Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Author: Fannie Koa (page 3 of 18)

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

Tips for Zero-Waste Week

It’s easy to do the Zero Waste Challenge when you are at a place like Tufts, where recycling bins abound and compost drops are available on campus. Still, here are some good tips to keep in mind:

  • Snack on fresh fruit – it’s healthier AND it’s compostable.
  • Carry a small tupperware to put food to compost later.
  • Bring your lunch and use the container to get takeout for dinner.
  • Get your drinks without a straw.
  • Avoid individually wrapped tea or drink loose leaf tea.
  • Always bring a reusable mug or water bottle.

    Photo courtesy of Tufts Dining

    • Save 20 cents at Mugar Cafe, Tower Cafe, Brown & Brew, Hodgdon Good-to-Go & Commons Deli if you bring your own mug.
    • The Tufts “Choose to Reuse” clear water bottle will get you a discount on any fountain beverage at Mugar Cafe, Hodgdon Good-to-Go, Commons Deli, and Tower Cafe. Water and sparkling water will also be discounted at Hotung Cafe.

A few things to remember:

  • Aluminum foil and yogurt cups are recyclable.
  • All napkins are compostable.
  • Any rigid plastic can be recycled – including coffee stirrers. (It doesn’t have to fit through the openings of the recycling bin, by the way – just lift the cover.)
  • Energy bar wrappers and chip bags are recyclable. Tufts has Terracycle brigades on campus.

For more information on recycling and composting at Tufts, visit the TuftsRecycles! website.

Good luck and have fun!

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 http://go.tufts.edu/ecoambassadors.

Sep 20: ENVS Lunch & Learn – Environmental Sustainability at Tufts University

Tina WoolstonJoin our very own Tina Woolston, Sustainability Program Director at Tufts University, as she discussed the sustainability efforts here at Tufts, resources available to students and opportunities to get involved on campus. If you’ve ever wondered about installing solar on campus or where the food from the dining halls goes, this is the perfect place to learn and ask questions about your ideas for innovation on campus!

Tina Woolston has worked in the Office of Sustainability, first as a program coordinator and more recently as director. She co-founded MaynardCAN!, a local non-profit that organizes and promotes sustainability initiatives in the city of Maynard, MA. Prior to Tufts, she worked for the Earthwatch Institute as their Program Manager for Sustainability and Outward Bound as a sea kayak and mountaineering instructor. She received her Master of Science from Cornell University.

Sept 8: Somerville Bike Fest

Ride, repair and relish in Somerville’s bicycle culture! SPOKES 2012 will feature free bike maintenance workshops, bicycle goods, info on bike activism/awareness, bike art and more. Come share your love of all things bicycle and all things Somerville!

2:30-5:00pm: “Tasting Tour of Somerville.” The Somerville Bicycle Committee will lead a fundraising ride through the streets of Somerville. Check out the event page to RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/448226095198600/.

5:00-7:00pm: Free bike repair works

hops, bike-art, info tables on alternative transportation and more…FREE WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:
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5:00-5:30: Ace Wheelworks mechanics will offer a general maintenance clinic to teach riders about how to upkeep their own bicycle.

5:30-6:00: Ace will then dive more in depth to cover brake and gear adjustments.

6:00-6:30: Bike Boom will teach you how to fix a pesky flat tire. Never go stranded again!

6:30-7:00: Broadway Bicycle School will demystify the hub and demonstrate hub adjustment tricks and tips, giving insight into how all of the different bearing systems work. They will also cover how to remove a freewheel/cassette.

Ongoing: Tyler from Paramount Bicycle Repair will be offering a wheel building demo. Look for the Paramount tent and come say hi!
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7:30-9:00pm: Free “bike-in movie” screening of “PeeWee’s Big Adventure.” Dinner/snacks sold by Lefty’s Silver Food Cart, Culinary Cruisers, TAZA Chococycle, & more. Picnic blankets encouraged. This will happen right in the Union Square Plaza (parking lot in front of The Independent).

9:00pm: S.C.U.L. invites civilian bike craft to come along for a post-event night ride through the city. There will be music.

SPOKES 2012 is brought to you by ArtsUnion and the Somerville Arts Council. To sign up as a vendor or for more info email: jacy.edelman1@gmail.com.

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