Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Category: Eco-Reps (page 3 of 4)

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!

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 + 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.

 

Interested in getting our newsletter? Sign up on our homepage. (About halfway down on the right, “Subscribe to our mailing list”.) We publish once every two weeks.

Stay Green!
Tufts Office of Sustainability

Eco – Reps Update

For the past two weeks the Eco-Reps have been very busy planning events and publicizing Recyclemania! Evan, Vishaka, Arshiya, and Dani made a music video to a parody of a popular song by Lonely Island, called “I Just Recycled!”.

 

RecycleMania at Tufts from Arshiya Goel on Vimeo.

With just over 3 weeks left in the competition, Tufts is doing great! In the dorm rankings, Bush Hall is ranked first, followed by Hodgdon, Metcalf, and South, with a B for their overall recycling. Miller is currently in last place, with a grade of C. The Eco Reps in Tilton, Lewis, and Bush have all performed Recyclemania trash-sorting demonstrations during each dorm’s hall snacks to get the residents excited about the competition.
Other events on campus have included a planting event in Hodgdon and a food event in Wren. We have also hosted our weekly meatless meals in Dewick, and many more events are in the works!
In our meetings in the past couple weeks we have discussed social marketing and the legitimacy of different certification labels. Two weeks ago we were given a stack of labels and asked to decide whether or not they actually represent an environmental certification. Two of the labels that were tricky were the Leaping Bunny label found on many cosmetics and the EPEAT label found on many electronics. We learned that these are in fact legitimate certifications, so make sure you buy cosmetics and electronics with these labels! Last week we discussed the importance of social marketing, a strategy of targeting individuals to influence behavior change. We talked about the importance of providing individual incentives to make our residence create more environmentally friendly habits, realizing that social marketing would be a very effective way to create change on campus.
And finally, the applications to become an Eco Rep for next fall is now available! We encourage anyone with any inclination to apply to submit applications, especially if you have any interest in event planning. You do not need to be an Environmental Studies major to apply. We are looking to promote diversity of thought within our group. We look forward to finding new Reps for next year!

New Eco-Ambassadors & Eco-Reps + Recyclemania 2013

2013 Medford January Eco-Ambassadors receive their certificates of completion from instructors Tina and Dani

As we continue to thaw out from the snowstorms, the Office of Sustainability is also shaking off its winter hibernation. We would like to congratulate our five new Eco-Ambassadors: Barbara Eisenhaure and Jennifer Carland, both from the Office of the Vice Provost; Sara Hepburn of Technology for Learning in the Health Sciences (within the School of Medicine);  Amey Callehan from Tisch Library; and Elizabeth Erenberg from the Music Department. They are now part of the group of Tufts staff and faculty who champion sustainability in the workplace and serve as “green” resources within their offices or departments.

We are also excited to welcome four new Eco-Reps this spring – “meet” them in the section below and read about what they are up to this semester! You may spot them at Dewick on Wednesdays from 6-7pm promoting Meatless Meals, but look out for Eco-Rep events within the dorms.

RecycleManiaStudent residents who think their dorm/house is the greenest on campus will get a chance to prove it: Tufts is once again competing in the annual RecycleMania Tournament. TuftsRecycles interns will be walking through Tufts dorms and off-campus houses grading recycling efforts. (The exact prize for the winning dorm is still under wraps, but you and your hallmates could win a party with incredible food and entertainment!) Interdorm recycling results and Tufts’ live Recyclemania standings are available online, so check them out and make sure to recycle everything you can – and tell your neighbors!

Finally, please remember that you are always welcome to drop in at the Office of Sustainability! We share a space with the Tufts Institute of Environment and Environmental Studies Program in Miller Hall (across the parking lot from Tufts Hillel). Among many other resources here at the Office, you can compost; recycle your chip bags, energy bar wrappers, batteries, and light bulbs; and even take a spin on a bicycle generator to charge your cellphone. We hope you visit us soon.

Stay Green!
Tufts Office of Sustainability

Eco-Reps Update

These past two weeks, the Eco-Reps have been in contact with people all over campus. Professor Nancy Gleason talked to us about sustainable development. Our own Ben Rabe shared his experience working as an energy auditor before coming to Tufts and how it relates to dorm life. As you know from our last blog post, we’ve been doing work with Tufts Recycles to work on the Recyclemania challenge. In addition to all of this, our reps have been hard at work planning their first events of the semester. Look out for flyers advertising your dorms event!

Fletcher School alumnus and beloved professor Nancy Gleason’s talk to the Reps about sustainable development was one of the most anticipated meetings of the semester. On the university level, Professor Gleason emphasized that college is the most sustainably most students will ever live in their entire lives. We rarely use cars, all of our food in the dining halls and dorms is composted, we have have low flow shower heads, easily accessible recycling and terracycling. Even those not conscious of sustainable living are living more sustainably. Our mission as Eco-Reps is to make people aware of this fact so that Tufts’ students can graduate being aware of their effect on the planet. On a larger scale, Professor Gleason emphasized climate refugees, the people that will be displaced due to rising sea levels. Some uphill reps will be having an event talking about this the week before spring break. Find out more about Professor Gleason, her work, and her classes. (She’s extremely nice and knowledgeable.)

Ben Rabe, the Blakely Eco-Rep, worked as an energy auditor in Minnesota after undergrad before coming to the Fletcher School. Energy Auditors show you how your home is using energy, where you’re losing it and how to make it more efficient. Ben gave us a presentation of how this relates to dorm life. Opening your window on the top floor of a building for example, doesn’t let any air in, unless there’s a breeze, it just lets air out. This only serves to make the bottom floors colder! If you would like more information regarding dorm energy usage and how you can help, contact Ben!

Recyclemania is in full swing! Tufts could be doing A LOT better. We are doing okay, but so far our first round results are lower than last year. Keep up with your progress here! Also, learn what is recyclable at Tufts . It’s an easy how to guide of what goes in each bin at Tufts. If you live in Lewis or Tilton, hall snack trash sort demonstrations are coming your way.  We know Tufts students love being green so let’s show our support for Tufts and the Environment and beat Harvard this year in the National competition!

Last but not least, some great Eco-Rep events are coming up. West and Hill will be joint hosting a Lorax bike-powered movie night! South will be having tasty bike-powered smoothies. Other tasty events to look forward to are Vishakha’s composting event with dirt cups (those delicious pudding + oreo + gummy bear creations) and Sidney’s delicious vegan foods event. Other events are on their way as well. If you live in these dorms definitely go! But if you don’t live in these dorms, you can still come! I know all the reps will be wanting in on these amazing events and treats. If you don’t like delicious food or the environment, then  come hang out and let us know what kind of event you want to see from us!

Thanks for reading!

Eco-Reps Kick Off Spring 2013

Hi everyone! The Eco-Reps program is proud to welcome four new reps for the spring 2013 semester. Vishakha Ramakrishnan is in Bush Hall. Charlotte Clarke is taking over Hill. Norihito Naka is joining Haskell Hall. You can find out more about our lovely new members here.

Spring events preview

This past week all the Reps hosted “meet and greets” in their dorm. We run  these events every semester to get to know some new residents and reconnect with others. Each rep offered a unique event featuring everything from baked goods to recycling pledges to green dorm room surveys!

This semester we have some big events we’ll be working on as a group. For the first one we are teaming up with Tufts Recycles to work on Recyclemania. Recyclemania is a national competition to see which university is the best at recycling. The grade scale focuses on the percentage of recyclables thrown in the trash can. At Tufts, we will also be doing an inter-dorm competition. Be sure to look out for grades posted in your building and around campus.  The Eco-Reps kicked off the event in Dewick dining hall last wednesday passing out candy and information regarding the event. You can track our national progress and learn more about the competition at http://recyclemaniacs.org/.

A team of our reps met with David McGraw at the Office for Campus Life this past week to talk about making Spring Fling more sustainable. We’ll be working more on this during the upcoming weeks.

Last but not least, Meatless Meals will be happening in Dewick dining hall Wednesdays from 6-7 pm.

Vishakha

Carolyn

Charlotte

Norihito

Do It In the Dark

This week we are going to talk about the Eco-Rep initiative DO IT IN THE DARK (DIITD).  With the help of facilities we’re comparing the electricity usage from mid-October – mid-November 2011 to mid-October – mid-November 2012.  Since weather differences won’t make much of a difference with for electric usage, it should be a fair comparison.  We as students can make a tremendous difference by doing simple things like remembering to turn off our lights and computers when we leave for class.  Just switching our desk lamp to a CFL from and incandescent bulb save 75% of the electric used.  Below are some Fun Facts about how to save energy at Tufts.

Fun Energy Facts:
- 90% of the energy that goes into an incandescent bulb is wasted as heat.
- If everyone in a South a floor lamp with an incandescent bulb while they’re at class it would save 23kWh of electricity.
- If you don’t unplug your mini-fridge when you leave for Winter Break, you’d waste 20kWh of electricity.

Tips for Zero-Waste Week

It’s easy to do the Zero Waste Challenge when you are at a place like Tufts, where recycling bins abound and compost drops are available on campus. Still, here are some good tips to keep in mind:

  • Snack on fresh fruit – it’s healthier AND it’s compostable.
  • Carry a small tupperware to put food to compost later.
  • Bring your lunch and use the container to get takeout for dinner.
  • Get your drinks without a straw.
  • Avoid individually wrapped tea or drink loose leaf tea.
  • Always bring a reusable mug or water bottle.

    Photo courtesy of Tufts Dining

    • Save 20 cents at Mugar Cafe, Tower Cafe, Brown & Brew, Hodgdon Good-to-Go & Commons Deli if you bring your own mug.
    • The Tufts “Choose to Reuse” clear water bottle will get you a discount on any fountain beverage at Mugar Cafe, Hodgdon Good-to-Go, Commons Deli, and Tower Cafe. Water and sparkling water will also be discounted at Hotung Cafe.

A few things to remember:

  • Aluminum foil and yogurt cups are recyclable.
  • All napkins are compostable.
  • Any rigid plastic can be recycled – including coffee stirrers. (It doesn’t have to fit through the openings of the recycling bin, by the way – just lift the cover.)
  • Energy bar wrappers and chip bags are recyclable. Tufts has Terracycle brigades on campus.

For more information on recycling and composting at Tufts, visit the TuftsRecycles! website.

Good luck and have fun!

Eco Rep-Tufts Office of Sustainability (Medford, MA)

Apply now to be an Eco Rep for the Spring 2013 Semester!

The Tufts Eco-Representatives (Eco-Reps) are a group of residential students who help to raise awareness about ecological issues, encourage environmentally responsible behavior in their hall-mates and peers, and plan related events and activities. They also organize group activities, collaborative projects, and represent the Eco-Reps Program at various campus events. Eco-Reps attend a training retreat at the beginning of the semester as well as weekly meetings. For more information about the program, visit our website.

The application process is rolling, so apply today! Contact tuftsecoreps@gmail.com with questions.

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