Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Month: March 2012 (page 2 of 9)

The good news on reusable mugs and paper cups

"Recycle meeeeee!"

You may have already heard the good news: paper cups are now recyclable! That’s right—the hot cups you use for tea or coffee can now be placed in paper recycling bins. All hot cups are made with a thin plastic lining that seals them and makes them waterproof, but since plastic only comprises less than 5% of the whole cup, the cup can be recycled as paper.

Some things to note:

  • Rinse out your cup before putting it into the recycling bin in order to remove residue that could be harmful in the recycling process.
  • Wax-lined cups are still not recyclable. In order to tell the difference between a wax and a paper-lined cup, you can simply scratch the lining of the cup with a fingernail and if anything comes off under your nail, the lining is likely wax.

Of course, while this is great news, the best way to lessen your impact with your morning coffee is to use a reusable mug. The Eco-Ambassadors at University Advancement (UA) are leading the charge.

Meaghan shows off her reusable glasses

Kim Moniz, Mini Jaikumar, and Marny Ashburne recently pioneered a UA Green Team and one of their goals is to convert their office to using only reusable mugs. The UA Green Team’s founding members have been recruiting others in Advancement to join them in thinking up ways to “make University Advancement more sustainable, raise awareness of green initiatives, and encourage people to adopt habits that will help make UA more eco-friendly.”

Their first program was a Mug Drive and Raffle. The Green Team asked office members to start the New Year by bringing in reusable cups and mugs to use at work. Every person who brought in a cup or mug could then register with a member of the Green Team and receive a sticker for their mug or glass announcing that “[Name] Thinks Green.” Then every Friday for a month, the UA Green Team pulled a name from the list of people with registered mugs to win a $25 Target gift card.

Andy's mug has something to say

At the time of the last drawing, 114 people had registered a mug or reusable cup. With 171 people in the office, about 67% of office staff participated! Some final steps in the plan included encouraging office members to bring in cups and mugs from home to donate to the office so that there would be enough reusable cups and mugs for everyone. The UA Green Team is now looking into discussing with senior management the idea of eliminating the purchase of paper cups in Advancement altogether.

The Eco-Ambassadors/UA Green Team’s success really shows how far a little initiative can go and how successful office environmental campaigns can be! However, it is important to note that although paper cups are now recyclable, they are still not the most sustainable option. It is best to still try to use reusable mugs and glasses whenever possible, but now if you cannot avoid using a paper cup, at least you can remember to recycle it.

Campus Sustainability Council update: Water Working Group kicks off

Since the official announcement from President Tony Monaco last February, members of the Campus Sustainability Council have been getting busy as each of the three working groups (focusing on Water, Energy/Emissions and Waste) began holding their regular meetings.

The Water Working Group met for the first time on March 2nd and reviewed its roles and responsibilities, which include reviewing current usage, existing initiatives and goals, as well as creating recommendations for goals and implementation plans to present to the Campus Sustainability Council.

The group found that very few institutions of higher education have any public water-related goals.  In fact, Johns Hopkins is one of a rare few that have a specific goal (to decrease university wide potable water consumption by 3%). The members also learned that many water-saving initiatives at Tufts are already underway, including:

  • Efforts to use ground water for irrigation
  • Low-flow shower heads in all Medford and Boston residence halls
  • Bathroom upgrades in Medford residence halls which include dual flush or low flush toilets
  • On‐going Medford campus condensate loss reduction efforts
  • Front Load washing machines requiring less water, energy and detergent installed in most residence hall laundry rooms
  • Rain barrels installed at 520 Boston Avenue to capture roof run‐off for landscape irrigation

The working group members discussed the differences between Tufts’ campuses, regulatory and compliance issues, the environmental impact of wastewater, ways to evaluate proposed solutions and appropriate metrics for evaluation.

Scott Horsley, a lecturer in the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning department, and Bob Burns, Director of Tufts Facilities Services, are the co-chairs of the water working group and will be working to guide the group towards specific “SMART” goals for the university over the coming months. Sustainability standards will be incorporated into all proposals for new construction and renovation projects.

As always, Tufts community members are welcome to add their own suggestions for the working group through the easy, on-line form available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.

Multiple positions, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (Springfield, MA)

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, a proactive Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving New England’s 4th largest metropolitan area located in western MA, seeks highly motivated professionals to fill the following positions

Senior Planner-Land Use:  Proactive regional planning agency seeks highly qualified motivated Senior Planner to focus on land use, zoning and related planning issues.  Qualifications include:  3 or more years of relevant experience, communication skills; and knowledge of Massachusetts land use laws and programs.  Candidates with 5+ years professional zoning experience and a master’s degree in planning are preferred.  Starting salary $45,000 to $66,000/yr w/benefits, depending on qualifications and experience.

Submit a cover letter, resume and three references by target date of 3-1-12 to Timothy W. Brennan, Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress Street, Springfield, MA  01040.  Position will remain open until filled or the recruitment is cancelled.  PVPC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion and disability in employment or the provision of services.  An AA/EOE.

Historic Preservation Planner:  Proactive regional planning agency is currently seeking a qualified and highly motivated individual to serve as Historic Preservation Planner within its Community Development Section.  Responsibilities include historic research, investment tax credit certifications, inventory and survey reports, National Register nominations, Section 106 reviews and related historic work.  Master’s degree in planning, architecture or historic preservation preferred with 5+ years of relevant experience.  Salary range $50,000 to $60,000/year with benefits depending on qualifications and experience.  Submit cover letter, resume and three references by target date of February 17, 2012 to James M. Mazik, AICP – Deputy Director, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress Street, Springfield, MA  01104 or jmmazik@pvpc.org.  Position will remain open until filled or recruitment is cancelled.  PVPC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion and disability in employment or the provision of services.  An AA/EOE.

Planner II/Data and Policy Analyst: Seeking self-directed and highly motivated professional with strong analytical capabilities and experience with data analysis for a part time position in the PVPC Regional Information & Policy Center.  Job duties include a primary role in producing a variety of analytical data publications focused on regional economic, housing, transportation, land use, and demographic trends for a wide variety of publication platforms as well as playing an integral role in managing and updating regional databases, responding to data requests from PVPC staff, municipal officials, and other external constituents, and assisting with supervision of interns when necessary and appropriate. Candidates should have strong skills in technical writing and the ability to write about data and trends in a clear and concise manner as well as familiarity with gathering data from government and other website sources. Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in relevant discipline is required.  Two years or more of work experience in a related field is preferred.   This is a part time position of 24 hours/week with a salary range of $14-17/hr with prorated benefits depending on qualifications and experience.

Submit cover letter and resume by target date of February 29, 2012 to the attention of Molly Goren-Watts, Principal Planner/Manager, Regional Information & Policy Center, mgoren-watts@pvpc.org or 60 Congress St, Floor 1, Springfield, MA 01104-3419.  Position will remain open until filled or recruitment is cancelled.  PVPC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion and disability in employment or the provision of services.  An AA/EOE.

Senior Associate, Clean Energy Program (Washington, DC)

The Clean Energy Program is working to accelerate the clean energy economy for its national security, economic and environmental benefits. The Program promotes the adoption of key changes to U.S. energy policy in four sectors: industry, utilities, transportation and research.

Specifically, Pew will build support for:

  • Increasing fuel economy and encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.
  • Ensuring that the U.S. electric and industrial sectors are cleaner and more efficient.
  • Fostering U.S. innovation through expanded energy research and development.

The Senior Associate, Energy Innovation, Clean Energy Program will oversee the clean energy innovation and research & development initiatives of the Clean Energy Program and implement strategies and tactics to ensure the Program achieves its goals in this area.  The Senior Associate will coordinate with the field, communications and government relations departments in pursuit of success. The Senior Associate represents the Clean Energy Program with external audiences and stakeholders. The Senior Associate will also work with and contribute to other parts of the Clean Energy Program including The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, industrial energy efficiency, transportation and utilities when they relate to innovation and/or research and development. This position is exempt and is funded through September 30, 2012.

For more details and to apply, visit: https://jobs-pct.icims.com/jobs/2871/job

Part-time Project Manager, Parking & Transportation (Somerville, MA)

The City of Somerville is seeking a temporary part-time Project Manager professional to help implement several new and innovating parking programs and technologies. The Planning/Project Manager is responsible for reviewing and managing several new parking initiatives, such as online permitting, reviewing new parking meter technologies, implementing a new vehicle seizure and on-vehicle notification program, and analyzing demand-based parking programs. The position will also provide direct support for the management team and help represent Traffic and Parking within the local community and at professional organizations or associations.

Contact: Matt Dias at mdias@somervillema.gov.

Planner/Conservation Agent, Town of Tewksbury (Tewksbury, MA)

The town of Tewksbury seeks qualified applicants for the full-time position of Planner/Conservation Agent to assist in land use planning and conservation commission activities. Land use duties include: supporting planning activities, affordable housing program, community preservation program, economic development, and green community initiatives. Conservation duties include: review of applications and compliance inspections; necessary filings and support of the Conservation Commission. Requirements: bachelor’s degree in environmental/land use planning, environmental science, public administration and suitable experience. Knowledge of Mass Wetlands Protection Act, land use planning required. GIS experience highly desirable. AICP and/ or MACC certification preferable. Salary $42,140- $55,936 with full benefits. Applications may be downloaded from the town website at www.tewksbury-ma.gov.

Please send resumes electronically to adminsvcs@tewksbury-ma.gov or application, cover letter and resume may be sent to Administrative Services, 1009 Main St., Tewksbury, MA 01876. Any questions may be directed to Administrative Services at (978) 640-4488. Position will remain opened until filled. AA/EOE. (posted 3/12 exp. 4/12)

Sustainability Coordinator, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)

Virginia Tech, founded in 1872 as a land-grant institution, is currently ranked as a Top 30 Public University by US News & World Report and a Top 30 Public Research University by the National Science Foundation. Through a combination of its three missions of learning, discovery, and engagement, Virginia Tech continually strives to accomplish the charge of its motto: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). As the Commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech serves a diverse population of 30,000+ students and 8000+ faculty and staff from over 100 countries, and is engaged in research around the world. Invent the Future at Virginia Tech.

Position Summary
Lead the development of the sustainability program for Dining Services. Program development will encompass evaluating any current practices having an environmental impact; researching and evaluating options to reduce that impact including feasibility; cost and overall campus impact; and leading the implementation of new programs and practices. Provide guidance and support for staff on sustainability program while taking into account the needs of a foodservice operation. Components of the program to include (but not limited to):

-Oversee and expand The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.

-Increase sourcing of local and sustainable foods campus-wide and at The Farms & Fields Project.

-Manage and expand composting and waste tracking, reduction, and diversion programs.

Represent Dining Services on campus and within the community to facilitate strong partnerships which further sustainability program goals.

Required Qualifications
-Knowledge of environmental management policies, issues, initiatives, and sustainability practices, particularly with regard to sustainable foods and related waste management.

-B.S. and/or equivalent experience in related field

-Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral.

-Ability to work with diverse groups and build partnerships.

-Strong analytical, technical, and planning skills.

-Ability to work independently and as a team leader and member. Teamwork and diplomacy skills a must.

-Ability to develop new projects and institutionalize new sustainability efforts within an academic setting.

Preferred Qualifications
-Knowledge of higher education dining services issues and operations.

-Experience with sustainable food systems in higher education.

-Comprehensive knowledge of Windows 2000/NT, Microsoft Office including PowerPoint, Excel, Project Management, and Outlook.

-Ability to manage social media for outreach purposes.

How to Apply for this Job
Apply to posting online at http://www.hr.vt.edu/employment/

Senior Associate: Energy Evaluation, EDR Group (Boston, MA)

Economic Development Research Group (EDR Group) has an immediate opening for an experienced consultant with expertise in conducting economic impact and benefit-cost analysis for energy programs, policies and projects.

The position involves working as a Project Manager and member of the leadership group for research and consulting in the application of economic impact analysis methods for energy efficiency, renewable power and other energy infrastructure programs, projects and policies. Candidate must have training and experience in both energy programs and local/regional economic analysis, including familiarity with economic impact and cost-benefit analysis.

The work will involve assisting in development and application of project impact and benefit/cost tools, as well as working with agencies and consulting firms in the application of those tools for program evaluation and project planning. Besides technical analysis, it will also involve significant roles in project management, client services, and business development.  This work may also encompass analysis of other infrastructure and public services (including water/sewer, education and tranportation).  It will involve ongoing collaboration with other consulting partners in research efforts, and presentation of research findings to clients and professional organizations.

There are four specific requirements:

1. Education — a Masters Degree or equivalent in economics, urban/regional planning or public policy;

2. Work Experience — at least four years of work in an energy agency, organization or consulting firm focusing on program operation, facility or infrastructure project planning and economic evaluation; this experience must include project management, business development, technical analysis and consultant/client interaction;

3. Technical Knowledge — Familiarity with (and experience applying) methods for program evaluation and economic (impact and benefit/cost) analysis methods; Experience with use of statistic analysis, and economic base analysis is also desired;

4. Communications — Excellent English speaking and report writing skills, plus an ability to communicate effectively with clients and others in a research team;

To apply, please send your resume, along with a cover letter that clarifies (1) your personal goals and interests, (2) your skills and qualifications for this job, and (3) your availability for working full time at our headquarters in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. If you are not a US citizen, then please describe the status of any work permit or visa to permit you to work in the US.

You may send it via e-mail to info@edrgroup.com , via fax to 1-617-338-1174, or via regular mail to: Economic Development Research Group, 2 Oliver St, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02109

Program Manager, the 11th Hour Project (Palo Alto, CA)

The 11th Hour Project seeks a Program Manager to lead funding strategy in energy & climate. The 11th Hour Project is a working program of the Schmidt Family Foundation, based in Palo Alto, CA, and is committed to promoting a responsible relationship with the planet’s food, water and energy resources. We are a small, dynamic team that is looking for a truly exceptional person to lead our activities related to accelerating sustainable energy, reducing fossil fuels and minimizing environmental impacts. We are highly collaborative, but much work is independent & autonomous. Our grant-making focuses on message communication, grass-roots building, policy, science and public education. We are seeking a bright, talented individual with passion for these areas and demonstrated success in renewable energy and climate change. Position duties include: Developing & executing a strategic plan; Identifying high-leverage opportunities for strategic grant-making in renewable energy & climate change for the U.S.; Analyzing grant proposals & reports; Mentor/evaluate partner & grantee organizations; Travel to grantee organizations, conferences and meetings; Speaking engagements & presentations; Maintaining/sharing knowledge of current events, environmental movement, energy industry, and political landscape as it relates to environmental issues;Building strategic relationships with other foundations & organizations. This position will report to the Executive Director of the Foundation.

To Apply: Email resume and cover letter to careers@theschmidt.org.

Livable Memphis Program Coordinator (Memphis, TN)

Community Development Council of Greater Memphis (CD Council) is a coalition of organizations and individuals who support the development and redevelopment of safe, healthy, and attractive neighborhoods throughout the Memphis region. CD Council is seeking a full-time program coordinator to manage and assist with a wide variety of projects and activities that are part of the organization’s Livable Memphis program.

The CD Council team works intimately with one another in a dynamic, close-knit environment. We seek a colleague who will blend with, and bolster, our existing relationships. Building on our existing strengths, our ideal candidate would:

  • work quickly to meet immediate needs while balancing efficient use of time;
  • work independently while being responsive to the needs of CD Council staff;
  • be a creative problem-solver with a high standard of quality.


1. Coordinate the activities of the Walk-Bike Memphis initiative, including:

  • arranging and staffing monthly member meetings.
  • engaging bicycle clubs, businesses, and related organizations in the WBM work.
  • assisting the Livable Memphis program manager on the Overton-Broad connection project, which will connect Overton Park to the Shelby Farms Greenline with an innovative on-road bike facility.
  • assisting the Livable Memphis program manager with public policy activities related to walk-bike advocacy, such as the development of a Complete Streets policy.
  • planning and implementing other projects with a variety of WBM stakeholders, such as the city’s bike-ped coordinator, Memphis Center for Independent Living, Greater Memphis Greenline, and many other citywide and neighborhood-based organizations.

2. Develop a volunteer program for Livable Memphis and coordinate outreach activities at fairs, festivals, and special events such as Bike to Work Day.

3. Manage the organization’s email marketing program, and assist with other marketing activities such as web sites, social media, and the Thrive newsletter.

4. Manage the membership program, including entering new members into a database, tracking membership renewals, handling member requests for information and assistance, etc.

5. Assist in planning and implementing Livable Memphis and other CD Council events, including Pizza with Planners, the annual Summit for Neighborhood Leaders, and monthly CD Council member meetings.

6. Assist in implementing the organization’s policy and advocacy programs  (focused on transportation and land use, blight elimination, neighborhood redevelopment and other issues) by conducting research, drafting position papers, etc.

7. Assist in implementing the organization’s fundraising plan, including grant research and writing, special events, and annual appeals.


Qualifications and Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, public administration, public policy or related field preferred
  • Proficiency in typical office computer hardware and software required. Experience in Publisher, Access, and GIS a plus.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Comfortable working with a wide range of individuals – including grassroots leaders, funders, and elected officials – as well as in a variety of neighborhoods types.
  • Knowledge of urban planning/development and neighborhood revitalization issues desirable.
  • Energetic and enthusiastic attitude.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.


This individual will work under the day-to-day direction of the Livable Memphis program manager with administrative reporting to the CD Council executive director.


$28,000 per year plus health and benefits allowance.

To Respond

Interested candidates should send their resume accompanied by a cover letter to sarah@livablememphis.org. Resumes will be accepted until April 1, 2012.

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