustainability Student Club

Harvard Longwood Bicyclists

HSPH Department of Environmental Health

Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health

HSPH Nutrition Source