Earlier this month, CBE held its third bi-annual Sustainability Day! Founded in Fall 2018 to commemorate our organization’s 10th anniversary, the Sustainability Day initiative aims to connect all 80+ members of CBE with local non-profit projects to engage in hands-on volunteer work. Not only is it a great chance to get off campus, meet members of the community, and contribute in a small way to sustainability efforts in the Greater Boston area, but it is also an invaluable chance for members of CBE to gain experience with other forms of impact work, beyond business, consulting, and academia.
This semester, we partnered with Greenovate City of Boston, Neville Place Assisted Living, Fresh Pond Reservation, and Food For Free. Below, four of our members reflect on their experiences with these projects.
Greenovate: The CBE team spent the morning working with Greenovate at an “urban wild” in West Roxbury. Upon arrival, the team split into two groups to work on beautifying the area
and making the trail more accessible. The first group focused on picking up garbage, whereas the second used cutters to remove excess or overgrown wildlife. It was fantastic to reconnect with Greenovate leader, David Corbie, who we last worked with last fall and work alongside members of the Greater Boston community. - Andy Fan ‘21
Neville Place Assisted Living: We spent most of the bus ride over re-remembering how to make paper cranes from our childhood. We were about to spend the next two hours teaching residents of Neville Place origami, but we had to do a bit of learning ourselves first. When we got there, we split up, with each resident having about two CBE members to work with. As the hours progressed, more and more residents filed in and more and more paper animals appeared on the table. Towards the middle of our time at the residence, many of the residents were done doing origami and were more excited just to have a genuine conversation with some of the CBE members. Another CBE member, Nyla, and I talked to former a English Professor. He had escaped Nazi-controlled Budapest at 15 and remarked how he took pride in the fact that him, a “Hungarian boy,” taught English to thousands of American students. He gave Nyla and I some much-needed life advice and positivity as did all the residents to our CBE members. Needless to say, we’ll be back during the semester for another session of conversation and paper cranes! - Javin Pombra ‘22
Fresh Pond Reservation: Our first time working with the Fresh Pond Reservation, we were thrilled to be hosted by Park Ranger Jean, who put us to work filling wheelbarrows with wood-chips and creating new jogging trails with them. We had a great time creating the paths, flattening and shaping them with our rakes, as other CBE members ran the wheelbarrows filled with wood-chips up and down the hill. By the end of our time, we had used up the entire pile of wood-chips and Ranger Jean commended us for being one of the most productive volunteer groups she has worked with. We hope to continue to work with the Fresh Pond Reservation moving forward! - Siona Prasad ‘23
Food For Free: A group of CBE members collaborated with Harvard University Dining Services and Food For Free to package leftover food, diverting it from going to waste, so that it could be given to food insecure members of the greater-Boston community. Working in the kitchen of Annenberg, we created a meal of pork and rice and a meal of chicken, plantains, and squash. As someone who has had a long-time interest in the issue of food waste, it was great to have the chance to be directly involved in Harvard’s efforts to minimize its waste. - Jasper Johnston, ‘20
Thank you to all of the organizations which hosted us this fall! If your organization is in the Greater Boston area could use volunteers at anytime during the fall or spring, please be in touch. We are always looking for new partnerships.
To learn more about our flagship sustainability initiatives, check out https://www.harvardcbe.com/community-impact.