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Bring Your Own Campaign
In order to reduce the community’s reliance on disposable items in 2018, YSPH Sustainability partnered with Sheridan Finnie (MPH ’18), the Yale Office of Sustainability, and the SWAY student group to introduce a school-wide implementation of reusable food eco-containers and utensils.

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Yale School of Public Health Sustainability Action Plan 2017-2025

Public Health and sustainability are inextricably linked. The tenets of sustainability at Yale encompass ecosystem health, human health, and economic viability. Human health is directly impacted by our natural and built environments. Air pollution may cause respiratory diseases, access to nutritious food and physical activity may alleviate the burden of some chronic diseases, and climate change will affect human ecosystems, such as causing vector-borne diseases to be more widespread. YSPH faculty, staff and students also conduct innovative research on health care policy and cost-effectiveness. The current economic landscape of healthcare in the United States and around the globe will likely face greater challenges stemming from environmental impacts of human activity if actions to mitigate or adapt do not take place. As global environmental crises worsen and demand on resources increase, public health research and education must remain at the forefront.

Do One Small Thing
  • Hold paperless meetings 
  • Turn off lights, monitors and printers when possible 
  • Take the stairs 
  • Walk, bike or use public transportation 
  • Reusable dishware 
  • Spread the word
Paper Reduction

As an institution committed to improving health and the integration of sustainability, the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the YSPH Sustainability Committee are dedicated to reducing paper consumption. 

The pulp and paper industry is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases among U.S. manufacturing industries, based on data collected by the Green Press Initiative. The industry is therefore a major contributor to climate change and its devastating effects on human health and the environment. The current demand for, and waste of, paper is simply unsustainable. At YSPH, we believe that there is no better time to take action than the present. 

As part of Celebrate Sustainability Week in October 2016, YSPH launched its first Paper Reduction Competition. Over a 6-month period, YSPH departments, including students and administration, vied for a $5000 sustainability prize for being the most effective paper-reducers. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability and ITS, current usage was compared to baseline data from 2015-2016. The prize was used to support an educational, research or administrative initiative to address climate change and health. 


The School saw a 29 percent decrease in paper use overall during the contest period compared to the baseline period of the prior year. Purchases of paper went do 44 percent during that same period. The Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases was the prize winner with a 38 percent decrease in paper use.

Healthy Restaurants Near YSPH

Cafe Med (on the ground floor of Harkness Hall)

367 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[2 minutes]
Cafe Med is located in Harkness Hall, a Yale graduate dorm for medical and public health students. A pay-what-you-buy hot lunch is available 11:30-3pm (subject to availability) at $0.49/ ounce. Affordable and filling salad and rice bowls come packed with fresh vegetables at $6.75. Other healthy foods are available, including fresh fruit and pre-portioned cold-meals. Yale students, staff, and faculty receive a 15% discount on all purchases if they pay with Eli Bucks via their Yale ID. No cash purchases.

Blue State Coffee

320 Congress Ave, New Haven, CT 06519
[3 minutes]
The Blue State Coffee menu features hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat, locally sourced produce and cheese, and free range and vegetarian fed local eggs. Their baked goods are made from scratch with all natural ingredients. The shop also has assorted snack-ons like yogurt, hummus and veggies, and oatmeal.

New Haven Cafe/ Peet’s Coffee

330 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[5 minutes]
This is the cafe above the Bank of America across from the med school. It offers a wide variety of American fare including a salad bar, fresh fruit selections, reasonably priced entrees, and coffee.Open weekdays from 7am to 3pm. Enter 330 Cedar and walk straight back to an information desk where they can direct you to the cafe.

Cafe George by Paula

300 George St #101, New Haven, CT 06511
[5 minutes]
Cafe George is a reasonably priced cafe offering a variety of hot and cold fare. The menu is eclectic and original as it changes daily. Its breakfast items (served 8-11) are highly recommended for a quick, filling meal before class. Prices range from $4 for smaller entrees to $9 for their specialty sandwiches. It closes at 3pm. Call (203) 777-1414 ahead to avoid a wait. Cafe George is located on the ground floor of 300 George Street building, just past the Alexion building.

The Yale New Haven Hospital Cafeteria

20 York Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[6 minutes]
The YNHH cafeteria is open from 7am until 8 pm. Its food court style offerings, including American Fare and The Salad Bar offer well-portioned meals at low cost ($5-$7). Yale students, staff, and faculty receive a 15% discount on all purchases if they show their Yale ID. On weekend mornings, salads can be bought at a set price ($6.75) with unlimited add-ins.

Claire’s Corner Copia

1000 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[7 minutes]
Claire's Corner Copia is a vegetarian restaurant serving New Haven since 1975. It offers organic, sustainable, kosher, vegan and gluten-free dishes. Sandwiches and salads range from $8.50 to $11.

La Marketa

180 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510
[8 minutes]
La Marketa is a small convenience store on Temple Street that offers a pay-for-what-you-buy salad bar and hot sandwich station. Prices are quite reasonable ($4-6 for a sub/ salad). The convenience store offers fresh fruit and vegetables along with basic products like milk, eggs, and other grocery fundamentals. Food stations open until 3 pm. Convenience store open late.

Ninth Square Market Too Caribbean

89 George Street, New Haven, CT.
[9 minutes]
Ninth Sq Market is a Jamaican food joint with a dedicated vegan food bar with choices such as mac n cheese, jerk tofu, curried soy curls, etc. As of Sep 2017, it has been reported as fully vegan. Plates from the vegan food bar can be assembled and range in cost from $8.50 to $10.99.

Little Salad Shop

45 High St New Haven CT, 06510
[9 minutes]
The Little Salad Shop is a salad shop in New Haven. It is open from 10am to 9pm most days. The shop lets patrons build their own salads or wraps. Pre-determined salad suggestions are available as well. Prices range from $7.50- $10.50.


135 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06510
[9 minutes]
It is open from 11 am to 9:30 pm most weekdays and 12-8 on weekends. Pre-made wraps are available for between $6.50 to $9 and rice bowls are also available for $9.00. A limited number of Tikkaway meals are also available pre-packaged at Cafe Med in Harkness Hall dorms for $6.99. Tikkaway is a common catering option for YSPH events as well.


37 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[9 minutes]
Pokelicious is a Japanese-Fusion restaurant that offers raw tuna or salmon selections as part of Hawaiian-inspired rice bowls. Pokelicious is open from 1130 to 830 most days. Rice bowls cost between $10.95 to $12.95.

The Juice Box

1092 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[10 minutes]
Fresh smoothies, juices and smoothie bowls are available at the Juice Box ranging from $7 to $12. It is open everyday from 9am to 7pm. Colorful and fruit-filled yogurt or smoothie bowls are available as well.

B Natural Cafe

1044 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
[8 minutes]
B Natural Cafe is located next to Arethusa Farm Dairy near Chapel St. It offers a wide selection of all-natural foods, drinks, smoothies and salads. It is open weekdays from 8am to 8pm and weekends from 8am to 6pm. Wraps and paninis are available for about $9 to $11. Catering phone number: (203) 773-1343.

Koffee? And Koffee? Katering

104 Audubon Street, New Haven CT 06511
[19 minutes]
Koffee is a coffee house, caterer, and lunch outlet in New Haven. It offers a wide selection of hot and cold drinks alongside inexpensive salads and sandwich combos. It is open until 7am to 10pm on most days. Koffee supports sustainability initiatives at Yale; they have implemented a “zero-landfill” policy and have eliminated their own waste significantly. Menu development continues in 2018/2019 as the next phase of menu development will include more gluten-free lunch options, more vegetarian options and more vegan options. Catering phone number: (203) 465-6244.

Edge of the Woods Market

379 Whalley Ave, New Haven, CT 06511
[30 minutes]
This health food market offers eat in and catering services and is open from 830 am to 730 pm on most days. The healthy grocery stores also features a food bar featuring self-selected fill-up boxes from about $8.99.Hot sandwiches and cold sandwiches are also available for about $9-$10. Catering phone number: (203) 787-1055.

The Soup Girl

1242 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06517
The Soup Girl offers healthy and delicious gourmet meals from scratch using local, seasonal and organic ingredients. It also has a catering service. Though quite far from YSPH, this East Rock/ North New Haven location offers a free delivery service for soups and cheeses that are picked weekly based on seasonal New England harvest vegetables. Catering phone number: (203) 248-7687.

We at YSPH aim to be leaders in the sustainability agenda at Yale and in our broader New England and academic communities. The urgency of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions is hard to overstate. I see this as the defining public health issue of our times; the greatest threat to the health of our grandchildren's generation YSPH is affecting change through our teaching mission, as with the new online certificate course in Climate Change and Health, and our joint degree program with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. No less critical are the research, action, and advocacy priorities articulated in our YSPH Sustainability Action Plan. Read it. You will be inspired by it.

Sten Vermund, Dean

Successes Since 2007

  • Engagement since 2007 
  • 2012 Strategic Plan 
  • Committee established 2015 
  • 2015 Action Plan
  • Sustainability web page creation in 2012
  • 2017-2025 Action Plan
  • Monthly sustainability article in YSPH e-newsletter 
  • Annual Celebrate Sustainability events/campaigns
  • Promotion of Green certifications for workplace, lab and events 
  • Partnership with SAYPH (YSPH student organization) 
  • Developed a sustainability vision statement to guide the Committee’s work and in the 2017-2025 YSPH Sustainability Action Plan 
  • Common Ground High School Urban Farm Workdays 
  • New Haven Land Trust Community Garden Clean-ups 
  • New Haven Farms Community Service Days
  • Green prizes for BYOs at school-wide social events
  • International Coast Clean-up Days
Health and Well-Being
  • Healthy Meeting Toolkit created 2016 
  • Created a healthy food restaurant list for new YSPH students 
  • Use and promotion of local (and preferably environmentally responsible) catering vendors 
  • Healthy Pizza student project 2017, led to university-wide implementation 
  • Installed water bottle fountains-hydration stations in common spaces 
  • Water filtration dispensers have replaced most bottled water units 
  • Conversion to water pitchers to replace single water bottles at school-wide events; replicated by most departments 
  • Eliminated soda, pizza and sweets from Dean’s Office-hosted events 
  • Advocated for (recent) healthier vending options; ongoing
  • Health Challenge 2016 – to encourage physical activity and reduce energy use 
  • Tobacco-Free Yale/YSPH champion
Climate Action
  • Swaps programs: Supplies, Clothing, Holiday wrapping supplies 
  • Community impact: Common Ground HS Urban Farm Workdays, New Haven Land Trust Community Garden Clean-ups, Community Carbon Fund fundraiser, International Coastal Clean-Up Days, New Haven Farms Day of Service, Massaro Farms Day of Service
Built Environment
  • Installed Living Walls in four classrooms in lower level of LEPH 2019
  • Conducted night-time energy survey and audit in May of 2014
  • Yale Carbon Charge Pilot Project participant 2015-2016 
  • Yale “Deep Dive” Energy Investigation participant 2018 
  • LEED Certification was obtained for the 6th and 7th floors 
  • The 7th floor received the CT Green Building Award 
  • LEED Requirements for new labs have been met 
  • Picnic tables installed to promote outdoor use  
  • Plumbing and electrical upgrades requested in four high-traffic restrooms and common rooms
  • Additional bike racks installed 
  • Promoting the Commuter Benefits Program, and use of Yale-sponsored mobility initiatives including ZipCar, Zagster and Yale Shuttle services (continuous) 
  • Encouraging tele/video-conferencing to reduce carbon footprint from travel
  • Distributed BYO campaign giveaways; reusable food containers and utensils to entire YSPH community  
  • SWAY student project gradually removing disposable utensils from seminars 
  • Conducted a $5000 paper reduction competition and saw 29% reduction, 2016 
  • Implemented PaperCut for paper waste minimization and monitoring 
  • Administrative offices’ conversion to flash drives, file share software, and YSPH intranet to replace volumes of paper documents distributed annually 
  • YSPH flash drive giveaways to all faculty and staff 
  • Lab recycling program implemented on 3 floors  
  • Green Lab Certification (highest level) achieved in 3 labs, and counting
  • Furniture re-use, repurpose practice 
  • Green Purchasing promotion 
  • Central toner recycling site 
  • YSPH travel mug sale/education campaign to replace paper cups 2009 
  • Office Supply Swaps held annually or semi-annually
  • Personal printers policy 
  • A/V upgrades in conference rooms and classrooms to facilitate paperless meetings
  • Distance learning initiatives

Contact the Sustainability Committee

The YSPH Sustainability Committee is made up of staff, faculty and students and seeks to serve the YSPH community’s sustainability needs. It dedicates resources towards meeting current sustainability goals and sets the vision for the future of YSPH sustainability. For more information or to get involved, contact the YSPH Sustainability Committee co-chairs, Robert Dubrow or Heidi Richard.