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)
There have been many Eco-Rep Events this month all that involve sustainability, environmental awareness and empowering Tufts students.
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’.
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
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.
- 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!
- 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?
- Bring a reusable bag for any of your shopping trips to the markets stalls or stores wherever you are visiting.
- 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.
- 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!
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…
Blakely Hall: C
Bush Hall: B
Carmichael Hall: C+
Haskell Hall: C-
Hill Hall: B-
Hodgdon Hall: B-
Houston Hall: C-
Lewis Hall: C
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!
EcoRep, Miller Hall
-by Angie Bell
If you’ve mastered composting and are looking for more ways to show your sustainability spirit, now is a great time to start! There are some really awesome events coming up soon that are sure to get you pumped to go green.
As you may already know, RecycleMania is in full swing! Keep up that meticulous recycling because trash is still being graded until the end of March. Preliminary grading put Tilton, Carpenter House and Wilson House in the lead with A minuses, but it’s not too late for your dorm to take the lead! If you have any questions about what is recyclable in your dorm, your Eco-rep is here to help! Also, keep in mind that the whole of the Tufts Meford campus will get a collective grade and then be compared to other schools. This is a great chance to show that environmental responsibility is a priority here at Tufts! Results will be out the first week of April, and the winning dorm gets to bounce around in one of these babies:
If that doesn’t spark your competitive spirit, I don’t know what will!
If you are interested in energy usage (we know we are!), the Tufts Energy Conference is another event coming up on March 8-9. The theme of this year’s conference is “Shifting Dynamics in Emerging Markets” and it will feature several experts and professionals as keynote speakers, an energy showcase of innovative projects and technologies, interactive small-group discussions, and an exciting competition where student innovators can pitch projects to win seed funding. Whether you’re already an expert or you just want to get your toes wet, this is a great opportunity to learn from the pros! If you want to learn more about the conference or register to attend, visit the conference website. And while you’re at it, reduce your energy usage in the dorm by:
- Unplugging electronics
- Turning of your power strip
- Turning off your laptop overnight
- Turning off the lights when you’re not around
- Choosing the woolens setting on the washing machines (they do the same job with less energy!)
As always, if you have any questions regarding these events or sustainability in the dorms, contact your friendly neighborhood Eco-rep for answers! Hope you all have a wonderful (and environmentally-friendly) week!
–Angie (Eco-rep for Carm)