HBS Celebrates Earth Day 2009

While trekking across campus last week, you may have noticed an abnormal amount of green shirts being worn, especially on Wednesday, April 22nd. Don’t be alarmed, HBS didn’t have any late St. Patty’s Day celebration, nor did your section have a theme day that you missed out on, it was merely Earth Day, a time for HBS to celebrate its commitment to sustainability. Earth Day is an international celebration that began nearly 40 years ago. In an effort to show its support for the sustainability movement, HBS and the entire Harvard community held several events that not only highlighted the importance of practicing a sustainable lifestyle, but also highlighted Harvard’s commitment to making “Green the new Crimson.”

Earth Day at HBS kicked off early Wednesday morning, as students and faculty arrived on campus. Many were greeted by someone from the HBS Operations and given a sticker if they used an alternative transportation method. In addition to being encouraged to take an alternative form of transportation, the HBS community was also asked to wear green as a sign of support for the sustainability movement. Around campus, there were several signs and visual presentations dedicated to offering ideas for practical changes that could be made in each of our daily lives. Restaurant Associates also displayed signs identifying all of the changes that are being implemented to make the operations more sustainable.

One of the biggest displays of the day took place on Spangler Lawn, with a visual presentation called Mount Trashmore. Mount Trashmore was a presentation that showed just half the amount of trash generated by HBS in one day (see picture above). The day ended with speech by John Berger, Founder and CEO of Standard renewable Energy. In his speech, Mr. Berger addressed the reordering of the U.S. Energy sector and the career opportunities that will come as a result of this shift.

Overall Earth Day was a huge success and if you look around campus, you can still see most of the signs and posting hanging in the halls of several HBS buildings. But, if true impact is going to occur, the message of Earth Day has to be reinforced and put into practice in each of daily lives. We, as future business leaders, have a golden opportunity to make sustainability a priority in each of our professional lives, as well as our personal lives.

Garry Thaniel is the Green Living Representative for Gallatin Hall.ÿ After graduating from Bucknell University in 2004, he worked in the buying office at Lord and Taylor Department Store, helping to make moms all over the east coast look cool.