Most students living in the dormitories and Harvard affiliated apartments, such as the complex at Soldiers Field Park and One Western, have seen posters of their green living representatives in bulletin boards in the common areas. These representatives are part of the peer to peer educational program where they are responsible for educating and promoting sustainable behaviors to their colleagues.
This year, there are a total of twenty green living representatives, with most of them from graduate schools across Harvard university, including the business school, the school of government and the law school. These representatives were chosen for their personal commitment to the environment. We profile a few of the green living representatives from the business school and learn about their inspiration and ideas for change.
Michael Ellis (NC)
On why he chose to get involved with the program, Michael says, “To help others make a difference in the world at HBS and in their work beyond HBS.” His top two favorite things to do to ‘live green’ are, “I always bring canvas or old plastic bags to the grocery store so that I don’t have to waste new bags-and to save space in our apartment. I also save paper that’s been printed on just one side; instead of throwing it out, I print on the other side.”
Laura Dillon (OF)
Laura’s motivation for joining the program was driven by her educational background and shaped by recent work experiences. She shares, “Having studied chemical engineering at undergrad and working in the renewable energy sector this summer, I believe that there are huge opportunities in this space. I am very keen to learn more about the renewable and sustainable energy sector and I am also very keen to help others learn about it as well. I believe that climate change, energy security and resource depletion are all major global factors which should be of great concern to us all. In addition, I believe the changing views on the environment and escalating energy costs are driving all businesses to change, and in my opinion every career that HBS graduates enter over the coming decades will be impacted.”
Vanessa Loy (NF)
Vanessa tells us about her two favorite things to do to ‘live green.’ “I enjoy walking everywhere-I run errands, meet friends for lunch and venture into Boston on foot. Not only do I conserve energy, but it’s great exercise! I also wash my laundry in cold water, and air dry items whenever possible.” Vanessa is the green living representative for Chase Hall and she tells us that the one thing that she most wants her residents to do, “I want my residents to refuse to dispose of any recyclable items they use in their rooms. This may mean daily trips to the recycle bins in Chase lounge, or keeping a plastic bag under their desk for any such items. I know they can do it, though.”
Over at Peabody Terrace, Ryan Buckley tells us why green living is important to him, “Most people don’t realize the impact that building usage has on the planet. Small, seemingly irrelevant lifestyle choices can swing the impact by large degrees, and over a lifetime it adds up. Learning good habits now will make a big difference.” And the one thing that he most wants his residents to do? “Keep unused lights off. It’s something my grandpa was very conscious of and I guess it rubbed off. Complacency is a poor excuse for wastefulness!”
Marissa Freedman (OB)
Marissa Freedman, the representative for One Western, shares her ideas, “Boston is a great city to explore by bike or foot which offers good exercise, beautiful scenery, and a great way to live more sustainably!”
Abby Fung, representative for Soldiers Field Park, discusses her idea of ‘pay it forward’ and says, “Green living is important to me because I can’t stand the idea of waste. During my undergraduate days, we obtained most of the office equipment for our public service group from the “trash” people left behind in their dorm rooms during move out. You, too, can get FREE home furnishings, lighting, etc. for your dorm room or apartment by going to the Recycling and Surplus Center at 175 North Harvard Street in Allston any Thursday from 11 to 2 PM. Similarly, when you’re moving out, you should contact email@example.com to donate your surplus goods.”
Each of the green living representatives bring their own unique motivations to the program and ideas about how to ‘live green’ and hopefully, through their actions and the organized program, will be able to encourage more sustainable living practices on campus.
Sustainability at Harvard: www.greencampus.harvard.edu