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Green Hotel in Harvard Square

Energy efficiency and environmental responsibility have always been core values of Irving House. In 2005 we joined the EPA’s Energy Star program and were awarded their Energy Star for our performance in 2006. As technologies for best environmental practices evolve, we continue to find new ways to lighten our footprint while maintaining a high level of services to our guests.


We buy our breakfast and snack items locally so that our guests may enjoy high quality while supporting local business. Shampoos, soaps, and lotions are provided by eco-friendly companies and are available to guests in dispensers to avoid the small packaging of individual bottles.


We always encourage our guests to enjoy the city on foot or by public transit and our staff is available to assist with directions. Subway (“T”) maps are free at our front desk, and a metropolitan map of Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority routes is available in our front hall for guest use. There is an abundance of cultural, shopping and dining opportunities within walking distance of the house. Cambridge is also a bike friendly city, and Irving House provides a place to lock and store your bike during your stay.

Waste Reduction

We have been recycling for many years and provide ways for guests to participate in our efforts to reduce our trash stream. Through buying in bulk, using dispensers, and reusing packaging whenever possible, we greatly reduce our consumption of unnecessary packaging.

All food waste is composted. We encourage our guests to compost with designated bins in our breakfast area. If you bring home those delicious leftovers from one of the amazing area restaurants, you can store them in a refrigerator to be shared by guests.

Many items throughout the house are made from recycled materials: rugs, printing paper, cups, picture frames, fabric—all sorts of things!

We now provide battery and small technology recycling centers on site. And we save and ship used bar soap for remaking and reuse where needed globally.


Through our work with an engineer recommended by the EPA, we have made many improvements and the house has been awarded the EPA Energy Star label. From energy-saving improvements to our heating and hot water systems to the use of high efficiency light bulbs, we seek every opportunity to conserve energy.

As a member of Project Planet’s water-saving initiative, we give our guests the option of reusing their towels and sheets to save on water and heating of water costs. Our laundry facilities are energy efficient and we use phosphate free detergents.

In 2009 we installed solar panels with an evacuated tube system, to provide hot water for the main house. This upgrade has reduced our therm use of natural gas by more than 25% averaged over the year.