Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Author: Alex

Eco-Rep Update

Anyone pumped about the environment, which ought be everyone, should apply to be an Eco-Rep for the Fall of 2013!  We are looking for a diverse group of people looking to make an positive impact on the environment!  Do it now! 

Get excited!  Recyclemania is coming to a close with only a week left for all the dorm to step up the recycling!  Make sure to check out the website if you are not sure what is and is not recyclable, or, ask any Eco-Rep!  Go green and help support Tufts in the national competition!

A call for old cloths: do you have cloths that you don’t wear any more?  Do you have no more space in your closet?  It’s about time to let go of your old cloths by donating it to the Eco-Reps for the upcoming clothing swap!  There are boxes in each dorm for cloths (but no shoes) so make sure to get some Spring cleaning done and stick some of your old cloths in the labelled boxes!

This week at our meeting the Eco-Reps learned about environmentally friendly ways to get around.  Too often we rely on our personal cars to take us places.  We found that in reality, public transportation tends to be cheaper, stress free, and easier.  The T is always a reliable way to get around the Boston area, and buses are very dependable too!  There are a lot of helpful applications for your phone to track buses and the T.  We came to the conclusion that buses are a great way to get around: bus drivers are great, they are cheaper than the T, and you can even hitch your bike to the front of the bus( just don’t forget to take it down when you get off!).  Getting a ZipCar and carpooling is also often very cost effective and convenient.  If you are a Tufts student, there are special rate!  Check out the website to learn more and to see how to register.  But, let’s not forget the lovely Tufts Bikes group on campus that allows us to borrow bikes from Tisch library for up to 8 hours!

Fun fact: L.A. could have potentially been the most eco-friendly county.  But, because of the political and economic power of big oil companies, much of the plans to implement awesome public transportation was not made possible.  It was quite surprising to many of us how great energy-efficient technology has been developed in the past, but has been destroyed or overlooked because of the multi-billion dollar industry that capitalized on oil and fossil fuels.

Earth Day is coming up so get excited for dorm and school-wide events!  There are going to be flyers and posters all around campus, but if you want to get more details RA’s and Eco-Reps are always happy to tell you all about the exiting upcoming events!

Eco – Reps Update

For the past two weeks the Eco-Reps have been very busy planning events and publicizing Recyclemania! Evan, Vishaka, Arshiya, and Dani made a music video to a parody of a popular song by Lonely Island, called “I Just Recycled!”.

 

RecycleMania at Tufts from Arshiya Goel on Vimeo.

With just over 3 weeks left in the competition, Tufts is doing great! In the dorm rankings, Bush Hall is ranked first, followed by Hodgdon, Metcalf, and South, with a B for their overall recycling. Miller is currently in last place, with a grade of C. The Eco Reps in Tilton, Lewis, and Bush have all performed Recyclemania trash-sorting demonstrations during each dorm’s hall snacks to get the residents excited about the competition.
Other events on campus have included a planting event in Hodgdon and a food event in Wren. We have also hosted our weekly meatless meals in Dewick, and many more events are in the works!
In our meetings in the past couple weeks we have discussed social marketing and the legitimacy of different certification labels. Two weeks ago we were given a stack of labels and asked to decide whether or not they actually represent an environmental certification. Two of the labels that were tricky were the Leaping Bunny label found on many cosmetics and the EPEAT label found on many electronics. We learned that these are in fact legitimate certifications, so make sure you buy cosmetics and electronics with these labels! Last week we discussed the importance of social marketing, a strategy of targeting individuals to influence behavior change. We talked about the importance of providing individual incentives to make our residence create more environmentally friendly habits, realizing that social marketing would be a very effective way to create change on campus.
And finally, the applications to become an Eco Rep for next fall is now available! We encourage anyone with any inclination to apply to submit applications, especially if you have any interest in event planning. You do not need to be an Environmental Studies major to apply. We are looking to promote diversity of thought within our group. We look forward to finding new Reps for next year!

Eco-Reps Update

These past two weeks, the Eco-Reps have been in contact with people all over campus. Professor Nancy Gleason talked to us about sustainable development. Our own Ben Rabe shared his experience working as an energy auditor before coming to Tufts and how it relates to dorm life. As you know from our last blog post, we’ve been doing work with Tufts Recycles to work on the Recyclemania challenge. In addition to all of this, our reps have been hard at work planning their first events of the semester. Look out for flyers advertising your dorms event!

Fletcher School alumnus and beloved professor Nancy Gleason’s talk to the Reps about sustainable development was one of the most anticipated meetings of the semester. On the university level, Professor Gleason emphasized that college is the most sustainably most students will ever live in their entire lives. We rarely use cars, all of our food in the dining halls and dorms is composted, we have have low flow shower heads, easily accessible recycling and terracycling. Even those not conscious of sustainable living are living more sustainably. Our mission as Eco-Reps is to make people aware of this fact so that Tufts’ students can graduate being aware of their effect on the planet. On a larger scale, Professor Gleason emphasized climate refugees, the people that will be displaced due to rising sea levels. Some uphill reps will be having an event talking about this the week before spring break. Find out more about Professor Gleason, her work, and her classes. (She’s extremely nice and knowledgeable.)

Ben Rabe, the Blakely Eco-Rep, worked as an energy auditor in Minnesota after undergrad before coming to the Fletcher School. Energy Auditors show you how your home is using energy, where you’re losing it and how to make it more efficient. Ben gave us a presentation of how this relates to dorm life. Opening your window on the top floor of a building for example, doesn’t let any air in, unless there’s a breeze, it just lets air out. This only serves to make the bottom floors colder! If you would like more information regarding dorm energy usage and how you can help, contact Ben!

Recyclemania is in full swing! Tufts could be doing A LOT better. We are doing okay, but so far our first round results are lower than last year. Keep up with your progress here! Also, learn what is recyclable at Tufts . It’s an easy how to guide of what goes in each bin at Tufts. If you live in Lewis or Tilton, hall snack trash sort demonstrations are coming your way.  We know Tufts students love being green so let’s show our support for Tufts and the Environment and beat Harvard this year in the National competition!

Last but not least, some great Eco-Rep events are coming up. West and Hill will be joint hosting a Lorax bike-powered movie night! South will be having tasty bike-powered smoothies. Other tasty events to look forward to are Vishakha’s composting event with dirt cups (those delicious pudding + oreo + gummy bear creations) and Sidney’s delicious vegan foods event. Other events are on their way as well. If you live in these dorms definitely go! But if you don’t live in these dorms, you can still come! I know all the reps will be wanting in on these amazing events and treats. If you don’t like delicious food or the environment, then  come hang out and let us know what kind of event you want to see from us!

Thanks for reading!

Eco-Reps Kick Off Spring 2013

Hi everyone! The Eco-Reps program is proud to welcome four new reps for the spring 2013 semester. Vishakha Ramakrishnan is in Bush Hall. Charlotte Clarke is taking over Hill. Norihito Naka is joining Haskell Hall. You can find out more about our lovely new members here.

Spring events preview

This past week all the Reps hosted “meet and greets” in their dorm. We run  these events every semester to get to know some new residents and reconnect with others. Each rep offered a unique event featuring everything from baked goods to recycling pledges to green dorm room surveys!

This semester we have some big events we’ll be working on as a group. For the first one we are teaming up with Tufts Recycles to work on Recyclemania. Recyclemania is a national competition to see which university is the best at recycling. The grade scale focuses on the percentage of recyclables thrown in the trash can. At Tufts, we will also be doing an inter-dorm competition. Be sure to look out for grades posted in your building and around campus.  The Eco-Reps kicked off the event in Dewick dining hall last wednesday passing out candy and information regarding the event. You can track our national progress and learn more about the competition at http://recyclemaniacs.org/.

A team of our reps met with David McGraw at the Office for Campus Life this past week to talk about making Spring Fling more sustainable. We’ll be working more on this during the upcoming weeks.

Last but not least, Meatless Meals will be happening in Dewick dining hall Wednesdays from 6-7 pm.

Vishakha

Carolyn

Charlotte

Norihito

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