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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Weekly Highlight

Our Trash2Treasure Fall Sale was a huge success! We had an astounding amount of quality donations this year from dorms across campus, this year including Tang Hall for the first time! In future years, we hope to expand to other graduate dorms as well.
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. :) If you're interested in joining our committee, look out for an application in the Fall 2020!

We're always looking for more helping hands at our Outreach events. If you'd like to participate, check out the opportunities below: (signup links will appear when they're released)

    Are you interested in having UA Sustain set up a table with a hands on activity at your next event? Email ua-sustainability-outreach@mit.edu to let us know!
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!

photo cred: Jason Tong
Zero Waste

Zero Waste seeks to reduce waste in the MIT community by educating our peers about composting and recycling, and spreading more sustainable habits regarding waste. Specifically, we work to facilitate composting within MIT living groups and the community at large, as well as publicize reusable options, and raise awareness about proper sorting of compost and recycling. We envision an MIT community with a heightened consciousness about mindful consumption of resources, in addition to practical know-how and support of composting and recycling programs.

Our ongoing projects include:

  • Implementing composting programs in more living groups (including FSILGs)
  • Managing is-this-recyclable@mit.edu, an email list for recycling and general waste sorting questions
  • Developing ‘Waste-Conscious Guidelines’ for MIT events, with advice on how to organize and run more eco-friendly and less wasteful events

Launched in summer 2013, this committee was formerly the Composting Committee, which helped to implement food waste collection in the dining halls, Stata, the student centers, some non-dining hall dorms, and throughout the infinite. They also have vermicompost that helps fertilize the Undergraduate Garden.

We are grateful for the continued support of MIT Facilities, and will support their efforts in any way we can.

photo cred: Jen Liu
Special Projects


UA Sustain's Special Projects is a subcommittee dedicated to piloting new sustainable ventures at MIT and creating initiatives of interdisciplinary natures that don’t fit well into the work of just one—or any—other subcommittee.

Currently, our subcommittee has four active projects:

  • Thrift:
    We wish to expand the Trash2Treasure sale that UA Sustain holds every fall to a thrift store that would run year round. Already, the team has scheduled multiple popup thrift stores. We are working with the manager of MIT Recycling and Waste Management, Ruth Davis, to run get a pilot thrift store up and running this year and hope to secure a space by fall. Check out more about the thrift team here!
  • Launch:
  • This project works to convert MIT Athletic's gas motorboats to 100% electric. The team has finished a comprehensive 25-page feasibility report and is currently in the fundraising stages. They hope to secure enough funding by Fall 2020 and expect delivery of the first electric motor by Spring 2021.
  • Hive:
    In 2019, UA Special Project in collaboration with MITOS opened a new greenspace outside Walker Memorial. Dubbed the Hive, this space serves as a pilot to determine the feasibility of building more greenspaces across campus. Currently, the team is working on Hive@Home, a program that sends garden kits to students and faculty currently at home.
  • Audit:
    In response to a lack of resources for waste management for FSILGs, Audit aims to educate and problem solve with FSILGs to reduce their waste and environmental footprint. Currently, there are small pilot projects at Phi Sigma Kappa, Zeta Psi, and Alpha Phi.

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!

If you own a succulent, check out Garden's guide to keeping your succulents happy here!

photo cred: Natalie Nicolas

The Outreach committee organizes individual and small team-based projects for those with a passion in sustainability. These projects are fast-paced and self-motivated. For many projects, we collaborate with people in a variety of networks, from MIT’s environmental groups to those in the Greater Boston area.

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
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.

Holding Sustainable Events

Holding an event with food? Consider using the following resources!

Waste Watchers

Have a student at your event who's paid to make sure everyone at your event recycles and composts correctly. Contact waste-watchers-admin@mit.edu for further information!

Reusable Dishware from MIT Dining

Borrow reusable dishware from MIT Dining for free using this form (to be updated). Your group only has to worry about pick-up and return and MIT Dining staff will take care of all the rest!.

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.

If you have trouble figuring out where waste materials go especially on MIT's campus, we also encourage you to take this 10-minute Atlas course! Be sure about where everything you throw away actually goes!

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. Please leave your comments and suggestions in the form below. You can also reach us at ua-sustainability-chairs@mit.edu