Our Vision:

Be a leading force in sustainability, spread environmental awareness, and inspire community action.

  • foster green habits
  • drive policy reform
  • provide resources

  • build connections between environmental and global issues
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Trashion
Show

Founded in 2011, the Trashion Show challenges student designers from across campus to create high fashion pieces out of trash and recyclables in order to raise awareness amid the MIT community about sustainability issues.

We invite guest lecturers from industry, nonprofits, and academia to discuss how they integrate sustainability into their work, promote sustainable organizations by providing only sustainable catering and raffling off gift cards to green companies, and most importantly, entertain a diverse audience with a creative perspective on sustainability.

Find pictures from our past Trashion Shows here

photo cred: Joseph Lee
Dorm Electricity
Competition

The Dorm Electricity Competition (DEC) engages dorms in friendly competition to reduce their energy consumption. Founded in 2006 by Tim Grejtak ‘11, this project aims to increase awareness of the importance of saving energy while developing strong energy-saving habits among students.

After a three-year hiatus, we kicked off the competition in spring of 2013 with a Chipotle study break. The undergraduate dorms saved over 29,500 kWh over the month of April!

Last year’s DEC featured 4 eco-friendly study breaks, raffle prizes from sustainable stores, and 1 free 24-hour Hubway pass to every member of the winning dorm! Check out our Facebook page for graphs of each dorm’s electricity usage, pictures, and more.

photo cred: Jen Liu
Trash2Treasure

Trash2Treasure is a two-part reuse program that redirects end-of-year move-out waste to local donation facilities and our Fall Reuse Sale.

Piloted in 2013 in Maseeh, Burton-Conner, and Next House, this project strives to reduce MIT’s impact on the landfill as well as discourage students from purchasing brand new dorm accessories when they could be reusing old ones.

In the spring, committee members and volunteers sorted through hundreds of pounds of tossed-out items during finals week. Over 45 large garbage bags of clothing and three boxes of shoes were donated to Goodwill and the MIT Women’s League, an organization dedicated to providing warm clothes for international students. We also collaborated with Door2Door to store thirty boxes of reusable items. In the fall, committee members return early to unload the storage pod and sell unused items to the incoming student population.

Our T2T Fall Sale will be on September 2, 2015 (Reg Day), from 12:30-3:30 pm in the Kresge Oval!

photo cred: Karen Hao
Composting

Launched in summer 2013, the Composting Initiative is dedicated to improving and expanding the current composting infrastructure at MIT.

Currently MIT Facilities provides composting bins in the Infinite, Stata, Sloan, and most recently, the Koch Institute. Bon Apetit also provides pre-consumer composting within their dining facilities.

In the upcoming year, the committee will be dedicated to tackling current challenges of cross-contamination and lack of awareness/visibility through extensive research, planning, and careful execution. Once the current infrastructure has been cleaned up, we will progress to expanding composting in the Student Center, adding post-consumer composting to dining facilities, and making major school-wide events, such as REX and CPW, food-waste-free.

Check out the eco-thriller "MISSION COMPOSTABLE" made by and starring the members of the 2014 Composting Initiative.

photo cred: Jen Liu
Environmental Container
Outreach

ECO stands for Environmental Container Outreach, a hallmark of one of the original reasons the team was formed. ECO sought to make eating at dining halls environmentally responsible whilst still being convenient, leading to the “green box” system. Under this system, members of the MIT community could rent out a “green box,” fill it with food-to-go, and return it.

ECO’s latest initiative is the ECO-Foodware Program, which makes compostable materials more accessible to the student body and reduce the waste generated by MIT’s many food events. By purchasing in bulk, ECO can sell compostable plates, utensils, and bags at discounted rates. Anyone in the MIT community can purchase from us and pick their items up at our office.

Order compostable materials at a discounted price here!
*For bulk orders, please order here. These can be delivered to you.

photo cred: Linda Jing
Garden

The Garden committee is dedicated to improving access to locally sourced, organic food at MIT. We created and continue to maintain the undergraduate community garden, where members of the MIT community can come and exercise their green thumbs to grow their own food.

From its foundation in 2013 by Holly Josephs, ’17, the garden has been transformed from a piece of parking lot into a thriving, productive community garden. We hope to reach out to the community so that everyone can have a chance to try gardening. Come visit us across the street from Next and Westgate!

photo cred: Natalie Nicolas
Resources

Throwing an event with food? Order compostable foodware through us at a discounted rate by filling out this form.

Want to learn more about how to lead a sustainable lifestyle? Check out our sustainable tips for how to have an impact this winter.

It can be difficult to tell if what you're about to throw away is actually recyclable or compostable at MIT. Fear not! Check out our chart for Recycling, Composting and Trash at MIT!

Thinking about which restaurant to order food from? See our Sustainable Restaurant List for a list of some restaurants that use compostable materials and/or serve sustainable food!

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Paper, Plastic and More! ReuseThisBag.com

The Team

Hover over our photos learn more!

Jacqueline '16

Course 2A - Mechanical Engineering

Living in NYC and being without nature my whole life was what made me interested in sustainability and reducing the city's wasteful habits.

Random/Fun Fact: I love the rain, and all sports and activities that have anything to do with water.

Linda '17

Course 3 - Materials Science and Engineering

Recycling along Colorado Blvd the night before the Rose Parade made me see the magnitude of how much waste people can produce in one night, which got me interested in sustainability. I think it's important for everyone to learn and see how changing a small habit can make a difference when it comes to preserving planet Earth.

Fun fact: I enjoy taking random strolls in the city, and I hope to learn the names of every street in Boston.

Holly '17

Course 1 & 11 - Civil & Environmental Engineering and Urban Planning

When I grow up, I want to work on sustainable international development or green infrastructure.

Fun fact: When I go running, I usually go from place to place for free samples.

Becca '17

Course 1 - Civil & Environmental Engineering

I love to compost. I became interested in sustainability because I feel like people need to understand the idea that the world is limitless in its resources and if we do not try to reduce our impact, we will very much see the consequences of our actions. At MIT, my goal is to make composting an institute-wide practice and a norm for all members of the community.

Fun fact: My parents call me the Compost Captain.

Dimitrios '15

Course 1C & 18 - Civil Engineering & Math

I have always been passionate about energy. Having focused my interest and studies on sustainable structures as well as green energy and optimization, I have worked on multiple sustainability related projects: from algae biofacadé structures that produce biofuels to power their operations, to financing 500MW wind farms in Texas, I dedicate my energy to create a society that functions in a greener and more efficient way. I aspire to be an ambassador of energy projects around the world, by educating and implementing sustainable energy solutions worldwide.

Fun Fact: I have a huge Lord Of the Rings miniature collection & I love DJing!

Jason '16

Course 6-2 - Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

MIT students love to build things. I'm researching simple things that could be made easily to make a difference with dorm electricity and water use, bikes, phones, etc. With workshops providing material, tools, and instruction, we can help people make these simple devices and get them thinking more about sustainability by having them use things designed for it on a regular basis until it becomes a habit to consider sustainability even in other aspects of life.

Fun fact: My name is in your calendar!

Kelly '15

Course 2 - Mechanical Engineering

I've been interested in recycling since pre-kindergarten, and I love being a part of a group who shares the same passion for promoting and maintaining a sustainable environment.

Fun fact: I really enjoy scrapbooking (and arts & crafts in general)

Helen '17

Course 2A w/ product design - Mechanical Engineering

I plan to make MIT more sustainable by raising awareness through events like the Trashion Show.

Fun Fact: I am somewhat quadrilingual.

Karen '15

Course 2A - Mechanical Engineering

My dream job is to be an international sustainable urban planner. I imagine redesigning cities into zero-carbon, energy-efficient environments, with "smart" buildings that respond to the sunlight, advanced public transportation systems, and blossoming parks. Some day I hope my work will redefine the word "city." It will no longer refer to a densely populated area but to an interactive and sustainable eco-space.

Fun Fact: I love music, dance, & food :)

Sam '16

Course 2 - Mechanical Engineering

I've always been interested in sustainability because it is a really important factor in how we live our lives today. As engineers, it's our job to make sure that all the new methods and inventions we create are sustainable, so that we not only make the world a better place, but keep it healthy too.

Fun Fact: I have two dogs named Marco and Polo.

Amber '18

Course - Undecided

Most of us know that we should recycle and reuse--it's just that we forget to. I'm interested in sustainability because it's not a matter of teaching the benefits of conservation; it's a cooperative effort to spread awareness and help us consciously work to make our community more efficient. It's helping us become responsible, and reminding ourselves to do their part in keeping campus--and the world--sustainable.

Fun Fact: I own a lot of sweaters even though I from Arizona. :)

Jenny '18

Course 4 - Architecture

After taking environmental science, I’ve become increasingly aware of the consequences of our actions for us and future generations. My dream is to become an architect and design eco-friendly structures in the future. I joined the Committee because I want to spread the word and get everyone excited about sustainability and protecting the environment!

Fun fact: I love rock climbing, art, and singing!

Rachel '17

Course 3 - Materials Science & Engineering

I joined the Sustainability Committee because I want to make it as easy as possible for students to form good environmental habits. Little changes can have a big impact!

Fun fact: I have six chickens back home.

Erin '17

Course 1E - Environmental Engineering

I've always had a deep appreciation for nature: I grew up playing in the woods behind my house and hiking in the White Mountains. In high school I worked on an organic farm and was very involved in the Environmental Club. When I worked on the farm I realized that most people don't think about where their food comes from or how the way it is grown impacts the environment. Gardening is a great way for people to re-connect to their food source and learn about sustainable eating, and I'm super excited to be on the Garden Committee this fall!

Fun fact:

Shivani '18

Course - Undecided

After going to Uganda to learn about sustainability efforts there, I became very interested in urban agriculture. I hope to make MIT more sustainable by helping out with campus gardening efforts.

Fun fact: I own a pet cockatiel, love to swim, and enjoy watching movies.

Mary '18

Course - Undecided

Taking Environmental Science in high school sparked a serious interest in energy in me. I have always had a mild interest in how the energy we use each and every day is produced, but never had a very serious interest until learning more about it - including all of the pollution and inefficiencies. It's because of the weaknesses in producing energy that I am interested in sustainability. I believe that practicing sustainable habits is the key to making sure we can provide energy to the human population for many generations to come.

Fun fact: I've been a competitive swimmer for almost half of my life!

Emma '18

Course 2A w/ 20 - Mechanical Engineering w/ Biological Engineering

I've lived in Seattle my whole life, and only now as I've been travelling more away from home have I realized how much Seattle cares about sustainability. I love how green my hometown is, and I'm become interested in sustainability to try to spread that green to other cities.

Fun fact: I'm incapable of sleeping in; every day I've been on campus I've been up to see the sunrise!

Mariya '18

Course 10 - Chemical Engineering

Learning more about sustainability while I was in high school opened my eyes to the consumeristic way that humanity is living right now. After realizing the importance of sustainability I couldn’t remain indifferent. I want to share my views and spread sustainable ideas to those who still haven’t realized its importance.

Fun fact: I love eating ice, I can eat bowls of it.

Yanisa '18

Course 3 - Materials Science

I became interested in sustainability after understanding how wasteful some of our daily habits are. My dream job would be to create and work with green materials in order to incorporate them into everyday life.

Fun fact: In my free time, I like to make and tinker with DIY jewelry and accessories.

Natalie '18

Course 3 - Materials Science

Idea to make MIT more sustainable: I want to reduce our campus water consumption. I'm also very excited about our new community garden!

Fun Fact: I want to visit all of the inhabited continents - I've managed 4 of the 6 so far!

Jennifer '18

Course - Undecided

Volunteering at the aquarium changed my life. I learned the importance of conservation and sustainability; I learned about plastic pollution, recycling, sustainability efforts, and more. These things aren’t taught in school, and I hope to educate people about the environment and how to take care of it.

Fun Fact: Rachel Carson, who launched the environmental movement with her book Silent Spring, is my favorite author.

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