Author: Maria P. Fong (page 1 of 2)

What to pack for spring break

Are you traveling next week? Remember to pack these items to reduce waste on your trip!

Eating: Bring a fork, spoon, and knife. Or, to save space, bring a spork or chopsticks! Make sure you only bring a knife in your checked luggage. In addition, bring a few cloth napkins – they double as handkerchiefs.

Drinking: Definitely remember to pack a reusable water bottle. You may even want a travel mug for coffee and tea, too.

Transporting: Once you’re done eating, you’ll need Tupperware for leftovers. Carry the Tupperware and your Tufts Office of Sustainability reusable sandwich bag in a reusable shopping bag.

Toiletries: Invest in small reusable containers to bring small amounts of shampoo, sunscreen, and face wash on your trip instead of buying the travel size toiletries. Also, pack a wash cloth and a menstrual cup.


Last, but not least, bring mindfulness about your waste and consumption on your trip! As a visitor, treat your destination with respect.

Sustainability Corps Program Manager, Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)

This full-time staff member will coordinate the Corps. They will design and implement training programs, oversee student employees in weekly check-ins, mentor student teams and troubleshoot student projects. They will also establish and maintain relationships with collaborators in key focus areas, ensure high quality deliverables, and present these deliverables to key implementers on campus. Finally, they will be responsible for the college’s sustainability accounting such as carbon accounting, greenhouse gas emissions accounting, resource inventories, and annual reporting to assess our progress towards goals in energy, food, water and waste systems and in sustainability planning.


Application Deadline: Friday March 30th, 2018
Apply Online

Wolves Impact Ecosystem and Geography of Yellowstone Title Image, background has phases of moon cycle.

In 1995, Yellowstone brought the wolves back to the park. After 70 years without wolves, the reintroduction caused unanticipated change in Yellowstone’s ecosystem and even its physical geography. The process of change starting from the top of the food chain and flowing through to the bottom is called trophic cascades.  According to Yellowstone National Park, here are a few ways the wolves have reshaped the park:

Deer: It’s true that wolves kill deer, diminishing their population, but wolves also change the deer’s behavior. When threatened by wolves, deer don’t graze as much and move around more, aerating the soil.

Grass and Trees: As a result of the deer’s changed eating habits, the grassy valleys regenerated. Trees in the park grew to as much as five times their previous height in only six years!

Birds and Bears: These new and bigger trees provide a place for songbirds to live and grew berries for bears to eat. The healthier bear population then killed more elk, contributing to the cycle the wolves started.

Beavers and other animals: Trees and vegetation also allowed beaver populations to flourish. Their dam building habits provided habitats for muskrats, amphibians, ducks, fish, reptiles, and otters.

Mammals: Wolves also kill coyotes, thereby increasing the populations of rabbits and mice. This creates a larger food source for hawks, weasels, foxes, and badgers.

Scavengers: Ravens and bald eagles fed off of larger mammal’s kills.

Most surprisingly, the land: Soil erosion had caused much more variation in the path of the river. But with elk on the run and more vegetation growing next to rivers, the river banks stabilized. Now, the wolves have changed Yellowstone’s physical geography.

The story of wolf reintroduction demonstrates how crucial every member of an ecosystem is important to a landscape.

Learn more about the wolves in Yellowstone, background wolves in grass


Campaign worker, Fund for the Public Interest (various locations)

The Fund for the Public Interest is a national non-profit organization that works to build support for social change organizations across the country.  As a member of our staff, you will fundraise, build membership for our partner groups, educating and activating citizens on pressing issues. This summer we will be in over 30 cities, working and lobbying to help win environmental and social justice campaigns.

Currently, we have paid positions open on our campaign staff in each of our locations. We require that interested candidates are hard workers and have excellent communication skills.

Representatives  will be holding info sessions and interviews on Tufts’ Medford campus on 2/27-2/28 – stop by our table at the campus center to meet us, learn more and set up an interview!

Application Deadline: Rolling
Set up an interview online or visit the campus center on February 27 or 28.

Overconsumption in the Global North

Graph showing global carbon dioxide emissions: 50% from the richest 7% and 7% from the poorest 50%

A common scapegoat for global warming is overpopulation. Skyscrapers drowning in a sea of smog in China certainly point to the country’s detrimental impact on the environment.  It’s true that growing populations, especially ones undergoing industrialization like China, hurt the environment. However, many people are not aware that richer countries’ contributions to climate change are much greater than the Global South’s.

Fred Pearce’s article, “Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat,” highlights several statistics that point to wealthy countries’ abuse of privilege:

  • The richest 7% of Earth’s population emit 50% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Conversely, the poorest 50% are responsible for only 7% of emissions.
  • The average American’s footprint, or the area of the earth required to provide each of us with food, clothing, and other resources, is 9.5 hectares. For comparison, the world average is 2.7 hectares. China is still below that figure at 2.1 hectares, while India and most of Africa are at or below 1.0.
  • The factory farming of meat is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Americans eat more than 120 kilograms of meat a year per person, while Indians consume 6 kilos.

Before you claim that people in the Global South are having “too many babies,” consider your own carbon footprint. In fact, try this carbon footprint calculator.  Our per capita emissions eclipse countries with larger populations. It’s time to challenge the Global North’s culture of overconsumption.

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