Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Month: April 2012 (page 2 of 4)

Apr 26: MyRWA Open House

Join Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) at the Upper Mystic Lake Dam in Medford for an open house on Thursday, April 26th to learn about herring and their migration to the Mystic Lakes.

Visitors will be able to view the new fish ladder (and hopefully the herring, too!) installed at the dam by the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation. Free and all are welcome. Please stop by between 3pm and 7pm.

MyRWA is also holding a Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle on May 20.

Film Review: YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip)

50 States. 1 year. One planet to save.

Are we doomed?

You could panic…
or you could watch
this guy and this guy and this girl
panic for you.

- from the YERT trailer

Last night, I was gratified to finally attend one of the events we have been promoting incessantly for Earth Week: the film screening of “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the Office of Sustainability.

It was a delightfully funny, engaging and eye-opening experience. Billed as a docu-comedy, YERT follows producer Mark Dixon, director Ben Evans and his stalwart wife Julie Dingman Evans in a “year-long eco-expedition through all 50 United States.” They packed their belongings into a Ford Escape Hybrid named Rachel (in honor of Rachel Carson) which is shown getting 44 mpg on the film. They started in Pittsburgh and carried all their garbage around the country from July 4, 2007 to 2008, interviewing over 800 people.

Unlike many films about the environment, YERT is far from depressing. Mark and Ben, being old college buddies, were especially goofy together – injecting a large dose of humor into even the most serious interviews. They put together funny skits to liven up conversations. They challenged themselves not to create more trash each month than a cereal box can hold. They slept in a cave, a VW eco-bus/hotel room, and of course, an actual yurt.

The film did not sugar-coat or avoid big issues; instead, it balanced the good news and bad news stories extremely well. Who knew that there is a guy in Idaho working on Solar Roadways, a project to harness the sun’s energy by replacing asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels? Or that worm poop is one of the best things that could ever happen to your garden?

I really enjoyed watching the team do their corn challenge in Iowa and visit unusual places like the City Museum in Missouri filled entirely with salvaged/repurposed objects. They also visited the Terracycle plant in New Jersey and massive wind farms in West Texas.

The Earthship Education Facility

I was especially inspired that so many people – real, regular, everyday folks – all around the country are bravely trying to effect change in their own way. We are introduced to several fascinating characters – the “Lunatic Farmer” Joel Salatin (whom we recognized from Food Inc. and now has his own film, Fresh) and the architect of a self-powered green house called “EarthShip.”  My heart went out to the man in West Virginia who refused to move from his family home of 300 years, whose fight against the coal mining companies cost him his marriage (his wife was not a fan of getting shot at).

I was impressed that the film raised some key issues – questioning the model of infinite economic growth and how the American way of life has so successfully enabled individual independence at the expense of a sense of community. It’s no surprise to me that YERT has won so many awards. I highly recommend catching a screening soon – Tisch Library has a copy. Don’t pass up the chance to watch this very entertaining and inspiring film!

In the meantime, you can watch any of the 60 short films or YERTpods on their website. Here’s the trailer again, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

Apr 25: Degrowth, the Steady State-Economy, and the Social Structure of Accumulation


Spring 2012 Brown Bag Lunch Series


“Degrowth, the Steady State-Economy, and the Social Structure of Accumulation”
Presented by: Kent Klitgaard, Visiting Fellow, GDAE
Date: Wednesday, April 25
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Download Event Flyer


Brown Bag lunches take place
in the 3rd floor conference room from 12:30-1:30 at the
Global Development And Environment Institute
44 Teele Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

Apr 22: Picnic for the Planet, The Nature Conservancy in Boston

Team GreenSense Supervisor, Cambridge Dept of Public Works (Cambridge, MA)


Cambridge DPW seeks a qualified individual to develop and supervise a summer youth program.  The supervisor will work with a group of approximately 15 high school students to lead and coordinate educational activities to support learning and work objectives related to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, and to help these students develop a final project that reflects what they have learned by participating in the program. Specific duties include but are but are not limited to the following:

*   Develop and implement a project-based curriculum on a variety of sustainability topics, including energy measurement, transportation, urban eco-systems (including forests, water and agriculture), and waste reduction
*   Supervise students on a daily basis.
*   Schedule internal and external partners, guest speakers, and site visits into the weekly schedule.
*   Adapt materials and activities based on the needs of the students.
*   Assist students as they work to develop their final project, which will be a web-video.
*   Ensure professional presentation and behavior of students on daily basis.
*   Work to integrate 21st Century Skills into program activities.
*   Assess student skill development and evaluate effectiveness of various activities throughout the program, making adjustments to proposed activities based on this assessment and evaluation.


*   Experience working with youth in informal or experiential education setting
*   Demonstrated experience with group facilitation and team-building
*   Enthusiasm and flexibility; ability to “think on one’s feet” to revise and/or adapt to curriculum and schedule changes.
*   College coursework in environmental science, urban planning, or education preferred. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Equivalent experience may substitute for education.
*   Solid basic skills in reading, writing, science, and mathematics
*   A demonstrated interest in environmental and energy issues
*   Familiarity with Cambridge preferred

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Must make site visits, which involves walking, bending, squatting, reaching, pulling, pushing, and climbing. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:   Classroom setting.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Supervised by DPW Assistant Commissioner for Administration

RATE: $20/hour.

HOURS PER WEEK: 20 hours/week; 10 weeks, June through mid- August

Internal applicants submit a job bidding form and 2 copies of both your resume and letter of interest; external applicants submit 2 copies of both your resume and letter of interest by 8pm on the closing date via email to: employment@cambridgema.gov or to Personnel Dept, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA  02139. Fax 617-349-4312



May 5: Climate Impacts Day, 350.org

It’s time to Connect the Dots between climate change and extreme weather.

Protest, educate, document and volunteer along with thousands of people around the world to support the communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. Start an event here!

Record-breaking heat waves in Russia, wildfires in Australia, floods in Thailand. Every time we pick up the newspaper and read about another record-breaking natural disaster, it becomes increasingly clear that climate change is not a future problem — it’s happening right now.

Connect the Dots is a project of 350.org and its partner organizations, to shine a spotlight on the connections between extreme weather and climate change. They will use those connections to issue a wake-up call for our communities, the media, and our politicians.

They’ll kick off the project with Climate Impacts Day on 5/5/12, when thousands of communities around the world come together to take action to Connect the Dots and call for urgent action to stop the climate crisis.

Who: You, your neighbors, family, friends, and the rest of climate movement.

What: Actions – rallies, presentations, art projects, and more – that help your community connect the dots between extreme weather and climate change.

Where: All over the world.

When: May 5, 2012 (and beyond)

Why: Because climate change is not a future problem. It is happening right now, and it is devastating communities around the world. The world needs a wake-up call, and there’s no time to lose.

Apr 27: Green Streets Initiative: Walk/Ride Day Corporate Challenge

An update on the Green Streets Initiative:
It’s about that time: Next Friday is April’s Walk/Ride Day!

The Green Streets Initiative’s Corporate Challenge is a competition among Boston area employers to see which workplace has the highest percentage of staff going car-free or car-light on Walk/Ride Days. And Tufts University is competing. Simply check in HERE daily to help Tufts win!

It won’t be hard for Tufts to have a good showing. If you haven’t done so already, simply start telling your colleagues about it. Your organization will at least be in the running and have a baseline to compare participation in future months.

Please feel free to contact us for inspiration, ideas and support in getting your organization on board. We are also happy to analyze your organizations check-in data with you.

With best regards,
The Green Streets Initiative Team

Feel free to contact any of us at walkridedays@gmail.com.

Apr 26: Aviation Biofuels: Propelling the World toward a Low-Carbon Future

CIERP’S Energy, Climate, and Innovation Program presents…

Aviation Biofuels:
Propelling the World toward a Low-Carbon Future

with Cristina Haus , Executive Editor,
Jet Fuel Intelligence, Energy Intelligence Group

Thursday, April 26, 2012
12:30-1:45, Murrow Room, The Fletcher School
160 Packard Avenue, Medford
(A light lunch will be served. No RSVPs – first come first served.)

Cristina Haus will speak about the development of aviation biofuels over the last six years, from the military’s early strategic priorities that led to testing by the Air Force and later the Navy, to the certification effort for commercial use, to flight tests by Lufthansa and others, and the current effort to bring these fuels from technical viability to commercial reality through efforts by NGOs such as the Carbon War Room and groups like the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative. She will also discuss the regulatory framework – what exists and what is missing in terms of a global climate change agreement for aviation specifically and the world in general.

Haus, a Fletcher graduate (F’81), has worked at Energy Intelligence for most of her professional career. She began as a reporter at the flagship publication Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, and for the last twenty years has been Executive Editor of Jet Fuel Intelligence. She attends (and has been a frequent speaker at) Fuel Forums of the International Air Transport Association, which has taken her all over the globe. During a brief hiatus from EIG she worked for Bloomberg Business News and Cambridge Energy Research Associates. She speaks German, French, Italian and English, each of which she uses often in her work. Haus has two daughters, one of whom currently attends Tufts University.

For more information about this event or about CIERP in general, visit the Fletcher School Events page.

It’s Earth Week! What are you doing to celebrate?

Earth Week has finally arrived! Are you ready to celebrate the beauty that surrounds us and attend some awesome events? This week is stock-full of exciting programs, lectures, conferences, and festivals all focused on one topic: our earth and how we can keep it (and us) healthy!

While there are events throughout the week, the main Earth Day event on campus,Tufts Sustainability Collective‘s annual Earth Fest, will be held on Friday, April 20th from 1-5pm on the Academic Quad! Stop by to partake in fun eco-friendly activities including a clothing swap by the Eco Reps, a Student Action Squad BYOShirt tie-dye; a composting workshop; plant-your-own seeds by Tom Thumb’s Garden, and of course delicious free food! There will be live music and a wide variety of info booths. Come one, come all – let’s have some outdoor fun learning about and celebrating the earth!

Set aside some time for your planet this weekend, whether you attend the Tufts Energy Conference, go to a screening of YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip, or listen to Professor Moomaw’s lecture on climate change. Should none of these events catch your eye, just take a step outside and enjoy nature’s springtime splendor – you just might be inspired to “green” your life.

-Anne Elise Stratton

Communications Intern, Tufts Office of Sustainability


P.S. Don’t know how you’re going to keep this multitude of environment-related events straight? Luckily, we’ve added them all to our Environmental Calendar, located on the Office of Sustainability website. The front page of our website and our blog also have detailed event information, as always.

Apr 21: 13th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup

Want to make a difference in your community? Join us Saturday April 21st for the annual Charles River Cleanup! Last year, over 3,000 volunteers worked to remove 50 tons of trash along the 80 mile stretch of the Charles River from Boston to Bellingham! Please join us to pick up trash and improve the appearance of the Charles and surrounding open spaces! We provide clean-up supplies, snacks, and a free T-shirt for volunteers. Please bring your own reusable water bottle.

Sign up online or  call 781-788-0007 x 303. For more information about the cleaup please visit www.charlesriver.org

Starts: 4/21/2012 9:00 AM

Ends: 4/21/2012 12:00 PM

Location(s): Boston

URL: www.charlesriver.org

Contact information: 781-788-0007 x303

Cost: Free

Attachments: 2012_Flier.pdf



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