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Tufts Eco-Reps Keep Busy This Week!

We don’t know how we did it, but the Tufts Eco-Reps managed to survive another week of environmental overload! In a good way, of course!

We kicked off the week on Tuesday with a Hodgdon-Bush movie night! First, a talk was given by Maragaret Garcia, a PhD student with the Civil Engineering Department and member of the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) water diplomacy program.

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She shared her personal experiences and motivation for pursuing a career focused around water diplomacy and concluded with a question and answer session. The talk was a unique opportunity and provided a wonderful segue into the movie Last Call at the Oasis, written and directed by Jessica Yu, which urged viewers to be more conscious about the world’s current and impending water crisis.

 

Following on Thursday, the Eco-Reps teamed up for shifts at the Dewick-MacPhie dining hall where a display was set up to educate diners about our program. The display featured the compost program within the dorms and dining halls, a compost continuum showcasing the progression from food waste to nutrient-rich soil, the benefits associated with meatless meals, and a general introduction to the Eco-Rep program for any interested students.

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The table was a success with almost all of our program’s stickers being handed out to students who eagerly slapped them onto their newly received “Choose to Reuse” reusable Nalgene water bottles. The bottles were provided courtesy of the university as part of an initiative to reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles.

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Friday proved to be no less hectic when the Eco-Reps were asked by the non-profit Reverb to host another table at the Eco-Village for the Campus Consciousness Tour featuring Grouplove. Before the concert started, the Reps attended a meet and greet session with the members of Grouplove.

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The team then set up a table next to other volunteers and organizations such as Ben & Jerry’s where concertgoers could explore sustainability both within and outside of the university. The concert was a loud success, as we rocked our way to a greener tomorrow.

Finally, the week wrapped up with free smoothies in Bush Hall! The Eco-Reps paired up with the ACE fellows to show students how to eat sustainably and stay healthy during the coming exam period. The event was a refreshing end to what was another crazy week for the Tufts Eco-Reps.

Keep an eye out for us on campus, and until next week, don’t forget to stay green, stay fresh, and stay kale (…what?).

The Forgotten Eco-Rep Update!

Sorry everyone! Kevin here, to apologize for dropping the ball on last week’s Eco-Rep update. Unfortunately, midterm season is now upon us, and things have been getting hectic.

But what have the Eco-Reps been up to, you ask? Well, to prepare for the upcoming hibernation period (i.e. winter), the Eco-Reps are hosting/have hosted a slew of events to promote sustainability! For most of you, that means free food but also an opportunity to see what we’ve been planning for the last few weeks.

Colby and Angie, our Carmichael Eco-Reps, have just recently hosted the Carm Thrift Shop and the WASTELAND Smoothie Night! Both events were a success, with leftover clothes from the freecycle being donated to Goodwill and the Smoothie Night was a great opportunity to teach students about reducing waste and composting.

If you missed those events, don’t worry because there are more coming up this week. Today, (November 12th), Bush and Hodgdon are hosting Last Call at the Oasis, a documentary regarding the water usage and its value as a resource, in addition to a roundtable discussion with Water Diplomacy speaker Margaret Garcia. And if you’ve been craving more smoothies, a sustainable smoothie event is being hosted on the 16th in Hodgdon, where students can learn more about composting and locally grown food. Also coming up is the Sustainability Dinner on Thursday, November 14th in both Carm and Dewick, where we will be hosting a table to educate regarding food sustainability issues and eating meatless.

In other news, the Eco-Reps just came back from the EcoRep symposium at Boston University, where we learned and connected with other Eco-Rep programs in the Northeast and discussed how to make our sustainability initiatives more successful. We’ll hopefully be implementing these changes in the near future, so keep your eyes out!

65 Jumbos Did Not Get Wasted for ZWW!

Zero Waste Week finished this past Wednesday! Over 200 bags were distributed, and 65 brave and wonderful jumbos (and professors) did a fantastic job at keeping their waste at a minimum and brought their bags to Jumbo Mountains. Jumbo Mountains was set up on the Academic Quad this year, due to logistical considerations, and many passer-bys’ interests proved this to be a great location with great visibility. Participants were rewarded with some PHENOMENAL Cider Donuts and cider from Wilson Farm in Lexington, and the satisfaction of tallying and knowing they made a huge difference in comparison to normal trash-producing colleagues.

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In addition to students, some professors stopped by, and even Senior Provost David Harris conversed with the Eco-Rep team about the successes and room for improvement in the Zero Waste Week challenge.

Some of the greatest challenges expressed were the individually packaged treats such as candy, cookies, etc., and the fact that when you leave the Tufts Campus and travel to greater Boston or the larger community, recycling and composting is nowhere near as accessible. However, many participants also expressed their surprise at the ease of recycling and composting here on campus-shoutout to Dawn and Tufts Recycles!

Three lucky participants won awesome bags made out of recycled materials from terracycle.com, and they definitely deserve it for their participation.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in Zero Waste Week. You truly made a difference in our fight to prevent excess waste and reduce our consumption of resources. Green Love!

 

 

Zero Waste Week Challenge: Day 1

Today is the first day of the Tufts University Zero Waste Challenge and I am happy to report that, so far, I have accumulated zero waste! Of course, this won’t last long, as I am bound to pick up an individually wrapped peppermint from a restaurant’s greeter or mistakenly order a coffee served in a non-recyclable cup, but I am pleased with my progress thus far!

Unlike last year’s challenge, my goal with this year’s challenge will not be to accumulate as little waste as possible, but rather to test my knowledge about recycling, reuse, and composting on the Tufts campus and in our Massachusetts communities.

For example, I composted my brown paper napkins from lunch today. Did you know you could do that? Because, if not, now’s as good a time as any to start, and with ample compost bins on the Tufts Medford campus, it is not at all inconvenient to do so. I recycled today’s copy of the Daily and took advantage of scrap paper at my Office of Sustainability desk in lieu of clean notebook paper (of course, that too was recycled once I was finished with it). I even used reusable silverware and coffee mugs throughout the day, and took advantage of our campus’ plentiful water fountains to keep my reusable water bottle filled.

Thanks to Tufts’ commitment to being an environmentally sustainable campus, it is easier than ever to keep a zero waste challenge bag empty for a long period of time. If you too are up to the Zero Waste Week challenge, stop by Miller hall to pick up your one gallon bag. Pin or clip it to your backpack, satchel, or purse and keep up with everything you throw away that isn’t composted or recycled, or could have been avoided via reuse (i.e., plastic water bottles used instead of a reusable bottle).

And, don’t forget, on Wednesday, October 16th, at 12pm - bring your Zero-Waste challenge bag to the Academic Quad where the Eco-Reps will be making a pile of the Zero-Waste challenge bags alongside “Jumbo Mountains” -  piles of trash generated from 5 different residence halls in the past week– to demonstrate just how much of a difference being conscious of your consumption and waste can make.

The first 100 people to drop off their bags will get free cider donuts and cider, and one bag will be chosen at random to win a cool Terracycle backpack made of recycled material (so put your email address on the bag when you drop it off!)

Bay State Bike Week

Bay State Bike Week, “an annual celebration of human-powered, two-wheeled transportation” in Massachusetts, is taking place from Saturday, May 11 through Sunday, May 19.  With the weather finally warming up, this is the perfect time to get those bikes out and start riding, whether it’s to and from work or for pleasure!

There are lots of ways to celebrate at Tufts, including:

Visit baystatebikeweek.org and masscommuterchallenge.org for more information.

Earth Week – Past and Future!

We here at the Office of Sustainability have trouble containing our excitement about all things environmental. So we decided that the best way to celebrate Earth Day was with not one but TWO weeks of activities! If you missed the first week, you can still get in on the fun with a variety of happenings (see below!).
Clothing Swap
Last week our Eco-Reps held a session on natural spas, and on Sunday we joined student groups on campus for EarthFest 2013! It was a beautiful day – the Eco-Reps held another successful clothing swap (look at all those clothes!), we tested students’ recycling IQs, students from a Climate Justice course presented their final project, and MORE!
Workhorse Reusable Shopping BagWe have also extended our Earth Week Scavenger Hunt for another week! Snap some cool pictures of specific items and people around campus, post them to our Twitter or Facebook pages, and you could win a cool reusable shopping bag that folds into its own pouch and is small enough to carry in a purse or pocket.

It is important to remember, however, that Earth Day (Earth Week, Earth Month) is just a greater surge in what should be a year-round effort. Make a change today, small or large. Take advantage of the many resources available on our website and blog, submit events and comments to help us improve, and always feel free to actually stop by to talk! Many thanks also to Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE), the Environmental Studies department, and Tufts Sustainability Collective for all that they do!

Also happening this week:
If you live in a dorm at Tufts, don’t forget to take our short survey about the Tufts Eco-Rep program. By completing the survey, you will be entered into a raffle for $50!

Earth Week Events

Please join the Office of Sustainability for a free viewing of YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip! ”Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road – traveling with hope, humor, and all of their garbage – to explore every state in America (the good, the bad…and the weird) in search of the extraordinary innovators and citizens who are tackling humanity’s greatest environmental crises.” Expect to laugh, learn – and enjoy some FREE Flatbread PIZZA while you’re at it!
In addition to the  screening of YERT, here is a selection of Earth Week events happening on the Tufts campus or in the area!

And as always… Stay Green!

Earth Week Scavenger Hunt

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! EXTENDED THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 28th!!!

Take part in our Earth Week scavenger hunt and YOU could win cool prizes!

Rules: Take pictures of the following items and post them on the Office of Sustainability Facebook and Twitter pages. The top photo-getters will receive fun prizes! For a list to take around with you, use our printable Earth Week Scavenger Hunt!

Send us a picture of…

  • your reusable water bottle
  • the front of Tufts Institute of the Environment or the Office of Sustainability
  • you with President Monaco doing something sustainable together
  • “Choose to Reuse” sticker
  • compost
  • a bike
  • a meatless meal
  • bike generator (in the lobby of TIE/OOS)
  • Terracycle (try Tower Café or the Lobby of OOS)
  • an Eco-Rep
  • a CFL or LED lightbulb
  • you on the T or MBTA Bus
  • one of the 4 Zip Cars on campus
  • wildlife (bonus points if it’s not a tree, flower, or squirrel)
  • you turning off the lights or your power strip
  • Recycling!
  • Tina Woolston, Director of the Office of Sustainability
  • a Professor teaching an environmental class
  • an Eco-Tour sign
  • Eco-Labels
  • TSC Meeting or Branch Meeting

We will be handing out Choose to Reuse stickers to ALL participants, whether or not you win, at our table at Earth Fest. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Eco-Rep Update

Anyone pumped about the environment, which ought be everyone, should apply to be an Eco-Rep for the Fall of 2013!  We are looking for a diverse group of people looking to make an positive impact on the environment!  Do it now! 

Get excited!  Recyclemania is coming to a close with only a week left for all the dorm to step up the recycling!  Make sure to check out the website if you are not sure what is and is not recyclable, or, ask any Eco-Rep!  Go green and help support Tufts in the national competition!

A call for old cloths: do you have cloths that you don’t wear any more?  Do you have no more space in your closet?  It’s about time to let go of your old cloths by donating it to the Eco-Reps for the upcoming clothing swap!  There are boxes in each dorm for cloths (but no shoes) so make sure to get some Spring cleaning done and stick some of your old cloths in the labelled boxes!

This week at our meeting the Eco-Reps learned about environmentally friendly ways to get around.  Too often we rely on our personal cars to take us places.  We found that in reality, public transportation tends to be cheaper, stress free, and easier.  The T is always a reliable way to get around the Boston area, and buses are very dependable too!  There are a lot of helpful applications for your phone to track buses and the T.  We came to the conclusion that buses are a great way to get around: bus drivers are great, they are cheaper than the T, and you can even hitch your bike to the front of the bus( just don’t forget to take it down when you get off!).  Getting a ZipCar and carpooling is also often very cost effective and convenient.  If you are a Tufts student, there are special rate!  Check out the website to learn more and to see how to register.  But, let’s not forget the lovely Tufts Bikes group on campus that allows us to borrow bikes from Tisch library for up to 8 hours!

Fun fact: L.A. could have potentially been the most eco-friendly county.  But, because of the political and economic power of big oil companies, much of the plans to implement awesome public transportation was not made possible.  It was quite surprising to many of us how great energy-efficient technology has been developed in the past, but has been destroyed or overlooked because of the multi-billion dollar industry that capitalized on oil and fossil fuels.

Earth Day is coming up so get excited for dorm and school-wide events!  There are going to be flyers and posters all around campus, but if you want to get more details RA’s and Eco-Reps are always happy to tell you all about the exiting upcoming events!

Bike Week at Tufts

Bike Week Poster webAlthough the weather may lead you to believe otherwise, it is now officially spring – and do you know what that means? It’s bike season! To celebrate, we have declared this week to be Bike Week at Tufts!
The Office of Sustainability and Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) have teamed up to encourage everyone to get on a bike this spring! Whether you are looking for a bike or need help getting your bike roadworthy again, join us on March 27 (Wednesday) at the Upper Patio of the Campus Center during open block (12-2pm).   We have invited folks from Bikes not BombsBike BoomTUPDfBIKEMassRides, and our very own TuftsBikes to join us (see below).

We are also proud to introduce a Bike Map for the Medford campus to help you avoid the nastiest uphill climbs and improve your biking experience here at Tufts. Whether you bike for fun, to save time, save money, reduce your carbon footprint, or simply exercise, we think you’ll find something here to interest and help you.

Happy Spring! (It’s about time, right?)

Bike Week + Eco-Reps Application + More!

Can you believe it’s already March? In case you haven’t figured out what to do yet next week, consider going green for spring break. Then after everyone gets back, the Office of Sustainability and Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) will be holding TIE Bicycle Generatora Get Green and Get on a Bike” event at the Mayer Campus Center during open block on March 27th, Wednesday. You will be able to test a folding bike, get a free tune-up for your bike, pick up a new bike map (developed especially for conquering the hilly Medford/Somerville campus), and more! Make sure to look out for BiciGen, TIE’s bike generator, coming soon to a place near you on campus. You can take a spin and charge your phone at the same time.

Engineering students should know that an Environmental Science and Policy minor has just been approved! Check the Environmental Studies department website for more information over the coming weeks.

TuftsEcoRepsIf you are living on campus next year and would like to be involved in sustainability, consider applying to be an Eco-Rep for the 2013-2014 school year. The Tufts Eco-Reps are a group of residential students who help to raise awareness about ecological issues, encourage environmentally responsible behavior among their hall mates and peers, and plan related events and activities. Meet all of our current Eco-Reps here.

As always, you can get the latest from the Office of Sustainability by following us on Twitter (@TuftsOOS) and Facebook (Tufts Office of Sustainability). We are already planning for Earth Fest for the last week in April. Let us know if you want to get involved.

 

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Stay Green!
Tufts Office of Sustainability

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