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Eco Reps Update: Welcome Back to Tufts!

Hello fellow Jumbos! The Eco-Reps are so excited for a new semester of being green. We are pleased to welcome some new Eco-Reps to our team:

Savannah Christiansen, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies and English, will now be repping in Hill Hall. Danielle Mulligan, a freshman from Chicago, is also interested in Environmental Studies and will be an Eco-Rep in Tilton. Hayley Ernyey has returned to her position as an Eco-Rep from a semester in Vietnam; she will be in West Hall while she studies International Relations this semester. Also joining our team is Aparna Dasaraju, a sophomore who will be the second Eco-Rep in Carmichael Hall.

Along with some new faces, the Eco-Reps have some new practices this semester. First of all, compost use will be revamped. This semester, reps will be checking and removing the compost regularly, and each dorm will have a central compost removal hub outside. Dorm dwellers will have the pleasure of knowing whenever their Rep has checked the compost, by viewing the checklist posted at each bin:

 

The bins will be checked on Mondays and Thursdays each week, which will be evident from the sign in sheet.

 Additionally, the Eco-Reps will each be in charge of presenting to the rest of the group about an environmental issue during our weekly meetings. Each of us will get the chance to impart to the group what makes us passionate about the environment, and learn about a variety of others’ interests in the process.

Look out for the Eco-Reps in the upcoming weeks at our meet-and-greets! Hope to see y’all there.

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!

The View from Blakeley Hall

This is Andrew, the Fletcher School’s Eco-Representative. For this week’s post I’ll give you an idea of what it is like to be the Eco-Rep for Blakeley Hall, Fletcher’s graduate student dormitory. First, some background: Blakeley was built in 1926, in a Georgian style of architecture. It has three wings set around a courtyard, with seven independent towers of rooms. The middle tower houses Blakeley’s common room and kitchen, which serves as the busiest gathering space for residents, and the source of delicious smells when students cook dinner or prepare baked goods as a method of procrastination during exam periods…

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Every year, about eighty students in Fletcher’s various degree programs spend a year (or a semester, for exchange students) in singles, doubles, and triples. Many residents come from overseas, which results in a vibrant social scene and a tremendous variety of cuisines prepared in the kitchen. Residents routinely come together for dorm-wide events, like communal cooking events, pick-up cricket matches in the courtyard, and Fletcher’s infamous Blakeley Halloween Party.

As to Eco-Rep and sustainability initiatives, Blakeley, like all Tufts dorms, has receptacles for recycling and compost collection. Each tower contains recycling containers on the ground floor, and the communal compost bin is located in the kitchen. I am happy to report that since the beginning of the school year, Blakeley residents have increased their average weekly compost collection by about 60%! Lastly, each of Blakeley’s towers will contain boxes for TerraCycle recycling. Regarding recycling, we may have to wait until Recyclemania to ascertain how well residents are sorting their materials. Residents have been keeping tabs on recycling and composting, asking me many good questions, and offering suggestions on ways to make Blakeley even greener. I’m very encouraged thus far by their enthusiasm and look forward to holding further Eco-Rep events at the dorm. Next up this month: a pie baking event with a review of composting and recycling best practices!

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 Is Over!

It’s mid-October, which means that the leaves are changing, apples are everywhere, and Zero Waste Week has now come and gone! Thank you to all of the students, faculty, and staff that took part in the challenge this week!

Zero Waste Week has really been eye-opening for me. It reminded me of how much I could actually compost, recycle, and terraCycle (I’ve saved a lot of things from my bag because of terraCycle!), but also how much trash I use. On the very first day of the Zero Waste Challenge, I started cleaning up things around my dorm, only to realize that the paper towels and cleaning supplies I’d used were just trash. On the whole the Eco-Reps really happy with how the week went, and we definitely won’t forget the lessons we learned over the course of this challenge. Thank you to everyone that participated! Check back next week for a recap of the week and hear about Wednesday’s Jumbo Mountains event.

In other news, Eco-Reps are getting even more involved in their dorms. Most dorms have a shiny, new board decorated with helpful environmental tips and recycled paper. Check out what our very creative Eco-Reps have been putting up for their residents!

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Campaigns are also starting up for the semester. Make sure you talk to your Eco-Rep to see what they’re doing through December! More events are coming up, too, so get excited to see what your hall has planned.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading, staying green, and participating in Zero Waste Week!

 

The Eco-Reps are at it again…in preparation for Zero Waste Week!

If the last week has been a bit quiet from the Eco-Reps, it’s probably been because of exams and papers, but also because we’ve been preparing for Zero Waste Week, which starts October 9th and runs through October 16th! You might have seen us scurrying around in Lewis or the Crafts Center getting our buttons and bags ready for the big day. To learn more about Zero Waste Week, feel free to talk to your local Eco-Rep, or go here: http://sustainability.tufts.edu/zero-waste-challenge/. We look forward to seeing all the Zero Waste Week participants, especially at Jumbo Mountains at noon on the 16th! Bags will be distributed at several places on campus, so be sure to talk to your Eco-Rep if you plan on taking the challenge!

Murvi hard at work

 

In other news, Eco-Reps Audrey Dunn and Chantal Davis held the H2(WHAT!?) event in Hill Hall last Thursday, October 3rd to great success! Water trivia night was a blast, and you can see some of the photos below.

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Campaigns will be fully underway soon, so be on the lookout as Eco-Reps organize events to raise awareness for what initiatives we have planned for the dorms! South Hall will be having a freecycle event in the near future, so bring your junk, bring your treasure, or even your compost, and see if anyone wants it! It’s about that time of the year, so good luck with exams and papers everybody! Until next week.

Tufts Eco-Reps at Community Day and Future Events

Despite autumn having finally found its way onto campus, the grass is still green on the academic quad here at Tufts! This past weekend, the Tufts Eco-Reps helped welcome members of the local cities of Medford and Somerville to our campus for Community Day at Tufts. Meant to bring the Tufts, Medford, and Somerville communities together, Community Day had a number of student performance groups showcased as well as a few groups running booths and tables on the main academic quad.

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The Reps had a great time running the apple carving station that included stamping and decorating our own fruit sculpted masterpieces. The event was meant to raise awareness for the almost unlimited potential behind reusing everyday items. Overall, it was a great chance to reach out to other members of the community and have a little fun while we’re at it.

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Going ahead, you can look forward to a number of campaigns that the Eco-Reps will be hosting in each of the dorms on campus, with the intention of raising awareness for specific sustainability related issues. Coming up soonest is H2(WHAT)!?, a water themed trivia night on October 3rd from 8-10 PM in the Hill Hall Lounge hosted by Eco-Reps Audrey and Chantal. Don’t forget to bring your own glass, and you could win a new reusable water bottle!

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As the semester progresses, keep an eye out for your dorm’s Eco-Rep as we continue to work our hardest in trying to make green living at Tufts a little easier.

Freecycling at Sustainability Suite and Blakeley’s new Eco-Rep

It’s been a busy and exciting week as the Tufts Eco-Reps got back to work across campus! First and foremost, we are very pleased to introduce Andrew Williams, our new Rep for Blakeley Hall! Andrew is a second year MALD student at the Fletcher School, an avid cyclist, and a distance runner. We’re so glad to have him join the team, and we’re looking forward to working with Fletcher students to promote sustainability.

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In other news, this past week Reps continued to host “Meet-and-Greets” in their halls as a way of getting to know residents, plan future activities, and discuss sustainable behavior. Cookies, brownies, and music were all brought out to start the year off with good vibes and good humor. Many halls constructed new Terracycle boxes or reconstructed old ones as a way of further diverting wrappers from the waste stream, and composting bins have now spread to all of the dorms.

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The Eco-Reps also enjoyed the Tufts Freecycle event hosted by the Sustainability Suite this past Friday. At the event, people were able to drop off old clothing, shoes, sombreros, parasols, and other items, with the opportunity to find for themselves a great pair of used jeans, a comfy sweater, or a sweet new carpet. All this, while chatting over music, fresh baked treats, and beautiful weather!

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Looking ahead, the Reps are beginning to plan events and campaigns for the remainder of the semester–things that should be both a lot of fun, and a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, and stay green!

Greetings from this year’s Eco-Reps 2013-2014!

As the new school year begins, so does a new set of Eco-Reps! We kicked off this year in the same way last year’s group did, working for Tufts Recycles during the matriculation lunch and O-show dinners, helping people sort their waste into “compostables”, “plastic”, which consisted of ONLY the utensils, and trash.

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But a new addition to this year’s Eco-Reps’ role in orientation included a pledge booth at “Jumbolicious”, one of the largest orientation events. This year, it was held in Aidekman, featuring an electric bull, a dance floor with DJ, free food, free swag, and of course…yours truly! Freshmen (and others) were able to pledge to be more sustainable in their lives, by doing things from composting to taking shorter showers to turning off the lights to unplugging electronics. Our goal is to print out pictures of the residents in their respective halls, holding them more accountable (AND making them famous, of course), for their noble actions. We got over 100 pledges!

 

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Then, right as school started, we got to work. Hopefully you saw us at your all-hall meetings, in the lobbies of the dorms putting out the terraCycle boxes or Compost bins, or maybe at our meet-and-greets! (Complete with donuts, cookies, and other great treats). The meet and greets are ways for us to really have one-on-one time with our residents to receive feedback, ideas, and goals.

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Another new addition to the Eco-Rep agenda this year is the terraCycle Brigade. Terracycle (http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/) is a company that turns snack wrappers that contain the shiny inner lining, such as chip bags or granola bars, into some sweet products. We’ve also decided to weigh our compost before emptying it in order to accurately report on how much people are really composting in the dorms. Reception has varied across dorms, but in general been very good. Keep up the good work, residents!

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