Many student groups at Brown promote energy and environmental initiatives and have spurred significant progress towards a more sustainable world on and off campus. These student groups represent efforts spanning a diverse array of environmental issues and advocacy approaches.  From composting to climate change, poetry to policy, there is a student group at Brown that can inspire your environmental enthusiasm! EmPOWER is the umbrella organization for many of our environmental groups on campus, but there are also other groups striving to create positive and sustainable change.

emPOWER Subgroups


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Bikes at Brown rents bikes to Brown students, staff and faculty, offers limited bike repair services, and biking education, all for free. You can find the group and rent a bike, learn tips, and ask questions in the basement of the Urban Environmental Lab. Check out their Facebook page for contact information.

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A student receives a free U-Lock during a give-away and a tube change, since all repairs are FREE!

Climate Action League



The Climate Action League (CAL) is a student group pursuing projects that make Brown a cleaner and greener place. As a member group of EmPower, the group provides resources to students with ideas for on-campus carbon reduction projects. CAL acts as a launching platform for off-campus energy efficiency and conservation ideas.

Past projects include the installation of EcoFlow shower heads around campus, lighting upgrades in low-income homes in Providence, and installation of low flow urinals, and high-efficiency hand dryers.



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EcoReps serve as informed ambassadors who work with their peers to create a culture of environmentally responsible behavior.  They do this by holding large educational events including an annual dorm energy competition, waste audits, an Earth Week program, and recycling events at football games.

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EcoReps set-up for the Clothing Swap which promotes reuse and recycling of clothing.

Food Recovery Network at Brown



The Food Recovery Network @ Brown is a network of student groups and individuals at Brown University who volunteer to recover the surplus food from the dining halls and special events.  The group then donates the food to hungry men, women, and children in the Providence area. Every night volunteers collect food from the dining halls that is still perfectly good, but would have been thrown out for various reasons (dented can, day-old bagels, nearing expiration date). FRN takes that food and brings it to shelters and meal sites in Providence.

Healthy Housing Hub

The Healthy Housing Hub seeks to inform the Providence community of housing hazards (mold e.g.) and link people to community resources.

Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition (RISCC)



The Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition is a statewide alliance of students and youth working for a clean, safe, and just future for all. The group works on campus and within the community in Rhode Island, by building relationships between organizations and policymakers that are focused on building a sustainable and just economy with green jobs, clean air, land, and water, that transition our society away from dirty energy as well as social and environmental injustice.



SCRAP is a student group based out of Brown University whose mission is to increase composting education, awareness, and practice through an improved, campus-wide composting system in order to complete a zero-waste food cycle at Brown.

Sustainable Food Initiative  (SUFI)



The Brown Sustainable Food Initiative is an umbrella organization for numerous food-related projects all working toward more environmentally and socially sustainable food systems on campus, in the community, and the region.

Additional Student Initiatives:

A Better World by Design 



Better World by Design is a student-led initiative at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design that celebrates interdisciplinary collaboration between designers, educators, innovators, and learners. The group envisions a world where design-thinking is accessible to everyone in order to catalyze positive change on a local and global scale

Green Events


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Green Events is a student-driven initiative to promote and facilitate sustainable event planning at Brown University.

Brown Market Shares Program


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Market Shares is a student-run, campus-based food distribution program that connects the Brown community with regional producers through affordable weekly shares of fresh, local, and sustainable produce, dairy, eggs, and meat.

Outdoor Leadership Environmental Education Program (OLEEP)


The Outdoor Leadership Environmental Education Program (OLEEP), a partnership between Brown University and the MET High School, facilitates the development of high school student leadership by connecting them with experiences in the wilderness and in the city. Through small group mentoring, weekly workshops in the school and community, and camping, backpacking and ropes course trips, the program develops individual awareness and skills as well as a community in which Brown and MET students learn from each other. 

West and North Program House 

West and North House are Brown’s Environmental Program Houses, well known for their vegetarian food community. Residents and out-of-house members make up a fun and loving community committed to environmentalism, eating locally, social justice, building community, and – some of us more than others – strawberry yogurt.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

Engineers without Borders is a group of students and faculty dedicated to using engineering for social and environmental good. To that end, EWB-Brown facilitates working relationships with other groups and communities, in Providence and beyond, to pursue opportunities for socially conscious and environmentally sustainable design.