Get Involved


Join the HCC Sustainability Club

HCC has an active Sustainability Club, which includes a mix of sustainability majors and students from other majors who have a passion for sustainability. The club helps care for the organic garden behind the Marieb Building and works with volunteer groups. It is also flexible so students are able to explore opportunities that they have interest in, such as local tours, workshops, and events. It is a great way for students to get involved on campus and in the local community. Students are welcome to attend meetings or simply join us for special events or activities throughout the school year. 

Students, faculty, and staff

Change your behavior

Behavior modification alone can result in up to a 38% reduction in energy consumption for a collge campus, which is equivalent to about $200,000 annually at HCC. These small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference: 

  • Recycle and compost: HCC has bins in the cafeteria that include a place for trash, recycling, and composting, as well as regular recycling bins throughout the campus. These bins are accompanied by posters that have a simple layout describing which items can go into which bins. We have a composting system on campus, which is a great way to recycle nutrients back into the earth. Approximately 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are the result of obtaining new products, from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing and transportation. The fewer items that go to waste, the better! But remember, while recycling is a necessary effort, the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is by reducing use in the first place. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Carpool: HCC has a conveniently located carpool lot right next to the Kittredge Center to reward students who are able to reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling. Carpooling even just once a week can reduce gas emissions by as much as 20%. Just think – you can better the environment and also have a shorter walk to class. Better yet, if you live close to HCC, think about walking or riding your bike. HCC also has public transportation. Buses run daily to and from the school that have bicycle racks on the front so you can bring a bike to use around campus.
  • Use your hands: Like most large institutions, HCC has electronic buttons to open doors. While these automatic door openers were created for students in wheelchairs or for those who may have difficulty opening the doors using handles, many other people use these buttons unnecessarily. Every time someone pushes that button without really needing to, energy is wasted – and money! Even though it may amount to pennies per instance, over time that energy waste adds up. Additionally, the door stays open longer when the automatic button is used, so energy systems used for heating and cooling the buildings are compromised. Think twice before you push the automatic button to open that door!
  • Turn off and shut down: Turn off the lights! If you don't work in an office with an automated light sensor, make sure you shut the lights off if you're the last one out of the room. Similarly, shut down your computer and other electronic devices when you are done with them. If you can, unplug them! Electronics use energy, even if they are off and remain plugged in. Plug loads can be responsible for up to 20% of a campus's energy use, so along with the retrofit for phantom plug load reduction, try to refrain from leaving your electronic devices plugged in unless it is absolutely necessary!
  • Think before you buy: Approximately 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from the production and transportation of food. Buying locally-sourced foods reduces your footprint and supports your local economy. Consider how that food was produced: Was it grown using environmentally harmful chemicals? Were the animals raised humanely? When buying other products, think about how far the item traveled to get to your door and how much packaging was used to get it there. Is it reusable or recyclable? Do you even need it? Every dollar you spend is a vote you make. Making sure your purchases are sustainable is the best way to ensure you are not harming the earth.

Have more ideas or want to get involved in campus sustainability? Contact Kate Maiolatesi at and "like" us on Facebook!


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040