• Harvard College Green Medicine Initiative

    The Harvard College Green Medicine Initiative is a student-run organization that combines medicine, sustainability, and global health to promote greener healthcare practices in the US.

  • Why we care

    Here are just some of the reasons why we work hard to make green a reality.

    13.2 million

    pounds of waste produced by the healthcare industry each day (source)

    4 billion

    pounds of waste produced by the healthcare industry each year



    of a typical hospital's annual operating cost devoted to meeting energy needs (source)


    in annual energy costs saved by replacing traditional exit signs with energy-efficient LED signs in a typical large hospital (source)


    potential reduction of medical waste volume by reusing scrubs and jackets (source)

    $258 million

    in supply costs saved by
    single-use medical device reprocessing in 2014 (source)

  • Our mission

    We reduce medical waste by educating and connecting
    healthcare providers around the world.

    Education for sustainability and waste reduction


    Growing greener healthcare from the roots

    GMI transforms research and practical knowledge into presentations and guidelines for healthcare providers to implement every day. By raising awareness among health practitioners, we help hospitals save energy and materials - lowering costs and environmental impact!

    Recycling symbol for surplus medical supply collection

    Surplus supply collection

    One hospital's surplus is another's supply

    While GMI's goal is to help hospitals become zero-waste, we know that change doesn't happen overnight. When partner hospitals have surplus supplies that are still usable, GMI does the legwork to make sure they don't go to waste. We collect, sort, and donate to trustworthy organizations.

    Global health impact

    Global health

    Connecting with caregivers around the world

    GMI's mission is ultimately global. Our international work ranges from directly donating surplus supplies abroad to supporting other green medicine efforts around the world. With our global perspective, we make sure that changes at home go farther to make the world a greener place.

  • Our partnerships

    Meet the hospitals who work with GMI to make healthcare greener.

    MGH vascular center Dr. Michael Watkins

    MGH West | Vascular Center

    Waltham, MA

    GMI has partnered with the Fireman Vascular Center in Waltham to reduce waste and collect donations

    ranging from everyday supplies to X-ray viewers!

    Image source (MGH)

    Brigham and Women's Hospital Emergency Medicine Department team

    BWH | Emergency Department

    Boston, MA

  • Our progress

    Here's what we've accomplished so far.

    Supplies donated

    Dec 2015 through Mar 2016

    From syringes to patient gowns, electrodes, gloves, tourniquets, and catheter systems, we've recovered over 1800 items from our partner hospitals.

    Equipment donated

    Dec 2015 through Mar 2016

    In addition to consumable supplies, GMI has recovered several blood pressure cuffs and 3 full-size x-ray viewers.

    Value saved

    Dec 2015 through Mar 2016

    Putting our stats in perspective - we've hauled almost 200 pounds of supplies and equipment, and saved roughly $2000 worth of materials from ending up unused in storage rooms or landfills.

    Funds raised

    Mar 2016 through Apr 2016

    In addition to working directly with hospitals and healthcare providers, GMI is now working with the Harvard community to support NGOs engaged in the practice of green medicine! Recently, we've supported the Afya Foundation by raising over $500 after two  College fundraising events.

  • News

    Read about our recent work.

  • Our team

    Meet the people who work hard to bring GMI's vision closer to reality.

    Audrey Effenberger


    Audrey is a sophomore concentrating in Neurobiology with a secondary in Visual and Environmental Studies. Motivated by her experience with medical and scientific waste during a research internship in her home state of New Jersey, she is incredibly grateful to be a part of such a dedicated team. Audrey enjoys hiking, reading poetry, and staying busy with work she cares about!

    Jonathan You


    Jonathan is a Kirkland junior hailing from Brookline, MA and majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. As a former hospital volunteer, Jonathan was moved to join Harvard GMI after observing the amount of waste routinely produced in healthcare settings. Outside of sustainability and global health, Jonathan also loves singing, reading, cooking, languages, Downton Abbey, wandering, and meeting new people.

    Mykayla Sandler

    Clinical Coordinator

    Mykayla is a junior in Quincy House concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology. After spending several summers shadowing doctors in various specialties, Mykayla was shocked by the amount of medical waste produced in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. As the new clinical coordinator for GMI, Mykayla is excited to form new partnerships with local hospitals both to collect supply donations and to develop new programs to reduce waste. In addition to her work for GMI, Mykayla rows for the Radcliffe Varsity Lightweight Crew team and enjoys cooking, baking, and running. Mykayla is from Wayland, MA.

    Isabelle Iversen


    Isabelle is a sophomore at Harvard College and is concentrating in Neurobiology with a secondary in Environmental Science. The Green Medicine Initiative puts these two interests together! She is beyond excited to see the amazing benefits that the group will bring and can't wait to see the program expand.

    Julianna Lee

    Recruitment Chair

    Julianna is currently a sophomore; her concentration still undecided, but she plans on pursuing medical school with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She joined GMI because the ideas it stands for are an innovative side of medicine often overlooked in health care. She is excited to work with existing members and to help grow the team!

    Leah Schwartz


    Leah came to GMI with a passion for global health equity and previous experience working with the Afya Foundation, a New York-based NGO that similarly aims to ethically redistribute medical supplies worldwide. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to engage with GMI since its nascence and is excited to support its continued growth. Ultimately, Leah hopes to pursue a career combining clinical practice and global health policy.

    Samantha Guhan


    Bio coming soon!

  • Contact us

    If you're interested in working with us, we're interested in getting in touch!

    You can submit your message here, or reach us via email at greenmedinitiative@gmail.com.

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