5 ways

Student efforts contribute to a culture of sustainability at Tufts in many ways. Your actions are invaluable, no matter how large or small! What you do each day affects Tufts’ environmental impact — whether you are participating in a sustainability-related club, planning a  zero-waste event, conducting sustainability research, or simply recycling and composting your waste.

Although students regularly contribute to campus sustainability, we wanted to highlight several initiatives from the past year that contributed directly to Tufts’ sustainability goals. These goals are outlined in the 2013 Campus Sustainability Council Report and focus on the areas of waste, water, and energy & emissions. Progress in these areas is tracked regularly and is detailed in the annual Campus Sustainability Progress Report. The list below is by no means comprehensive, so we encourage you to check out the report on Tumblr!

2015-2016 Eco-Reps Group Photo Goofy 3

1. The Eco-Reps planned and executed Community-Based Social Marketing behavior change campaigns in their dormitories.

One of our goals is to create a culture of sustainability on campus. Community-based social marketing is a strategy for influencing behavior change, with the goal of helping people replace wasteful actions with eco-friendly practices. When students see others engaging in sustainable behaviors, they will be more likely to do the same, ultimately building a culture of people who are sustainably-minded.

2. 287 students received Green Dorm Room Certification for following sustainable practices while living on campus.

This year, residential students had the opportunity to apply for a Green Dorm Room Certification, a program which contributes to Tufts’ goals to  and recognize environmentally-friendly behaviors. Students can receive bronze, silver, gold, or platinum certification. Students are required to fill out a form which asks questions such as “Do you turn off the lights before you leave the room?”

Interested in receiving a Green Dorm Room Certification? Contact your Eco-Rep for details!

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3. Jumbos pledged to eat vegan or vegetarian for dinner 2,000 times in the dining halls as part of a student-organized Meatless Monday campaign.

Students who eat meatless help reduce Tufts’ water use. For example,  a hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce, while a veggie burger uses only 225 gallons.

4. Over 50 undergraduate Orientation Leaders (OLs) completed a new online sustainability training.

The training provided the OLs with a basic overview of sustainability information to present to incoming freshmen. OLs help Jumbos learn about sustainability by passing information such as how to recycle onto new students.

5. The student-run Rez Café launched a “Bring Your Own Mug” initiative in the fall.

Too often, we forget that there is no away. Many of us have no idea where our waste goes, let alone how much we produce. To get students to reduce waste from paper coffee cups and plastic coffee cup lids, The Rez provides discounts to patrons who bring reusable mugs and sells reusable mugs with the cafe’s logo. Receiving a discount provides a reward for engaging in a sustainable behavior.

Want to be featured on our blog? Email us at sustainabilityoffice@tufts.edu to share your sustainability story. Whether you recently learned how to compost, are joining the zero waste movement, or just started a new sustainability club on campus — we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at sustainabilityoffice@tufts.edu.