Sustainability at Tufts

sustainability.tufts.edu

Author: Fannie Koa (page 2 of 18)

Tufts Energy Competition 2013 (Deadline: Feb 1st)

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 is due February 1 and can be found onhttp://www.tuftsenergyconference2013.com/energy-competition/.

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://www.tuftsenergyconference2013.com/energy-competition/

For any further questions or comments on the 2013 Tufts Energy Competition please email tuftsenergycompetition2013@gmail.com or nolan.katherine@gmail.com

Welcome back for the spring!

The campus is filling up with people and the calendar is, not surprisingly, filling up with events. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for sustainability-goings-on around Tufts (including Off-Campus events that you may find of interest) and don’t forget to keep checking the Tufts Environmental Calendar, which is limited to events organized by Tufts students or staff that are related to sustainability.

Event reminders are also broadcast over our Facebook and Twitter accounts, usually on the day of the event themselves.

Stay tuned and stay involved!

2013 Cambridge Science Festival (April 12-21) is still accepting proposals

The Cambridge Science Festival is a celebration showcasing Cambridge as an internationally recognized leader in science, technology, engineering and math. A multifaceted, multicultural event every spring, the Cambridge Science Festival makes science accessible, interactive and fun for everyone!

The call for proposals is still open for the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival!  Join the 10-day festival April 12-21, 2013 to celebrate the great science, technology, engineering, art, and math happening all throughout the Cambridge and Boston area.

We are looking for fun interactive workshops, talks, exhibits, performances, games, and great ideas only you can think up.  Some larger events to participate in include:

  • Science Carnival –  Show off performances, building workshops, or cool activities in a carnival of the sciences
  • A Robot Zoo – Present robotics projects as part of National Robotics Week
  • Science of Sports – Why does a curveball curve, anyway?
  • Rocket Day – Have a blast demonstrating astronomy-related research and engineering projects on National Astronomy Day (Saturday, April 20)
  • Science of Food – Cook up the biology, chemistry, physics, and materials behind the food we eat every day!

Participant online entry form

Cambridge Science Festival

April 12 – 21, 2013

 

2013 Cambridge Science Festival (April 12-21) is a 10-day celebration of the STEM in our lives run by the MIT Museum

TSC holds Fall Sustainability Roundtable

TSC's Fall Roundtable drew members from the CSC working groups and various sustainability-related organizations around campus

Tufts Sustainability Collective, the active umbrella organization for environmental groups on campus, has been very busy the past two weeks! The student-run group hosted two successful events, a Sustainability Roundtable and a Sustainability Dinner at Dewick. Both of these events have become staples each semester, so if you missed them this time around, look for their reappearance in the spring!

This fall’s Sustainability Roundtable featured the Campus Sustainability Council‘s three working groups for Energy and Emissions, Waste, and Water. Each group presented their goals for the university and their progress since convening earlier this year, pursuing a dialog with members of the Tufts community, from students to the head of Facilities.

Energy and Emissions team-members noted the achievement of meeting the standards set by Kyoto protocol by 2012 and mechanisms for decreasing the university’s carbon footprint, such as increased efficiency and switching fuels to natural gas or to distributors with renewable sources. In order to reduce energy consumption as the community continues to grow, however, a university-wide effort is called for, and the educational aspect of this goal is where the Office of Sustainability comes in!

The Waste working group focused on reducing outputs to the landfills during new construction projects and building rehabilitation. They mentioned many waste-reduction goals and plans to collaborate with Tufts Facilities in particular to “use less, reuse and recycle more” before anything is dumped in the trash.

The Water team had great news to present, including some concrete actions already in motion on the Tufts campus! Projects so far have included water reuse systems for machinery in laboratories and elsewhere, reducing the water coming in by hundreds of thousands of gallons already, and the recent construction of a university rain garden near the lower campus dorms. Rain gardens are both visually appealing and ecologically sound, ensuring rainwater is infiltrated into the soil, cleaned naturally, and returned to the groundwater rather than sent with pollutants down the storm drains. The Water working group also discussed plans to enter the EPA’s RainWorks Challenge, a national infrastructure design competition, and to look into porous pavement and gray water systems.

Read more about what was discussed at the roundtable in Tufts Daily’s news article.

-written by Anne Elise Stratton

Campus Sustainability Council Fall 2012 Update

During the summer, the Tufts Sustainability Council’s various working groups met to discuss goals for Tufts in the areas of water, waste and energy/emissions reductions.

The Water Working Group envisioned Tufts having an integrated water management approach that reduces consumption, promotes reuse, and minimizes impacts on the environment enabling Tufts to become a leader in campus water management in higher education.

To reach this goal, the Water Working Group recommends that Tufts meets and exceeds federal, state and local regulations regarding runoff, sanitation, and sewer systems; implements LEED standards for water use and quality; and ensures that Tufts students, faculty, and staff are knowledgeable of how their actions impact water use and quality and know how to mitigate negative impacts on their watersheds.

The Waste Working Group’s primary goal as discussed during their Summer meetings is an overall reduction of waste at Tufts by 3% a year through source reduction, improved waste management strategies, and a general culture change on campus with regards to waste.

Part of the Waste Working Group’s proposed strategies involves improved purchasing practices to ensure that an increased percentage of environmentally responsible products are purchased by the university.

The Energy and Emissions Working Group discussed ways for Tufts to demonstrate leadership in responsible climate action through energy efficiency, emissions reduction and adaptation. Under the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action plan, the Energy and Emissions group is committed to seeing Tufts reduce emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and reducing emissions to 75-85% below the 2001 levels by 2050.

To do this, the Energy and Emissions group is developing a laundry list of energy efficiency measures and is committed to supporting a transition away from fossil fuels and teaching the Tufts community about the importance of energy efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and reduced emissions.

The groups stressed a need for reporting, feedback, and community outreach to ensure that all of Tufts sustainability efforts and goals can be reached.

Over the remainder of the semester, the Water, Waste, and Energy/Emissions groups will be meeting to discuss progress towards these goals, ongoing sustainability efforts, and additional strategies the university could use to meet their goals. A draft report will be available on February 1st, 2013 for comments. The comment period will end on March 1st and a final report will be prepared for the end of the academic year.

- by Robert R. Lynch, Campus Sustainability Council Administrative Intern

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