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