We are committed to providing healthy, restorative, inclusive, and engaging places to live for all of our residents. We ask you to join us in the ongoing effort to build healthier, more just, and sustainable communities, both at Harvard University and beyond.

Sustainability at Harvard University Housing

Moving Out? Donate Items!

Every year around the move-out season, we coordinate Reuse Stations to be available for residents to donate their furniture, recyclables, and more at various property locations. Operated in partnership with  Harvard Recycling and the Office for Sustainability, we collect your unwanted items and get them to those in need, while keeping sustainable move-out practices in mind.

Harvard Recycling traditionally sends donations to several charities including Harvard Habitat for Humanity, Allston-Brighton Food Pantry, Cambridge Family Shelter of the YWCA, Furnishing Hope, and those in need on and near our campus.

Please do not leave any unwanted items in your apartment, hallways, lobbies, trash areas, or elsewhere on the grounds of your property.

Details for the 2024 Reuse Stations available now!

two people moving a large cardboard box together

Create a More Sustainable Home

We’ve compiled a list of useful tips to help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

someone changing a lightbulb

Install LEDs in floor, table, and desk lamps.

Use power strips/stations and install outlet timers.

Use blinds and curtains to control daylighting, heat gain, and drafts.

Keep air vents clear of furniture and rugs.

A recycling bin

Bring less stuff. Buy less stuff. Have less stuff to move.

Create recycling zones (one trash bin, one recycling bin) in the kitchen and bathroom—avoid plastic liners or bags for recycling.

Keep reusable shopping bags, bottles, and mugs by the front door so you don’t leave home without them.

someone hanging up clothes to dry on a clothing line with clothespins

Do less laundry; hang up clothes for one more wear instead of throwing in the hamper.

Wash on cold.

Use non-toxic detergents.

Clean lint trap for shorter dry time.

a fresh basket of vegetables

Shop local, seasonal, and mindful.

Buy less red meat.

Eat more fresh, less overly engineered food.

Check out the Harvard Farmers' market on the Science Center Plaza

a showerhead streaming water

Install a shower timer, or post a reminder to commit to a 5-10 min shower for optimal skin health.

someone smiling and moving a couch

Furnish with pre-owned furniture or new furniture made with healthier materials and eco-friendly construction.

a photo of a potted aloe plant

Top purifiers: aloe vera, Chinese evergreen, Boston fern, English ivy, spider plant, peace lily, bamboo palm

Someone hanging up art on the wall

Hang items with removable mounting materials.

a photo of someone adjusting the temperature on the thermostat

During winter, set your thermostat to meet the Harvard Temperature Policy for comfort, productivity, health, and safety.

68-71°F while at home

60°F while away

a child laughing and holding cleaning supplies

Switch to non-toxic supplies.

Make your own basic household cleaners.

Declutter by donating or recycling unwanted items.

When moving out, minimize your impact by consulting our green moving guide.

Before You Go Away Checklist

HUH Recycling
HUH Utilities
HUH icons Curtains
HUH icons Vents
HUH Heat
HUH icons Light

Recycling Guidelines

We use single-stream recycling, so you do not need to separate paper from the rest of your recyclables. You should still use a separate bin for household trash (food waste, Styrofoam, used tissues, etc.).

What Can Be Recycled?

  • Metal: food and beverage cans
  • Plastic: jars, jugs, tubs
  • Glass: bottles, jars
  • Paper and cardboard: mixed paper, newspaper, magazines, boxes
recycling bins of different variations on a brightly sunlit kitchen counter

Sustainable Habits

At home and in the community, your well-being is one of the key drivers to sustainability and climate action.

Be Car Free

Instead of driving and parking a personal vehicle, try:

  • Public transit via the MBTA
  • Harvard and Longwood Shuttle
  • Bluebikes (discount with Harvard ID)
  • Zipcar (discount with Harvard ID)

Learn More: CommuterChoice

a subway train quickly passing by in an urban environment

Connect with Community, Nature, and Yourself

  • Attend a Graduate Commons event to connect with neighbors.
  • Visit Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum or Harvard Forest.
  • Volunteer your time and talents.
  • Try a mindfulness practice like meditating, yoga, or one of Harvard’s Center for Wellness and Health Promotion offerings.
  • Stay active and boost mental health by taking activity breaks throughout the day, stretching, and taking the stairs over the elevator when you can.
cherry blossom trees in the spring

Be Green on Campus 

Take a look at the Sustainability Points of Interest Map created by the GCP Green Team. You'll find campus e-waste locations, Hubway and Zipcar stations, as well as local vegetarian restaurants to support sustainable eating practices.