Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Author: Danielle Jenkins (page 1 of 9)

Chemicals and Gasoline contaminating 3-5 gallon water bottles?

Report put out byGREENUVM: “BURLINGTON – Vermont health officials are advising anyone who has purchased either 3-gallon or 5-gallon drinking water bottles since November 1, 2012 to open and check for gasoline odor before using the water.

Clean water is odorless. If you smell gasoline or chemical fumes, do not drink or use the water.

This precaution is being urged following reports from Massachusetts that plastic water bottles of these sizes may have become contaminated by being used to store fuel and then recycled back to drinking water bottlers.

Only 3-gallon or 5-gallon size bottled water containers are affected.

If you find a water bottle with an odor, notify the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation at 802-585-4912, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, after Super Storm Sandy struck the eastern seaboard in October, some gasoline shortages were reported in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and some residents used empty containers such as large water bottles to transport gasoline. Laboratory tests conducted by Massachusetts state officials on a sample taken from a 5-gallon container of Poland Springs bottled drinking water showed the presence of small amounts of chemicals including benzene. This indicates gasoline contamination.

Other bottled water suppliers who use refillable plastic bottles could also be affected by this event.

In the past three months, bottled water companies have had an increased number of returned water bottles found to contain gasoline residue or fumes. Despite disinfection and sanitation efforts, a small number of contaminated bottles are believed to have recycled back to consumers, based on a number of consumer complaints.

Neither the Vermont Department of Health nor the Department of Environmental Conservation, which regulates public drinking water supplies in the state, have received reports of contaminated bottled water.

The possible health effects of consuming water contaminated with these chemicals will depend on the amount of exposure. If you can smell chemicals, you can assume contamination. If you have health concerns, contact your health care provider.

If you use refillable bottled water containers for anything other than drinking water, for the protection of everyone, do not recycle back to the water supplier. “

Mar 02: Second Annual Interdisciplinary Student Sustainability Summit

Saturday March 2 from 9am-5pm
Discuss the collaboration of academic research and practice over and between a spectrum of disciplines through exemplary projects from students and distinguished speakers. Address questions in a series of panel discussions and workshops: How does research lead to entrepreneurship? And how do ideas born in practice transform into research? How organizations can rise to the challenges of preparing for the future? Students of all levels, entrepreneurs and professionals working on or interested in sustainability are welcome to engage in this platform for a day-long conversation!

This event is organized through the collaboration of Harvard University Graduate School of Design Green Design group, and the Cornell University Sustainable Design student group!

Program details and speakers… TBD!

 

Visit the Event’s Facebook Page for more information.

Feb 07:Can You Shuck it? Eat Oysters and Learn about Oyster Restoration in Boston

CAN YOU SHUCK IT?  EAT OYSTERS AND LEARN ABOUT OYSTER RESTORATION IN BOSTON

Thursday, February 7, 2013, 6:00 – 7:00pm
Cabot 206

Join Fletcher Green & the Fletcher Neptunes for a talk with Andrew Jay, founder of the Massachusetts Oyster Project.

Oysters used to thrive in Boston estuaries, serving as a food source and lucrative fishery, filtering wastewater, and creating a habitat for more than 100 other marine species. Come learn about the Massachusetts Oyster Project http://massoyster.org‘s current restoration project, the challenges of shaping fisheries policy, and the politics of conservation and non-profits.

Mar 02: Campus Cultivation Conference

Campus Cultivation Conference
March 2nd
Tufts University
RSVP by Feb 15
http://cultivatecampuses.tumblr.com/

In 2010, Middlebury College hosted the first Campus Cultivation Conference, bringing together students from liberal arts schools with a garden or farm – or just a dream for one – in the Northeast for a day of networking and sharing. The following year, Wellesley College picked it up, hosting such schools as Babson, Brandeis, Olin College of Engineering, Bennington, Tufts, and of course, Middlebury.

This year, on March 2, 2013, Tufts University student gardeners are planning to keep it going!

We’ll be focusing on issues surrounding cultivation in an urban environment, with workshops on diverse topics including hydroponics, medicinal uses for herbs, and how to garden in cold climates. We will also have a collective problem solving exercise to help students create strategies for issues such as using limited resources and in the face of high membership turnover.

Working schedule includes:

Keynote speaker: Groundwork Somerville

Workshops:
Hydro/aquaponics by Sabrina from Rootdown Hydroponics

Canning/Preserving by TBA
Designing Food Systems Curricula by Jeff Hake (check out his blog )
Medicinal Uses for Herbs by Naturopathic Dr. Zartarian
Soil Health by Jeff Hake
Cold Climates by Tufts Biology Professor George EllmoreFor more information, email tuftsstudentgarden@gmail.com.

See you in March!

Feb 01: Application due, Tufts Energy Competition

Greetings from the Tufts Energy Competition!

Do you have a great energy idea? perhaps even a final project related to energy? Win up to $3,000 to jump-start your energy idea! Apply to the Tufts Energy Competition!

Working on an innovative project on energy or sustainability that can be leveraged into a winning proposal? The Tufts Energy Competition is looking for your ideas! This competition is a celebration of innovative student-driven solutions to energy challenges. The goal of the Tufts Energy Competition is to support students implementing projects that explore solutions to key energy issues. The winning team will receive up to $3000 to implement their project, and the runner-up will receive $2000.

Every Tufts student is eligible to apply, including engineering students, undergraduates, Tufts medical students, international studies students, and more. The application will be available starting December 20 and is due February 1.

 

Need some inspiration? Previous finalists and winners include:

A Split Junction Solar Concentrator for More Efficient Electricity Generation

Giving Students the Chance to Choose Their Energy

Efficient Hygiene Initiatives: Bringing Ecological Sanitation to Thottiypatti

Solar Powered Uninterruptible Power Systems

Ocean-Based Algae Energy

Wind Turbines and Solar Cookers in Zimbabwe

High Voltage Lithium Ion Battery Management System

 

The 2013 Energy Competition hopes to continue this success with your great ideas!

For more information on the 2013 Tufts Energy Competition please visit: http://

 

For any further questions or comments on the 2013 Tufts Energy Competition please

email tuftsenergycompetition2013@gmail.com or nolan.katherine@gmail.com

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