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How to create:

Sustainable Offices

Creating sustainable offices and workplaces requires small but meaningful actions. By making more informed purchasing decisions, such as buying products that are reusable, evergreen, and made of sustainable materials, we can collectively reduce the demand for disposable and single-use items that go to landfills and negatively impact climate, health, and equity.

The Harvard Office for Sustainability created a Sustainable Office Guide as a starting point for offices and workplaces to begin their sustainability journeys:

Sustainable Office Guide Tips:

Follow these office tips to help your team make sustainable purchasing decisions that prioritize climate, health, and equity:

Book Icon

Tip # 1

Use resources like the Harvard Sustainable Meeting & Event Guide and Sustainable Purchasing Guide.

Tip #2

Reduce exposure to “chemical classes of concern” in purchased products.

  • Choose BPI-certified compostable food service products (made without PFAS).
  • When appropriate, avoid antimicrobial hand soaps, products treated for water resistance or stain-repellents, and furniture with added chemical flame retardants.
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Bulk Order Icon

Tip #3

Purchase reusables and bulk items instead of disposables and single-use items.

For example, instead of individual coffee pod systems, opt for bean-to-cup coffee machines so you can use your favorite fair-trade coffee.

Tip #4

For giveaways (“swag”), choose evergreen items people will use repeatedly.

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Printer Icon

Tip #5

Replace personal printers with shared equipment connected to a managed print environment (e.g., Crimson Print).

Tip #6

Conveniently place compost, recycling, and trash bins with the latest signage.

Recycling bins icon, one with a glass bottle, another with a paper, and another with a plastic bottle

Icon of Light bulb with  a leaf in the middle

Tip #7

Support colleagues in implementing energy-efficient actions whenever possible such as:

  • Power down computers and electronics at the end of the day or before vacations.
  • Choose LED bulbs & install motion-sensor lights in common areas.
  • Ensure your community knows how to report resource conservation issues (e.g., leaking faucets) to building management.
  • Sign up for Demand Response notifications by emailing

Tip #8

Work with HUIT (or local IT group) and FMO to properly dispose of electronic waste.

Broken phone and computer mouse icon

Icon of three people setting up a tent

Tip #9

Set aside unwanted office supplies to donate to Freecycle events or reuse rooms.

Tip #10

Choose “100% recycled” or “tree-free” paper products.

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Sustainable Office Guide

The guide enables offices to make informed purchasing and operations decisions that help advance Harvard’s mission to accelerate action on climate, health, and equity.

Download the Sustainable Office GuideOpens new window

A photo of the Sustainable Office Guide cover with tips on how to create a sustainable office.

Sustainability Resources

Explore sustainability resources at Harvard.

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Upcoming Events



9:30 am-11:30 am GMT+0000

Landscape Sketching

Landscapes are an appealing subject for drawings, but it can be difficult to know where to start. In this program we will learn how to select a landscape, create a sense of depth and volume, and use a variety of marks to capture a dynamic variety of textures.



9:30 am-11:30 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Drawing Plants and Flowers in Colored Pencil

Explore the beauty and variety of plants using colored pencils. This course will focus on a diverse range of techniques for using colored pencils to capture flowers, leaves, fruits, and vegetables, from quick monochrome sketching to richly layered, full-color images.



12:00 pm-1:00 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Rising Tides: Integrating Situated Visualization, Augmented Reality, and Public-Participation Technology to Create an Accessible Platform for Localized Climate Change Visualization and Discourse

climate change

Narges Mahyar is an assistant professor at the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, whose research is situated at the intersection of human-computer interaction, information visualization, social computing, applied machine learning, human-centered artificial intelligence, and design. She applies a community-centered design approach to build novel social computing and visualization tools to empower the general public to engage in real-world sociotechnical issues, such as urban planning and climate change, by enabling them to share their ideas and comments for shaping future policies.

In this lecture, Mahyar will speak about her project to discover innovative techniques to integrate situated visualization, augmented reality, and civic technology to design and build a mobile platform that simulates the localized impact of climate change, thereby providing Boston residents with an immersive experience of climate change visualizations and empowering them to contribute comments and ideas on climate change issues. The platform will benefit the movement towards more equitable resilience by creating new opportunities for the public, especially the underserved communities, to raise their voices and join the discourse.

Her recognition in the field has been repeatedly confirmed through many accolades for her research, including seven best or honorable mention paper awards from top conferences in her field. She holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Victoria. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Computer Science department at the University of British Columbia from 2014 to 2016 and in the Design Lab at the UC San Diego from 2016 to 2018.



9:30 am-11:30 am GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Inspired by Nature: Drawing from Your Imagination

Looking closely at nature can inspire a broad range of imaginative artwork, from abstraction and decorative work to illustration and cartooning. In this workshop, we will use a variety of examples from nature as inspiration, and then explore techniques for unleashing our creativity through the drawing process.

Class size will be limited to twelve, allowing ample time for individual feedback. All skill levels are welcome.

Taught by artist and illustrator, Erica Beade.



6:30 pm-8:30 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

The Fascinating Feathers of the Sandgrouse

Arnold Arboretum

The birds that populate the Arnold Arboretum rarely have to go far to find water. In the deserts of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, it’s a different story, and the sandgrouse that lives in these arid environments has developed a fascinating adaptation to stay hydrated: these birds have a unique ability to absorb and hold water inside of their feathers. But how do their feathers hold water so efficiently? Dr. Lorna Gibson, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, has found the answer. Join Dr. Gibson for a lecture to learn about these fascinating birds and the science behind them.



12:30 pm-2:00 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Nature Journaling: A Creative Exploration of the Winter Landscape

Arnold Arboretum

Bring your enthusiasm for the natural world and leave with a creative nature journal, inspired by the trees of the Arnold Arboretum. Nature journaling is all about expressing your curiosity and wonder through sketching, calligraphy, writing, or other forms of art-making. Tap into your creativity and let yourself be surprised by the diversity of forms on display in the winter landscape.



2:00 pm-4:00 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Foraging Walk: Tea Time at the Arboretum


Join us for a winter foraging walk to learn what wild plants can be foraged and brewed into tea. Visit some of the Arboretum’s tastiest winter plants, from sweet birch and sweet fern to sassafras and spicebush. You may even get to taste some of the teas yourself!



12:00 pm-1:00 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

Ocean Fever: Deep Thoughts on Water, Culture, and Climate Resilience


A presentation from 2023–2024 Frances B. Cashin Fellow Rob Verchick. At Radcliffe, Verchick is writing a book for nonexperts about how we can harness the power of government, science, and local wisdom to rescue the oceans from climate breakdown. Free and open to the public. Registration is required.




Application Deadlines

Deadline to Apply to the Environmental Fellows Program

Harvard University Center for the Environment

HUCE created the Environmental Fellows program to enable recent doctorate recipients to use and expand Harvard’s extraordinary resources to tackle complex environmental issues. The fellowship includes a salary of $87,500 per year, employee health insurance eligibility, up to $2,500 reimbursement for relocation expenses, and a $2,500 annual allowance for travel and other professional expenses. The Environmental Fellows Program is open to anyone with a doctorate or comparable terminal degree awarded between May 2020 and August 2024. HUCE expects to award approximately six fellowships for the 2024 cohort.



12:00 pm-1:00 pm GMT+0000

Open to the Public

HGSE Green Team Meeting

green team
Harvard Graduate School of Education

All HGSE students, faculty, and staff interested in making our school healthier and more sustainable are encouraged to join the HGSE Green Team!