Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Category: Events (page 1 of 35)

Signing up for the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge!

Knowing that the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge is coming up, I decided to do my part and register for the Tufts cycling team. Being fully away of how difficult it can sometimes be to register for large events such as the Challenge, I decided to document the process in hopes that it would serve to be of some use for interested Jumbos looking to ditch the car and grab their bikes for the week.

Screenshot 2014-05-02 14.41.53After typing in the URL, I was met with the MassCommute Bike Challenge main page. It was incredibly simple to read, easy to navigate, and fairly minimalist. The sections were displayed on the left and were short and sweet. Below the main  “Welcome” message was what looked like the log data for the upcoming event, and the tab “Register for the Challenge Today!” was directly in front of me.

Screenshot 2014-05-02 14.50.30Clicking on it led me to a page that asked me to type a username and come up with a password. I used my email for the username, jotted down a password for the website, and clicked continue.

Screenshot 2014-05-02 14.57.49

The information page loaded after this. Being familiar with registration sites, I was prepared for copious amounts of information to be asked (Email, phone number, home address, blood type, mother’s maiden name, work history, your kindergarten teacher’s best friend’s third cat’s middle name) and feared for the worse. I was surprised that, much like the other pages of the website, it was incredibly simple and uncomplicated It asked me my affiliation, so I selected “school” and picked Tufts from a drop down menu. I was also asked my age, gender, typical bike mileage, and reason for registering. It took me two minutes to give them the information before I continued to the next page.

I agreed to the Terms and Conditions after that and was told that my registration was complete. “That was it?!” I thought to myself. “Really?!”

I was fascinated by the expedient nature of the website, how easily I was able to prepare to cycle for Tufts, and how ready I was to grab my bike and hit the road. The takeaway from this is: Signing up for the bike challenge is simple, painless, and takes less than a few minutes.  If you want to represent the school, its as easy as that.

-Tim

 

 

Eco-Rep Update: Where We Eat, Live, and Play

The environment can be defined in many ways but my favorite is: where we eat, live, and play. I think it makes a lot of sense because the environment is not some abstract concept but our very surroundings, where we live, eat, study, and go to class. Our environment is Tufts! And it is undeniable that we love to keep our campus pretty. So it makes me wonder where the resources come from to keep our environment in tip top shape, the people who work here, and where our waste goes? What does it take to keep our environment clean?

Tufts does a great job of working to make Tufts a sustainable living space. However there are many improvements we can make as a community to ensure the impact we make is equitable and fair. In my Environmental Justice and World Literature class, we spoke about the many privileges we have of living in such a healthy environment and the disproportionate cost that can have on communities around us. We took a survey to see if we know for example, where our trash goes, where the salt we use to melt ice is stored, when the workers who help with upkeep of our environment come to work and where they live.

These are important questions to ask to understand how we affect our communities that surround Tufts and better understand the impacts we have. For starters, the salt is stored in Chelsea, and our waste is incinerated in Saurgus. These are communities that have been historically disproportionately affected by industries and have lower economic mobility. It is easy to think about the invisible processes that create the space we live in when we don’t always have to deal with them.  Our trash and snow don’t just disappear off campus. I am sure we can all remember the incredible workers who came to shovel snow off our roads to help make it safer for us to get to class at 3 AM in the morning, working in the biting cold.

This coming week, on Monday the 28th, the students in the Environmental Justice and World Literature class are holding an event to increase awareness of these issues of how our living practices at Tufts affect our surrounding communities. Hopefully, once we start thinking about the effects we have on other communities, we can start thinking about how to decrease these impacts. Knowledge is empowering and I hope that it will empower us to make the changes we should to promote sustainability at home and our surrounding communities!

-by Aparna Dasaraju

A Message from Tufts’ Provost David Harris – Century Ride!

Tufts Century Ride
Dear Tufts Colleagues,

Please join me for a bike ride on May 9th. As in 2012, the full ride will be about 100 miles, with stops on the Medford/Somerville, Grafton, and Boston campuses (i.e., Tufts Century). If you would prefer a shorter ride, there are options starting at 20 miles.


Registration is open to Tufts students, faculty, staff, and alumni until April 18th. There are a limited number of spots available so please register early. Visit our site
for more information and to register. For any further questions, please email tuftscentury@tufts.edu.

The Tufts Century Ride, in collaboration with the Tufts Cycling Team, is designed to provide a fun way for community members to connect and a unique way to see our three campuses. If you are not able to join us for the ride, it would be wonderful to see you during one of our campus stops or at the closing reception. Please visit our site for times and locations.


Best,

David Harris

Eco-Rep Blog Post Double-Header!

Because it’s Earth Month, we actually have TWO Eco-Rep blog updates this week! Here’s your second:

Spring is here and it’s super busy for the Eco Reps! Recyclemania ended last Sunday (March 30) and the results of both the final round recycling scores and the overall winners of the competition can be found HERE. Remember, the dorm and house  that receive the highest recycling grades overall get to hang out in an inflatable bouncy house, which is totally awesome!

Individual Eco-Reps have been busy hosting their individual events in their dorms. Last Monday I hosted a composting-focused event where Houston Hall residents could grab a personal compost bin, eat chocolate “dirt” pudding and learn about composting in the dorm. I also know that a bunch of other Eco-Reps had their events this past week, like a ‘pot a plant’ event in Carmichael, a clothing swap in Wilson House and a jeopardy event in Hogdgon.

One big upcoming event this week is Earthfest. This Friday, April 11th, from 11 am to 2pm on the Academic Quad Tufts Sustainability Collective (TSC) will be hosting its annual Earthfest. Activities include bike riding, a green photo booth and local (free!) food. This will be an amazing opportunity to celebrate spring and learn about sustainability at Tufts and in the surrounding community. Also, the Eco Reps will be hosting a clothing swap, so be sure to swing by our booth to find some cool new additions to your spring wardrobe!

-Rachael (Houston Eco Rep)

Eco-Reps Update: New Events!!!

There have been many Eco-Rep Events this month all that involve sustainability, environmental awareness and empowering Tufts students.

Untitled

Compost and Mud Pies

Last week a composting event was held at Houston at which residents learned how to compost, what to compos,t and the purpose of composting. To give a creative spin, the Eco-Rep Rachel Grudt and residents made delectable compostable deserts called ‘mud pies’.

Environmental Jeopardy

On Thursday, Bush and Hodgdon hosted a joint event of Environmental Jeopardy, where residents from both dorms participated in answering Jeopardy questions about composting, recycling, and basic environmental facts. This event also had a make-your-own-fajita Chipotle bar!

Get ready for Earthfest happening on April 11th—and look out for the clothing swap where second-hand clothes are free for the taking! Hang out on the academic quad starting from 11 to 2 pm to see it for yourself!

 

-by Hayley Ernyey

Enter the Sustainable Campus Int’l Competition!

The second edition of the Sustainable Campus International Competition (SCIC) is open for free registration online. This is an opportunity for students worldwide to transform their academic learning into real world actions and impacts. They are invited to design and apply a tool, system or practise that addresses sustainability issues relevant to their campus.
SCIC is designed as an 18-month competition. Students are asked to develop a sustainability project they can implement within their campuses and communities within one academic year. The strongest projects will forecast tangible impacts by the end of the academic year, though the projects may and are encouraged to continue in the future. The student teams will be judged for their ability to improve sustainability impacts
based on specific metrics, the strength of their engagement strategy with stakeholders and the overall quality of the project presented.
The SCIC 2014 international jury panel will be presided by the CEO of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) Iain Patton, and he declares that: “Revolution is in the air and the SCIC is at the heart of the new student-driven and staff-supported sustainability mandate that is empowering students to unleash their transformative potential”.
Students will receive online support and mentorship throughout the development of their project. The top three finalist teams will participate in an online final presentation and judging session. The SCIC will award $CAN 3,000 to the team that is selected by the judges as the strongest project. All teams are encouraged to implement their projects and submit a project assessment by July 2015 for a chance to gain further recognition.

We want YOU!

Screenshot 2014-03-24 14.07.29That’s right, we’re recruiting! Come join our team! The Tufts Office of Sustainability is seeking a full-time summer intern to assist with day to day office activities, such as planning and gathering materials for events, greeting visitors, working on the TerraCycle program, and organizing programs such as field trips and the Eco-Ambassador program. The intern will assist with office communications, including creating documents and outreach materials and writing articles, and will assist with social media programming and perform website and blog maintenance. The intern will also be expected to research sustainability initiatives that might be undertaken on any of the three Tufts campuses. In addition, the intern may be asked to help the Program Director, Education and Outreach Coordinator, or Communications Specialist with any projects they are currently working on. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume. The position will be open until filled. Please contact Betsy Byrum, Education & Outreach Coordinator, with questions or for more information at betsy.byrum@tufts.edu.

View the job listing here.

Eco Rep Update: Travel Green!

By Danielle Mulligan

Welcome back! Hopefully everyone enjoyed their week off and feels rejuvenated for part two of the spring semester. Some may have stayed on campus while others may have travelled back home or to warmer places in search of actual spring-like weather.   I personally love to travel when possible but struggle to balance that passion with my knowledge of the hugely negative environmental impacts of travelling. Starting from the ride to the airport and then the plane ride, I’m already leaving a huge carbon footprint!  How can we become more environmentally conscious travelers?

Since we’re back at school, it may be good time to just take a pause and think about our past week. Whether we stayed in our dorms, were home or were lying on the beaches of Cancun-what are ways in which we could have made our vacation time a little more eco-friendly?

Here are some tips from my own travel experiences and from the travel section in “The Green Book”-a book filled with different tips on how to change habits in all areas of our lives.

  1. If you are traveling to a place where tap water is not safe to drink, purchase a plaster water bottle with a filter.  It may seem a bit more expensive at first, but buying plastic bottles at every stop adds up and the environmental impact is huge!
  2. Look for alternative forms of transportation! Take a train instead of a plane. Walk instead of taking a taxi or renting a car-you are in a new place, and if it’s walkable why not take that extra time to be outside and explore a little?
  3. Bring a reusable bag for any of your shopping trips to the markets stalls or stores wherever you are visiting.
  4. Try adventure travel or eco-tourism –not only does eco-tourism generally have a much smaller negative impact on the environment, it also frequently channels money to positive environmental initiatives.
  5. Pack your own shampoo, soap and toothpaste and leave the hotels mini-bottles untouched.  To give some perspective, a 300-room hotel in Las Vegas uses more than 150,000 plastic bottles  of shampoo a year!

-Danielle

SustainUS- Youth Delegate, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Application Deadline: 11:59 pm EDT April 3, 2014.
Organization: SustainUS

Position Title: 
Youth delegate to the 20th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
 
The SustainUS Agents of Change (AoC) program is now accepting applications to join our youth delegation to the 20th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference will take place1-12 December 2014 in Lima, Peru.
COP20 is incredibly important to the planet’s future. Negotiators are working to create a new global climate deal by 2015, and this is the last COP to set the framework for that agreement. Youth involvement is vital to the process. As we work towards an ambitious and legally binding document, delegates will have the opportunity to work with government officials, civil society representatives, and youth from around the world, all while working on direct actions, coordinating media relations and lobbying for important policy points.
If you are passionate, dedicated and interested in stopping climate change, find out more at sustainus.org/apply-cop20. If you have questions, please contact either our AoC Coordinator Alyssa Tsuchiya (alyssa.tsuchiya@sustainus.org) or our delegation leader, Emily Nosse-Leirer (emily.nosse-leirer@sustainus.org).

Location and Hours: Remote prep work May – November 2014 (~5 hrs/week), an in-person weekend training in late June, and the conference takes place in Lima, Peru December 1-12, 2014 (full time)
Compensation: Participation is free. Delegates are required to fund own travel and housing costs. Fundraising support is provided, and some scholarships are available to allay costs to attend the in-person training and conference.
Applications will be due April 3 at 11:59 pm EDT. We look forward to seeing your application!

Link to Apply
: sustainus.org/apply-cop20

Eco Rep Update: Recyclemania!

The weather this past weekend was just GORGEOUS and we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!

We have some exciting news to share… the first round of Recyclemania grades have been released! Woo!

Here are the results…

Screenshot 2014-03-10 13.01.07

Blakely Hall: C

Bush Hall: B

Carmichael Hall: C+

Haskell Hall: C-

Hill Hall: B-

Hodgdon Hall: B-

Houston Hall: C-

Lewis Hall: C

Metcalf: B

Miller Hall: C+

South Hall: C

Stratton Hall: B-

Tilton Hall: B-

West Hall: B-

Wren Hall: B+

The official report can be also be seen here.

It looks as though Wren Hall is in the lead! But have no fear  – If your dorm received a less-than-satisfactory grade, there is another round of grading just around the corner. The winner will be announced at this year’s Earthfest on April 11th! Speaking of which, keep an eye out for a clothes donation box in your dorm where you can drop off any gently used/unwanted clothing. What you may consider a former fashion faux pas may totally brighten someone else’s day. We appreciate very much your donations as we gear up for Earthfest!


Jamie Cordova
EcoRep, Miller Hall

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