Category: Tufts Community Events (page 2 of 25)

Sustainability events put on and hosted by the Tufts Community.

Zero Waste Week Is Back on the Medford Campus!


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How much waste do YOU produce? Take the Zero Waste Challenge from April 18th-22nd to learn about your own habits, reduce your personal trash output, and compete with other participants!

Then bring your bag to the Academic Quad on April 22nd from 2:30-3:30PM for Jumbo Mountains and free snacks with the Eco-Reps at the Earth Day celebration. You might even win a gift card for your efforts to live more sustainably!

Sign up here to receive your Zero Waste kit in time to start the Challenge.

Less is More…or so we’ve heard

     Why does this popular adage seem to be the linchpin of all sustainability efforts? Let’s begin by defining “sustainability”, a buzzword we all love to use but might not always know how to articulate. According to the World Commission on Environment and Development:

     Sustainable development should “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

     Nowhere in this definition is “buy less” or “use less” explicitly stated, yet there seems to be a general understanding that we just might need to cut back on something if we are to sustain healthy and equitable societies.

us-climate-talksImage source

     The desire to consider how our lifestyles impact other humans, animals, and resources should spark excitement and collaboration amongst those of us eager to preserve the people’s and planet’s prosperity. Unfortunately, it’s easy to see the distressing statistics indicating an inevitable climate apocalypse and resort to crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

     It’s true. A zero carbon footprint is virtually unattainable and arguably, not too desirable. (We’re all for a plastic-free lifestyle, but aren’t quite sure we’re ready to go shower-free juuust yet.)

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Preparing for the President’s Picnic/Ice Cream Social

President's Picnic Prep


We don’t know about you, but we’re getting pretty excited about the upcoming year-end celebrations hosted by the President! Each year, the President’s Office hosts a picnic/ice cream social for staff, faculty, and students on each of the Tufts campuses.  As part of Tufts’ ongoing commitment to sustainability, the event on the Medford campus will again be zero waste this year, and efforts will also be made to reduce waste at the Boston and Grafton events.

To support these efforts, we recommend that you BYOP – Bring Your Own (reusable) Placesetting (plate/bowl, utensils, etc.). Whether you are attending the event on the Boston, Grafton, or Medford campus, you can reduce your waste by planning ahead! If you BYOP to any of the events, you’ll have the chance to win a prize from the Office of Sustainability.

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Are you ready for Bay State Bike Week?

Bay State Bike Week

From May 9th-17th, Massachusetts will be celebrating Bay State Bike Week. Every May, residents across Massachusetts come together in celebration of human-powered, two-wheeled transportation. This is Bay State Bike Week. From Cape Cod to the Berkshires and everywhere in between, participants organize events like film screenings, bike breakfasts, festivals, and more, to have fun while encouraging new riders and raising awareness about bicycle transportation. Bay State Bike Week is a partnership between MassBike, MassDOT, and MassRIDES, in collaboration with local advocacy leaders, bike shop owners, and anyone else who likes seeing others go by bike. Massachusetts is currently the only state that hosts a statewide bike week. Each year, Bay State Bike Week raises awareness about cycling as an alternative form of transportation, a sustainable commuting option, and a fun form of exercise.

Safety Information

  • Smart Cycling Tips from the League of American Bicyclists
  • Go by Bike: A Guide to Bicycling in Massachusetts (English) (Spanish)
  • What Every Parent Should Know (English)
  • Child Safety Flyer (English)
  • Same Roads Same Rules Spoke Cards: These contain handy safety tips and can be handed out to both cyclists and motorists. (English) (Spanish)

There are many ways you can get involved with Bay State Bike Week:

mcbc2015MassCommute Bicycle Challenge:  Sign up to ride for the Tufts Team and log your miles daily (simply select Tufts University as your team when you register)! Awards and Prizes will be given to the team that logs the longest commutes, highest number of cyclists, and largest total mileage among others. Participate in daily raffles for registering, and compete for individual accolades as well. Registration is completely free. If you’re using social media, be sure to post using the hashtag #MCBC2015. The Office of Sustainability will be providing updates throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also log your miles on NuRide for the chance to win these great prizes including: Dunkin Donuts Gift Cards, The North Face Backpack, Smith Optics Helmet, Zipp Bike Wheels, Sram Bike Accessories, and a Park Tool Bike Workstand.

Bike Fridays (Boston Metro Area): On Bike Fridays, you can join a bike commuter convoy from one of dozens of locations throughout the Boston metro area. Safe guided convoys with experienced ride leaders will follow a fixed schedule and route and finish together at City Hall Plaza in Boston. Because you rode your bike, you’ll get a free breakfast and coffee courtesy of Boloco, set to music amid an expo at City Hall Plaza. Join a convoy, or just show up for the fun at City Hall Plaza. Registration is free.

  • April 24th
  • May 15th – Boston Bike Week Festival!
  • June 26th
  • July 24th
  • August 28th

Bike Bash (Wednesday, May 27th): The Bike Bash is the event wrap up party which celebrates the conclusion of the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge! All Challenge participants are invited to join in on the celebration. The Bash is an opportunity to acknowledge and award our winning teams and all of our wonderful riders! It’s also a chance to raffle off all of the drawing prizes that have been donated by sponsors.

Visit the Bay State Bike Week event calendar for a list of statewide events and check out the Somerville Beat Guide to Cycling in the City.

Hubway at Tufts - Packard Avenue

Hubway at Tufts – Packard Avenue

For more information regarding biking at Tufts, visit our biking at Tufts web page.

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

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