Eco-House: Environmental Program Community

Eco-House Environmental Program Community will not be renewed next year at Harnwell-- stay tuned to learn about all of the great other Program Community options both at Harnwell and other college houses, that you can apply to for the 22-23 academic year!


Residents of the Eco-House work together to reduce their environmental impact and to engage the campus and broader community on sustainability issues through personal choices, projects, and events. Students interested in living in the Eco-House must complete a short application, including a personal statement outlining their interest in this unique living environment. While Eco-House is well-suited for students who are considering studying environmental science, environmental studies, biology, geology, or other natural science related fields; no experience with sustainability is required as residents must merely have an interest in learning more about sustainability and sustainable living habits. They must want to engage in meaningful conversations on climate change and its effects on not only landscapes and wildlife but also people and communities. Residents will engage in a variety of exciting activities and workshops to enhance their sustainable living skills throughout the academic school year. 

Purpose: Demonstrate affordable sustainable living in order to inform, engage and inspire Penn’s fellow residents, visitors, and community 

Events for the floor may include:

  • Meet with professors within the Earth and Environmental Science Department as well as other STEM related fields in an informal setting to learn about classes, research, and what they think it takes to become a successful environmental leader or environmental professional
  • Service-learning field trips
  • Work with local environmental non-profit organizations to bring environmental change:
    • Trips to local arboretums
    • Learning about local environmental policy
    • Harvesting locally-grown vegetables at Bartram’s Garden
    • Attend panels on how climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities
  • Tours of earth-friendly practices at Penn
    • Tours of university's LEED-certified buildings
    • Tree/ecology tour
  • Eco House Booth at Green Fest

Social activities: weekly study breaks, hiking, kayaking, making bird feeders, planting flowers, watching environmental documentaries, volunteering in the community garden, Eco DIYS (DIY’s out of recycled or natural, recyclable materials)

Past Events:

  • Visiting a zero-waste fashion designer in Brooklyn
  • Trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia
  • Attendance of panels presented by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

Participant Expectations: The Program RAGAs will review details and activities at the beginning of the academic year, where residents will receive their Eco-House Compact. Residents will be expected to participate in the following, as decided by the RAGAs:

  • 1 major event per month
  • 1 minor event per month
  • Implement 1 minor floor event as determined by the RAGAs
  • Host 1 House program per semester

2019-2020, Floor: 5, RA-led

2020-2021, Floor: 8, GA-led

To apply:

If you are applying to a Program Community, determine if you would like to request a roommate, but keep in mind that your roommate must also be accepted to the Program Community.

Students of any gender can be roommates if they all elect to be in Gender-Neutra Housing.

For more detailed information on the Program Community application and process please visit


. Please note that all applicants are required to respond to the following questions in an essay using a maximum of 500 words:

        Why are you interested in joining this Program Community?

        What would your involvement bring to this program’s overall experience?

        How have you participated in your current House community?

Applications will be reviewed by Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs affiliated with the Eco-House Program. In order for an application to be seriously considered, it is highly encouraged that the essay reflects the uniqueness of the Program. If needed, Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs reserve the right to reach out to applicants clarifying room requests and additional concerns.

Contact:, please include "Eco-House" in the subject header.