Newton’s Climate Kiosk inspires indoor cousin kiosk at Harvard

You may have seen the Climate Kiosk around town—an interactive, tic-tac-toe-inspired display sponsored by Green Newton and designed to inform people about ways to live a more sustainable life.

While the Climate Kiosk is currently away for the winter, it has a new indoor cousin: the Good Health Kiosk at the Harvard School of Public Health. It has the same format, but its cubes display tips on how to reduce your cancer risk. Green Newton volunteer Andrew Breithaupt designed both. Both kiosks are made of reclaimed wood.

Susan Legere is a Senior Program Manager at the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention, and she’s also a Newton resident who’s involved in local recycling efforts. When she saw the Climate Kiosk by the library, she immediately appreciated it, and then thought: this format could be used for cancer prevention tips as well. She proposed it to her colleagues, and they agreed it would be a good idea. Breithaupt was happy to build a second.

“I got to combine my love of building with my love of teaching,” said Breithaupt, a commercial artist and former college theater set designer.

The Good Health Kiosk debuted in early February as part of a weeklong initiative on cancer prevention, and was located in the School of Public Health’s dining hall for patrons to interact with. Legere hopes that it can travel around the Harvard campus (both in the Longwood area and elsewhere), and then potentially to other locations in the state.

Green Newton’s kiosk was built in 2023 and was first out in the community for Earth Day.

Marcia Cooper, President of Green Newton, had seen an interactive display elsewhere, and hoped to replicate it in Newton. Breithaupt built it with an eye to being visually attractive, particularly to children, who would then bring along their parents. It offers simple statements like ‘eat less meat’ and ‘go solar’, as well as longer explanations of why and a QR code to see more information. “I think it’s been fairly successful,” he said, although after it got knocked over by winter storms, Green Newton decided to put it inside until the weather improves.

To be not only about sustainability, but also to be made sustainably, the Climate Kiosk was made from leftover lumber from construction sites. Breithaupt wanted the Good Health Kiosk to also be made of recycled wood, and Legere knew just the place to source it: the Harvard Recycling and Surplus Center, which offers no longer needed Harvard University furniture.

Breithaupt picked up six discarded dorm desks to use for the project, one of which now forms the base and offers a place for people to sit.

The Good Health Kiosk has the same sixteen cubes that the Climate Kiosk does, although its overall form is smaller so it can fit through doorways. “The thrust of the installation is empowering people to reduce their risk of cancer,” said Legere, so she wanted to focus on items that are in people’s control and to be broadly applicable to everyone. When someone spins the cube, they can see facts about a particular risk factor that they may not know, like that non-cigarette tobacco products can also cause cancer, or that having a ‘base tan’ or dark skin doesn’t mean you can’t get skin cancer. The QR code will take them to a list of resources that can help people learn more about how the risk factor has a negative impact on health and ways to change. If your organization would be interested in hosting the Good Health Kiosk, email the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention at