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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You can help
Making sustainable choices is something you can do in your every day life! If you have any questions or ideas about ways to be more sustainable, reach out to us, and we'd be happy to help :) Look out for the spring application!
photo cred: Jason Tong
Join us!

Are you passionate about sustainability? Do you want to collaborate with people like you to make MIT a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable campus?

As a member of UA Sustainability, you will:

  • Work with faculty and administration to introduce and improve sustainable programs on campus
  • Engage undergrads in sustainable actions through planning and organizing events
  • Be a part of a community of individuals passionate about the environment
  • And make a difference!

Application Process

We accept applications at the beginning of every fall and spring semester. We are currently accepting applications for the spring semester.
To apply, you will need to fill out the following two applications to be considered for an interview.

  1. UA Application - Make sure you select Sustainability as your top choice!
  2. UA Sustainability Specific Application - You will be asked to select two committees you are most interested in joining. You can read more about our projects below!

photo cred: Jason Tong

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

Food waste collection has been implemented in the dining halls, Stata, the Student Center, some non-dining hall dorms, and throughout the Infinite Corridor. The Compost Committee also has vermicompost that helps fertilize the Undergraduate Garden.

In the upcoming year, the committee will be focused on adapting to the new Massachusetts composting regulations (food waste only!). We will continue to grow and support food waste collection in participating dorms and FSILGs. In addition, we are exploring ways that MIT can compost on campus. We are grateful for the continued support of MIT Facilities, and will support their efforts in any way we can.

photo cred: Jen Liu
Environmental Container

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.

Started two years ago, one of ECO’s flagship initiatives was also the ECO-Foodware Program, which made compostable materials more accessible to the student body and reduced the waste generated by MIT’s many food events. By purchasing in bulk, ECO sold compostable plates, utensils, and bags at discounted rates. In the light of recent developments resulting in only food waste being accepted as compost on campus, new stock for the Foodware program is no longer being ordered.

ECO’s broader mission is now to raise awareness among the undergraduate population about waste generation as part of our daily life and how we can work to reduce it. We are also work with other campus groups (student, academic, etc.) to provide advice and resources to help them reduce their own waste.

photo cred: Linda Jing

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

The Outreach committee is dedicated to facilitating involvement in volunteer work that has some aspect of sustainability around the Boston and Cambridge area. We are planning on organizing events where the entire MIT community can volunteer and learn more about sustainable practices. These events may include river and beach clean ups, distributing leftover dining hall food to those who do not have food otherwise, and being involved as wastewatchers at large events on the MIT campus.

photo cred: Natalie Nicolas

The Trashion Show is an annual fashion show that challenges student designers from MIT and other Boston-area universities to create fashion pieces from trash and recycled materials in order to raise awareness for sustainable practices on campus, as well as in the global fashion industry.

We invite guest lecturers from industry, nonprofits, and academia to discuss how they integrate sustainability into their work. We promote sustainable organizations by providing sustainable catering and raffling prizes by green companies. Most importantly, we entertain a diverse audience with creative perspectives on sustainability.

See pictures from our past Trashion Shows!

photo cred: Joseph Lee
Dorm Electricity

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! DEC 2015 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! DEC 2016 included 4 public displays around campus and almost $4000 worth of prize money for living groups and raffles for individuals!

Check out our Facebook page and our website (dec.mit.edu) for graphs of dorm electricity usage, pictures, and more information.

photo cred: Jen Liu
Trash 2 Treasure

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.

Trash2Treasure is an annual program that takes one student's trash and turns it into another student's treasure. At the end of second semester, many students throw out room accessories, clothes and shoes that they no longer have use for. If left alone, all these items just land in the trash. Trash2Treasure intervenes at this point and collects all the items that are still useable and stores them to sell at the beginning of the next year. We redirect the flow of pounds of trash and turn them into useful posessions for other people.

photo cred: Karen Hao

Recycling, Compost, and Trash @ MIT

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!

You may also find this page put together by the MIT Department of Facilities to be a useful resource.

Buy Compostable Foodware

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

Sustainability as a Lifestyle

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

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!

Other Resources

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

In Spring 2016, UA Sustainability conducted a survey, aiming to understand MIT undergraduates’ approach to sustainability with data driven analysis. View the report here.

Meet the Team

We are a group of dedicated undergraduates who are passionate
about making MIT a more sustainable place!

Contact Us

We welcome feedback on how we can make MIT a greener space and further engage the student body to develop sustainable habits. You can reach us at ua-sustainability-chairs@mit.edu