Friday, February 26, 2010

Stop the Waste Pizza Party!

Help Create a Better Bottle Bill

Did you know that right now in Massachusetts, more than ONE BILLION bottles a year end up in our landfills, littered or incinerated? That’s enough to fill Fenway Park! 

The Better Bottle Bill Coalition needs your help on 
an urgent campaign in Massachusetts to pass the Updated Bottle Bill this spring that would dramatically increase recycling rates of bottled water.  
Please join us for a free pizza information session to find out how you can be part of this important campaign.
When: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Where: Harvard Kennedy School of Government79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA
Room: Taubman Building, Room 301(Courtyard entrance, 3rd floor. Enter campus from Eliot St.)

This spring, the Massachusetts State legislature will vote on a Bottle Bill Update that, if passed, 
will dramatically increase recycling ratesby including water bottles and other non-carbonated drinks in the 5 cent deposit system. Under the current bottle bill only carbonated drinks are covered by a deposit. So, while 80% of carbonated drinks are recycled, the recycle rate for water bottles is less than 25%. Without the deposit incentive, a billion bottles a year end up as waste.

Although this much-needed update has overwhelming support, powerful beverage companies and distribution lobbies are working behind-the-scenes to block the bill from passing this spring. But the Better Bottle Bill Coalition, a group of concerned students at Harvard and beyond, is fighting back. Please join us as we work with MASSPIRG, Sierra Club and MassRecycle to pass the bill and stop the waste!

This is your chance to gain firsthand knowledge of the state legislative process and to make a lasting contribution to our community. We are hoping to mobilize a large group of organizers and also fill several leadership positions. This is a dynamic campaign with room to accommodate many levels of commitment – small or large, you can make a difference!

Please join us next Wednesday for some delicious pizza to find out more.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Natural Gas: Fueling America's Clean Energy Future?

The Future of Energy: Aubrey K. McClendon - Chesapeake Energy 

Join the Environmental Law Review in attending the natural gas segment of "The Future of Energy" series to ask some hard questions about the benefits of natural gas.  Chesapeake Energy is is currently engaged in developing natural gas via a new technique called hydraulic fracturing.  As many of you know, there are serious environmental problems associated with hydraulic fracturing.  Learn more about it by reading this ProPublica article (McClendon is actually quoted in that article advocating for increased transparency).  

If you are interested in joining ELS at this event, please send Rachel an e-mail at  Students will meet up on the Langdell steps at 4:45 next Wednesday to head over together.

Here is the event info:

February 24, 2010 - 5:00pm
Harvard University Science Center Lecture Hall D One Oxford Street Cambridge, MA

"Natural Gas: Fueling America's Clean Energy Future"

New drilling and completion technologies have allowed the U.S. natural gas and oil industry to develop resources in shale reservoirs that were previously considered uneconomic. Shale gas has quickly transformed the industry and provided consumers with reliable sources of supply and the ability to reshape the nation's energy policy. Natural gas is clean, affordable, and abundant. It is the most practical answer to our nation's growing need for clean energy and reduced dependence on foreign oil.

Aubrey K. McClendon has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since co-founding Chesapeake Energy in 1989. Chesapeake Energy is now one of the largest producers of natural gas in the nation and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S.  Headquartered in Oklahoma City, their strategy is focused on discovering, acquiring and developing conventional and unconventional natural gas reserves onshore in the U.S., primarily in the "Big 4" natural gas shale plays: the Barnett Shale of north-central Texas, the Haynesville Shale of East Texas and northwestern Louisiana, the Fayetteville Shale of central Arkansas and the Marcellus Shale of the northern Appalachian Basin.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fresh Screening

With Local Cheeses and Bread!

What: Screening of Fresh; Devouring of Local Bread and Cheese
Where: North Hall Lounge
When: Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 8:30-9:45pm

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.  Find out more at


Learn How to Make Your Own Beer!

What:  Beer Brewing Demonstration
Where:  Hastings kitchen
When:  Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 7:30

Come discover how beer is made and discuss the importance of buying local!  Modern Brewer will demonstrate the brewing process here at HLS.  Snacks will be provided, and a set of beer brewing equipment will be auctioned off at the end of the event.  Space will be limited, so come early!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GIS Workshop

Mapping Massachusetts Communities: An Introduction to GIS & Community Analysis 

Boston: April 28th and 29th, 2010*
Hyatt Place Boston/Medford - 116 Riverside Avenue Medford, MA 02155
*Note: These are one day workshops. Participants choose which one day to attend.

Audience: Beginners who would like to map demographic information for Massachusetts communities.  Great for Government Agencies, Public Health, Academic Institutions, Non-Profit Organizations, etc.  Could be useful for environmental organizations too!  

This hands-on workshop focuses on teaching the fundamentals of using a Geographic Information System (GIS) for community analysis. Participants will learn to create thematic maps with Census data, Geocoding (Address mapping) and Spatial Queries. Other features of the workshop are learning to extract Census data and good map layout and design.
For more information about the Massachusetts workshops, please visit

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meatrix Screening

Thurs, Feb 18th
Dunster House TV room

You are cordially invited to attend a screening of The Meatrix, a film about the truth of factory farming, followed by a discussion.

Free snacks will be provided!

Presented by Slow Food Harvard / The Harvard College Vegetarian Society: VEGITAS
For more information email Kate Farley,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

National Parks Movie Screening

National Parks Movie Screening
Friday 2/12 
3:00 - 5:00pm
Pound 200

Professor Purdy's Natural Resources Law class will be hosting a screening of Episode One of the new Ken Burns documentary series: "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." 
More info on the series is available here.  Episode One focuses on the creation of Yosemite and Yellowstone.  The movie is open to all, and some snacks will be available.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How do YOU want to celebrate Earth Day?

This coming Earth Day (April 22), the Green Living Program will again be hosting an HLS-wide outdoor fair.  What did you like about last year's event?  What would you like to see new for this year? Post any ideas here.  Thanks!

(Earth Day 2009)

Tone Your Backside!

Print Double-Sided at Langdell

As noted in an earlier post, Langdell now offers the option to print double-sided.  You can print your documents for half the price of single-sided printing!  However, single-sided printing is still the default option, so make sure you choose the double-sided option before printing if you want to pay less and help the environment in the process.  

This week the Green Living Program and library staff posted signs by some of the high-use printers and on the background of the computers, promoting the new double-sided printing option: 



Print for half the cost by printing on both sides of the paper – save $0.05 cents per page! 
Just follow these simple instructions:

(1)  Select “Print” 

(2)  Select a double-sided printer                                                                                     

Additional details can be found on the related post on the ITS blog. 

Deliciously Green Cupcakes

One of the easiest but less obvious actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint is cutting back on your consumption of animal products. A U.N. report found that rearing livestock produces even more greenhouse gases than cars.  On top of all their manure, livestock has to be fed—primarily corn, a very energy intensive and thirsty crop, and soybeans. There are additional issues with land degradation and water contamination.

But this doesn’t mean you have to quit animal products cold turkey to make a difference, pun somewhat intended. Just cutting back can make a big difference. Vegan baking (using no animal products, including milk and eggs) is the perfect time to give it a try because with good recipes, you won’t miss the animal products at all! Here are a few notes about sustainable baking, along with one of my favorite recipes for cupcakes.
-- Soy, rice, or almond milk is really handy, because you can buy it in aseptic, recyclable quart or half gallon containers that don’t need refrigerating, so you can store them in your pantry until you need them. You’ll never notice the soy milk in your baked goods. There’s soy yogurt, too, and tasty non-hydrogenated margarine. All of these are cholesterol-free.
--A lot of animal-free recipes can be made without anything special to replace animal ingredients. Some only call for baking soda, baking powder, and vinegar, while others might use flaxseed, which is very healthy, to gel the liquid. Applesauce and bananas also work depending on what you’re making. Huge benefit here: the egg substitutes are usually cheaper, and they’re often shelf-stable, so perfect when you’re out of eggs or have no space in the fridge.
--Buy in bulk!  Bulk saves packaging, especially when you have reusable containers, and it also gives you a chance to try out things you’d never have given a shot otherwise. 
--A not-necessarily-green healthiness tip: Substitute half whole wheat pastry flour and half regular all purpose flour. You can’t tell and you’re getting in some whole grains.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for chai latte cupcakes that I’ve already made about 50 cupcakes from:
You can’t tell it’s made without milk or eggs, since it’s deliciously rich and moist. It’s relatively low in calories, and with whole wheat and all the tea and spices, practically healthy! If you like this, check out the book Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, and its companion, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. No one will ever know, I promise! One of your Green Living Reps said, “I’m from St. Louis, and they’re famous for their cupcakes, and this is probably the best cupcake I’ve ever had," and an anonymous 3L stated that "I don't normally like cupcakes, but these are really good."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Food Fight Screening

February 16, 2010, 7:00-9:00 pm
Film Screening & Panel: Food Fight and discussion about Slow Money Alliance
Science Center Lecture Hall A (very close to HLS!)

Does the term “foodie” inspire, irritate, or intrigue you? Do you wonder what the big deal is about food that is locally grown, organic, or “sustainable”? Do you wonder whether your food choices really matter? Join the Harvard University Dining Services Food Literacy Project for a screening of the award-winning documentary Food Fight and a discussion with filmmaker Chris Taylor and Woody Tasch, the founder of Slow Money Alliance.  Food Fight explores the political and social changes that shaped 20th century American agricultural policy and food culture and the changing relationship between consumers and big agribusiness.  Slow Money Alliance is a new nonprofit that combines principles of philanthropy and investing to “bring money back down to earth” by encouraging investment in small food enterprises, local food systems, and local economies.  Questions?  Contact for information. The event is free and open to the public.  

Also upcoming: focus on nutrition: screening of Supersize Me, Wednesday, March 3, 7:00 pm, CGIS South Building, Tsai Auditorium
Focus on food preparation: screening of Julie and Julia, Tuesday, March 30, 7:00 pm, Science Center Lecture Hall A
Focus on community: screening of The Garden, Wednesday, April 14, 7:00 pm (CGIS), South Building, Tsai Auditorium

Monday, February 8, 2010

Organic Farm Share

Never thought you could get delicious local food in the bitterly cold depths of winter in Cambridge?  Think again.  For the first time ever, Red Fire Farm, an awesome organic farm in Western Massachusetts, is offering a bi-weekly "Deep Winter" farm share consisting ofstorage crops (1/3 of the value), greens (another 1/3), and local products (the last 1/3).   Although the season has already begun, there are still a few slots available and the Farm will pro-rate the cost if you're interested ($40 per week). One share can easily feed 2-3 people.  There are four more deliveries for the season.  Sign up by February 11th to join in time for the February 12th delivery.  Pick-up is at Metro Pedal Power in Somerville (25 minute walk, 10 minute bike ride, 5 minute bus ride on the 86 from campus) on Friday afternoons.  Or for an extra $5 per delivery, you can even have your share bicycle-delivered to your doorstep.  So far, we've received a variety of yummy veggies as well as apples, cheese, sauerkraut, blueberry spread, and more.  

For more information, check out or call the farmers at (413) 467- SOIL.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentine’s Freecycle

Pass on unwanted items and find what you need at the HLS Valentine's Freecycle!

Friday, February 12
Pound 108

10am-12pm: drop off items
12:30– 3pm: browse & take!

Refreshments will be served.

This Freecycle will focus on items from home: books, movies, music, housewares, games, sports equipment, art supplies, stationery, etc… Please, NO: TVs, computers, large electronics, or large furniture. Save big items for craigslist! Contact HLS Sustainability Coordinator Cara Ferrentino with any

All leftover items will be donated to local charities. This event is sponsored by the HLS Green Team.