Date: March 13, 2012 (page 1 of 2)

Mar 13: Zero-Waste Challenge!


The Tufts Eco-Reps have been quite busy this last week! You may have encountered some of their “sustainability shenanigans” around campus. For instance, if you happened to walk past Tisch Library on Thursday afternoon, you probably saw some Eco-Reps standing pointedly next to a trash can. What were they doing, you ask? The Reps were collecting pledge signatures for RecycleMania (the nationwide and inter-dorm recycling competition – see weekly results below!) and they were challenging passersby to take a look into the trash can to see if they can identify which items can be rescued for recycling. Most people correctly picked out plastic bottles and newspapers but few guessed that paper coffee cups, too, should not be thrown away. (For more recycling guidelines, check out the TuftsRecycles! website.)

The Eco-Reps also organized the spring semester’s Zero-Waste Challenge Week, which ran from March 5-12. You may have caught sight of someone with a bag of trash prominently strapped to their bag.

For an entire week, every non-recyclable, non-compostable piece of rubbish must go in the bag and be carried around at all times. The goal is to increase awareness of how much waste one actually creates and have as little as possible in the bag by the end of the week. What would you do to avoid generating trash if you have to carry it around for a week? The challenge is not exclusive to Eco-Reps so keep an eye out for next semester’s Zero-Waste Challenge Week or even choose your own week and make it a zero-waste competition between your friends!
The Reps’ work is never done, of course. This won’t be the last you hear of them this semester! As part of their Terracycling initiative, they will soon be raffling off a Starburst Gummiburst Eco Boombox to one lucky person who pledged to participate in Recyclemania. Stay tuned!

-Anne Elise Stratton
Communications Intern, Office of Sustainability

Mar 5: Eco-Reps Update!


Now that we are well into the spring semester, it’s time for another Eco-Reps update. The Eco-Reps program, which previously only served undergraduate dorms, has now expanded to Blakeley Hall! Chris Ndung’u, a Fletcher student, is Blakeley’s new Eco-Rep. He hopes his new role will help the dorm, which houses many international students, learn about ways to be green at Tufts. He’s off to a great start with programs like composting, a weekly newsletter, and a bi-weekly “Eco Moment” discussion group.

As part of Tufts’ Dorm Recycling Contest, the Eco-Reps each organized a “waste sort” for their dorms. They hunted through the trash to see if there were any recyclable or compostable materials, and were surprised to find that many recyclable materials are still being thrown away! The Reps hope that this activity will draw attention to the fact that the dorms can still make progress in their recycling habits. If they do, they have a chance to win the dorm recycling competition, which runs until April 30. (Tufts is also using the dorm recycling results to compete nationally in RecycleMania – see below for Week 3 results.)

The Eco-Reps are hard at work with planning for other dorm events, including a spring Zero-Waste Challenge. So stay tuned and stay green!

-Nick Lusardo
Communications Intern, Office of Sustainability

Feb 21: President Monaco’s Sustainability Council


Over the past few weeks, sustainability has been making headlines at Tufts!

Propelled by President Tony Monaco’s initiative to make sustainability one of his top priorities and the creation of the action-oriented Sustainability Council, “sustainability” has become the new buzzword at Tufts.

We here at the Office of Sustainability couldn’t be more excited about the growing interest in our area of expertise — not to mention the news coverage! If you’ve missed the stream of recent Tufts Daily articles, here’s a taste: a story about the Sustainability Council.

Speaking of that new authority on campus, you can find more information about the Council on Campus Sustainability on our website. Have comments, ideas or suggestions? The Council wants to hear them, and you can submit your message through this document.
Let’s keep the ball rolling!

–Anne Elise
Communications Intern
Office of Sustainability

Feb 13: Energy Competitions like TEC


From climate change to a growing energy demand in developing countries, there is no doubt we face major energy and environmental challenges in the coming future. For those who want to explore these issues without ever leaving the Medford campus, consider attending the 2012 Tufts Energy Conference (TEC). From two small panel sessions back in 2006, TEC has grown to become one of the largest, entirely student-run conferences in New England. Led by a seasoned team of conference planners and a support network of many esteemed advisers, the conference attracts leading minds in the energy industry and interested students to discuss applications of innovative ideas to the most pertinent energy challenges of today.

TEC 2012 will be held on April 20-21 this year with the theme “Transforming the Global Energy Debate: From Challenges to Solutions.” The conference has also launched its second annual Tufts Energy Competition, a celebration of innovative student-driven solutions to energy challenges. Winners of the competition will receive up to $3,000 to implement their proposal. If you haven’t had a chance to read through the competition guidelines, move fast! The due date for proposals is March 1st.

Feb 6: Tufts Dental School awarded LEED Gold Certification


In the dead of winter when the greenery around us has turned to gray and most people just want to hunker down in a comfy chair with a hot mug of cocoa, sustainability is probably one of the things hibernating in the farthest corners of our minds. And yet, our work goes on.

Just last week, Tufts earned its second LEED* Gold certification with the Dental School’s Level 2 renovation project. (The first one was Sophia Gordon Hall.) The new Campus Sustainability Council chaired by President Tony Monaco also held its first meeting.
It’s easy to jump right back into the sustainability community! Get involved with the Tufts Sustainability Collective (TSC), which is holding a general meeting TONIGHT at 8pm in Tisch 304. TSC has four branches – Tufts Bikes, Tom Thumb’s Garden, Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF), and the Sustainable Action Squad – plus its newest addition,Food for Thought, a club dedicated to creating a dialogue and action plan for foodies in the Tufts community.

This Wednesday, don’t miss the annual “Rumble in the Jungle” between Professors Bruce Everett and Bill Moomaw. The “environmental duel of the year” will tackle issues on climate change and environmental policy.
Although January treated us well with days in the 50s and minimal sleet and snow, we cannot overlook the undesirable changes they foreshadow. It’s good to know that at Tufts, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved. Hope to see you at this week’s events!

-Anne Elise
Communications Intern
Office of Sustainability

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system by the US Green Building Council
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