Sustainability at Tufts

Month: July 2012 (page 1 of 2)

Tips for a greener move-in


It’s that time of year again when students begin looking at their belongings and wonder how they managed to drag so much stuff home last spring… and how they could possibly stuff it all back into boxes to bring back to school.

Move-in (as well as move-out) days may cause people to act less sustainably than they otherwise would. More items tend to get cast aside, left behind and thrown out because it might seem easier to buy new things upon arrival than transport them.

The Tufts Office of Sustainability has put together the Quick and Easy Steps to Moving in Green, a guide for anyone who is changing abodes. For instance, it encourages individuals to reuse or buy once-used furniture rather than buying new. Not only does this cut back on cost, but it saves resources and energy.  If one cannot avoid buying new rather than used items, consider buying Energy Star® rated products. Other green move-in tips include:

  • Bring reusable containers, utensils, water bottles, mugs, etc. to reduce waste and save money
  • Save trees and reduce pollution by purchasing recycled content paper and notebooks.
  • Exchange inefficient incandescent light bulbs for efficient CFLs.  Light bulbs can be exchanged at the Tufts  Office of Sustainabilityduring orientation, or through your Eco Rep-in-Residence, FOR FREE!

Visit our website for the complete guide for a Greener Move-In.

Mass Energy Lab, Seek Energy Innovation Competition

Mass Energy Lab is committed to continuously seeking knowledge and innovation that can contribute to energy waste reduction in commercial and industrial buildings.This fall, Mass Energy Lab will sponsor a contest for graduate and undergraduate students in Massachusetts to identify and research cutting-edge, new-to-market energy efficiency solutions that can impact the built environment. Research projects should explore the technical performance of the subject solution,as well as the marketability of the solution in the region. Participants are expected to provide a detailed explanation of the product’s functionality and a thorough market analysis that relays the solution’s potential for market penetration. Participants may enter the contest individually or in groups of up to two people.


Research Project paper exploring the technical performance and marketability of a new-to-market energy efficiency retrofit solution.

Finalist will present their research to a panel of industry experts.


  • Submissions open- 9/1
  • Submissions closed- 11/4
  • Notifications- 11/18
  • Awards Event- 12/1
  • Awards Issued- 12/8


  • First Prize- $3000
  • Second Prize- $1500
  • Third Prize-$500

For more information visit their website.

Aug 07: Deadline for Story of Stuff Essays for Incoming Students

All entering students are invited to submit an essay answering one of the following questions about the Common Reading book The Story of Stuff. $300 worth of gift certificates to the Tufts Book Store will be awarded, and winning essays will be posted online. Essays must be submitted by Tuesday, August 7.

Submission instructions

  • Please put the question you are answering at the top of your essay, along with your name, email, and telephone number.
  • Email your essay- with the subject “Story of Stuff Essay” to
  • Please limit your essay to no more than 500 words.

Essay questions

You must respond to one of these four questions:

  1. The Story of Stuff not only educates us about the effects of mass consumption on our society, but also offers suggestions for change: the essence of active citizenship. Is there an action you are committing to taking after the reading this book, either one directly suggested by the author or something of your own inspired by the book? Please describe your reasoning (including specifically how The Story of Stuff inspired you), the action you intent to take, and its expected impact.
  2. As an environmental activist, Annie Leonard criticizes a few initiatives — such as biofuels, recycling programs, and “green” consumerism — that may be a little surprising, given that they are presented as being good for the environment. Choose a surprising criticism Leonard makes and analyze what her critique is and why she makes this critique. Do you agree or disagree with her points?
  3. Leonard looks at our everyday items and discusses what went into producing them. Depending on each reader’s background, some of this information might be familiar, but other parts will be much more shocking. Choose a specific story or piece of information from the book that really affected you. What about it made an impression? Did it affect your perspective on the everyday items around you, and if so, how?
  4. After reading the book, watch the original animated video, “The Story of Stuff,” that led to the creation of the book, or watch the latest video from Leonard, “The Story of Change” (due out on July 19). Consider the impact of each of these distinct media on your own learning and on societal change. What are the differences between reading a book and watching a short film in this context? How do they work together? Is one more effective than the other? You might also consider Leonard’s own perspective on writing and publishing the book — what are her own concerns and justifications?


For information on the contest, go to the Tisch College webpage.

For more information on the book, go to the Tisch Library webpage.

October 4-6: Peace and Justice Studies Annual Conference at Tufts University

The Peace and Justice Studies Association, in conjunction with the Tufts Initiative on Climate Change and Climate Justice, announces its 2012 annual conference…

“Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace”
October 4-6, 2012
Tufts University

The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) Conference Committee invites you to attend our 2012 Annual Meeting, to be held on the campus of Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts (Boston metro area), from Thursday October 4 through Saturday October 6, in conjunction with the Tufts Initiative on Climate Change and Climate Justice. We will be featuring presentations from a wide range of disciplines, professions, and perspectives on the many complex issues now unfolding amidst disruptive climate change, which promises to be among the most significant social justice concerns in the 21st Century.

Our impressive list of keynote speakers and plenary session panelists includes: Christian Parenti (Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence), Ken Conca (Environmental Peacemaking), Betsy Hartmann (“Don’t Beat the Climate War Drums”), Ellie Perkins (“Women and Participatory Water Management”), Darlene Lombos (Community Labor United), Burt Lauderdale (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth; New Power Initiative), Wenonah Hauter (Executive Director, Food & Water Watch), Gregor Wolbring (University of Calgary; energy and water ethics), John Peck (Family Farm Defenders), Greg White (Climate Refugees or Mere Migrants: Climate-Induced Migration, Security, and Borders in a Warming World), and Julian Agyeman (Just Sustainabilities), with more to be announced soon…


Events open to students will be announced at a later time.

19 October: Deadline for 2nd Annual Undergraduate Environmental Photo Contest

Guidelines and Submission Information

The Tufts Environmental Studies Program is accepting photo submissions for the 2nd annual Environmental Photo Contest. The contest is open to all Tufts undergraduate students and will include prizes for 1st place ($150), 2nd place ($100), and 3rd place ($50).

Each student can take and submit up to 5 photos as part of the contest, but is only eligible to win one of the prizes listed above.

All styles of photography are welcome (black & white or color).

The theme for the 2012-2013 Academic Year is Environmental Justice.

Environmental justice (EJ) is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as:
“The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies.”

We would like students to explore environmental communication through the lens of a camera, using their own creativity and image-making capacity. Using the theme of environmental justice, we welcome students to explore their environment through camera-work and invite them to come back in the fall with a selection of work.

To be considered for one of the prizes, submissions must include:

  1. All submissions must include:
    1. a high-quality 8×10″ print, and
    2. a digital file (min. 300 dpi jpg or tif format)
  2. A printed document including a brief description of the image; and the names of any individuals, places, etc. included in the photo(s).
  3. The Environmental Photo Contest Application >
  4. The Photo Subject Release Form >
    PLEASE NOTE: Photo(s) submitted for the Environmental Photo Contest must include a completed photo release form for EVERY INDIVIDUAL in a given photo. Photos that do not meet this requirement will not be considered for any of the three awards.
  5. The Parent/Guardian Photo Release Form, (if applicable)
    **(Photos taken of children under the age of 18 who are part of an individual’s research or fieldwork, will not be considered unless photo release forms are signed by the parent or legal guardian of EVERY CHILD who appears in a given photo or photos. To receive the parent/guardian photo release form, contact Ann Greaney-Williams at ann.greaney-williams ( or call 617.627.3553).

Submitted prints will be exhibited in the Tufts Institute of the Environment and may be used by the Environmental Studies and TIE in their print publications, websites, or for other Tufts-related purposes. A digital exhibition will also be created on the ENVS website for those who are unable to visit Tufts in person.


Photo submissions, and other required documentation, are due by Friday, October 19, 2012 to:
The Environmental Studies Program
c/o TIE
210 Packard Avenue
Miller Hall-East Rear Door
Medford Campus
All submitted photos must have been taken by the individual student submitting them.

Photo contest winners will be chosen by faculty and staff of the Environmental Studies Executive Committee; Tufts Institute of the Environment; and other specialized Tufts faculty usually within one month of submission (an exact date will be announced closer to October 19th).

Questions can be sent to Ann Greaney-Williams at ann.greaney-williams ( or by calling 617.627.3553.

1st Annual ENVS Undergraduate Photography Contest (2011-2012) >

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