Sustainability at Tufts

Month: September 2012 (page 1 of 6)

Chemistry Dept Eco-Ambassador wins grant for 2012

"The talk around the water cooler is about the water cooler."

There’s a new water filter system in the Chemistry Department and they have Eco-Ambassador Sarah Iacobucci to thank for it.

Iacobucci – an Eco-Ambassador from the 2010-2011 class – applied for and won a $200 grant from the Office of Sustainability last summer. She writes, “We had a water filter system installed in a location in which we were told it was not possible to install one. Everyone loves it! We also bought a bunch of water pitchers for the department meetings and they are a big hit, too!”

To be eligible for a grant, Eco Ambassadors need to have attended 8 or more Eco-Ambassador sessions in any year and not have already received a grant. Previous winners include:

  • Jess Warner, Tisch Library: compost bins
  • Anita Robbins, Feinstein Center: Brita water pitchers
  • Carla Walsh, Education: incremental cost of new, energy efficient fridge
  • Kris Thompson, Tisch Library: Eco-grant book contest (which were featured in a library exhibit last spring as part of Earth Week events)

Grant proposals were evaluated on potential impact (How much waste, energy, water is saved and how many people are affected) and the potential to influence follow-up behavior change.

Congratulations Sarah! We look forward to more proposals to help make Tufts a greener workplace.

For more information on the Eco-Ambassador program, visit

Oct. 14: AASHE Conference 2012


Head to LA on October 14th for the 2012 Student Summit of the annual Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference.

At the summit, students have the opportunity to present their unique sustainability projects. They can each contribute their ideas, resources, and opinions on sustainability efforts, and will have the opportunity to network with other students from different schools after these student presentations. The summit will also include a variety of workshops that can guide students in starting sustainability efforts at their school.

The summit will also feature keynote speaker Billy Parish, the Co-Founder and President of Solar Mosaic, a solar investment marketplace. Among his many accomplishments, he founded the Energy Action Coalition, the largest youth advocacy organization in the world focused on climate crisis, and was honored as a “Climate Hero” by Rolling Stone magazine.

The Student Summit provides opportunities for information and resources to start initiatives on your campus. AASHE also provides students with the opportunity to submit their individual research, as well as apply for their two awards: the Student Sustainability Leadership Award and the Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award.

For a full schedule of events and to sign up, visit the AASHE website!

Eco Reps enjoy retreat to New Hampshire

The 2012-2013 Eco-Reps spent the last week of August training for the new school year. While most of the training took place on the Medford campus, the group took an overnight retreat on the last night of training week to Woodstock, New Hampshire, to spend time getting to know one another, hiking, and training Tufts’ “loj.”

The group, which included the 15 Reps, 2 coordinators, and Tina Woolston, the Director of the Office of Sustainability, arrived in New Hampshire on Friday afternoon, August 31. They spent the afternoon and evening hanging out, cooking, and roasting marshmallows.

Early Saturday morning, the whole group woke up to go on a hike of Mt. Tecumseh. The hike lasted through the morning, and gave the Reps an opportunity to grow together, through partner hikes and trail games. At the peak, the group enjoyed a picnic lunch. Standing tall at 4,003 feet, the summit provided great views of the surrounding forests and mountains.

The entire group of Eco Reps enjoy the view from the top of Mt. Tecumseh. The hike was an exciting part of the Eco Rep retreat at the end of August.

After returning from the hike, the group had a busy early afternoon of training. They started by brainstorming events for the upcoming semester. Each Rep is responsible for three dorm-wide events each semester, and this brainstorming session led to a lot of ideas for how to plan successful events.

Next, they troubleshot how to handle difficult scenarios and situations that may come up throughout the year. To conclude the day, the Eco Reps re-evaluated the goals they had set at the start of training week, and prepared to leave the loj.

After a great overnight retreat, the Eco Reps returned to campus ready to take on the fall semester!

Oct 10: Webinar Green Ribbon Schools Award Program

This school year, Massachusetts is participating for the first time in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award program, which recognizes K-12 schools that excel at reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness, and providing effective environmental and sustainability education.

Find out how your school(s) can apply to be among those nominated by the Commonwealth for this national recognition by registering for this webinar.

Wednesday, October 10. 1 – 2pm

Presented by Lisa Capone, DOER Green Communities Division
Lauren Greene, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jessica Hing, Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Coordinator for US EPA Region 1

Register Now

Oct 10: Free EPA Webinar Series “Materials Management through Sustainable Consumption”

Sign up now: Free EPA Webinar Series “Materials Management through Sustainable Consumption” – Starts Wednesday, October 10, 9:30am. PT, 12:30 ET

Did you know that over 40 percent of the GHG emissions in the U.S. can be attributed to the life-cycle impacts associated with the manufacture, distribution, sale, use and disposal of the goods and food we consume? Are you interested in identifying strategies for creating more sustainable patterns of consumption? If so, please join us for EPA’s Materials Management through Sustainable Consumption Webinar Series starting on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 9:30am PT/12:30pm PT! Participation is free so sign up! To register for the series, click here Please forward this invitation to others who may be interested in participating.

EPA’s Materials Management through Sustainable Consumption Webinar Series is designed to provide examples of communities around the US and internationally that are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and creating more sustainable patterns of consumption. This webinar series focuses on helping regulators and environmental management experts share information about existing research, programs and practices. It also shares perspectives from citizens and businesses. This information supports communities seeking to reduce their GHG emissions, wastes and other environmental impacts through a focus on sustainable consumption, including source reduction. Source reduction minimizes the quantity and toxicity of materials that later need to be disposed of, and is identified under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as a key strategy for achieving our long-term environmental goals. Source reduction also helps to reduce GHG emissions, which are regulated pollutants under the Clean Air Act. This series is in follow-up to last year’s Consumption and the Environment Webinar Series. For our webinars we invite guest speakers to share their views on sustainable consumption to get participants thinking and talking about new strategies for achieving our environmental goals. Please note the opinions, ideas or data presented by non-EPA speakers in this series do not represent EPA policy or constitute endorsement by EPA.

In October, we will kick off the series discussing the key challenges and opportunities for sustainable consumption, nationally and internationally. Speakers David Allaway, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Duke Castle, Natural Step and Castle Group will will explore the barriers to sustainable consumption and the multiple links between climate change and economic growth. For more information and specific session descriptions, please visit EPA’s website through the following link

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