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Eco-Reps Update: Green Campus!

-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)

Eco-Rep Update: Living a Green Life

by Arshiya Goel

This week the Eco-reps had Dr. Jack Barbash as a guest speaker. A research chemist for the U.S. Geological Survey, he spoke to us about his job and his views on the green movement. I was especially inspired by his dedication to living sustainably. When he visited Boston from California, he took the train (a three day journey) instead of flying! We were all impressed by the amount of patience this takes and what a big difference it makes. Airplanes are the worst gas-guzzlers and have humongous carbon footprints, while trains use only a small percentage of that energy for the same distance travelled.

It’s not easy to forgo the ease of flying for long train journeys in order to reduce your carbon footprint, but the key to sustainable living is baby steps towards those big commitments! Here are a few simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and live green during college!

  • Recycle! Tufts recycles everything from paper, cardboard, hard plastics to aluminum foil and metals. Just look at the front of the bins on your floors.
  • Use CFL or LED bulbs. They use less energy and last for decades. Take your old bulbs to the Office of Sustainability (on the back of Miller Hall) to trade them in for a CFL!
  • Use cold wash when doing laundry. This is better for your clothes and uses a lot less energy.  To do this in the dorm laundry machines choose “woolens” or “bright colors”.
  • Plug your electronics into a power strip and remember to turn it off when you leave your room. This stops them from leaking “vampire energy”.
  • Compost your food scraps! Our dorm composts can compost nearly everything (but no meat, dairy or eggs, please).
  • Try to cut down on your shower time or just turn the faucet off while shampooing.
  • You can recycle batteries, ink cartridges, cell phones, and even electronic chargers. Look for the white boxes in your dorms and in some other buildings on campus!
  • REDUCE! Think about the packaged things you are buying and make choices that decrease the waste you produce.

For more information and tips you can ask any Eco-rep for a Green Guide. These are just small steps towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. Every decision you make can make a difference. With every step we take, we aim to collectively reduce our negative impact on the climate as a species. It’s not always easy and it’s rarely comfortable, but it is essential for our future on this planet. And maybe next time you need to travel from Boston to New York or Seattle to Portland you can consider taking a train and enjoying the beautiful scenery from ground level!

-Arshiya

The Latest From the Eco-Reps!

by Ellen Osborn

Hey there Tufts greenies!

recyclemaniaThe Eco-reps have been busy this week, just as I’m sure you have been! The semester is in full swing, especially with the kick-off of RECYCLEMANIA!!! The competition is officially on, so start obsessively sorting trash everywhere you go, but especially in your own dorm to win the inter-dorm competition and claim the epic prize at the end!

This week, residents of Hodgdon Hall taste-tested bottled and tap water during the Superbowl to see if they could taste the difference, as many big bottle companies claim most can. As Eco-Rep Arshiya Goel predicted, her residents mostly preferred the tap water! So fill those water bottles at the fountain without fear, Jumbos: you’re getting a great deal and saving the planet one plastic bottle at a time! Thanks to our guinea pigs, the wonderful residents of Hodgdon Hall, who were multi-tasking, taking their Superbowl time to create some fascinating new data in favor of sustainability!

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Wren Hall is making green strides this week as well with the kick-off of a new DORM BAGS campaign. Piloted last semester, the project is back in full swing with lots of new bags and potential users! Residents are very excited for this new resource as thawing sidewalks start to make a trek to Whole Foods actually realistic. The bags can be signed out for a day and are set up in the lobby. They can be seen as you stroll by uphill, so take a peek! And, if you live in Wren, enjoy the new bags!

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-Ellen

 

Eco-Reps Update: SoHa Really is SoHawt

by Murvi Babalola

There’s a crazy rumor going around that South Hall is one of the hottest dorms (if not the hottest dorm) on campus. In the past few months that Jesse and I have been Eco-Reps here, I’ve come to the conclusion that if this is, indeed, a fact, it is largely due to the Eco-Reps’ presence in the dorm.

The Eco-Reps have been very active in South Hall these past few days. We revamped our compost facilities, re-launched our FreeCycle campaign, and hosted our Meet-and-Greet for the semester. One of our goals this semester was to keep the compost fresh, and what better way to do that than to put on the face of the Fresh Prince himself? By the end of the month, we plan to have compost bins on every floor with the faces on Will and Carlton on each of them, reminding residents to keep the compost fresh simply by closing the lid.

compost compost

Our Meet-and-Greet was great! We served milk and cookies in some compostable cups left over from our smoothie event last semester. Everyone that came through made a sustainability pledge, committing to perform at least one day-to-day action in a more sustainable way. They put these pledges on paper leaves, which will soon go up on the SoHa Sustain-a-Tree in the lovely eco-nook.

meetandgreet meetandgreet meet and greet

When SoHa residents heard about the Sustainable Selfie Contest, they were only too happy to pose with me, giving their best selfie faces. You saw it here first, folks; this is the start of a beautiful union between South Hall and the Eco-Reps.

selfie Selfie2 selfie selfie

It might be a little early to be talking, but to all the other dorms, WE’RE TAKING THE RECYCLEMANIA PRIZE THIS YEAR!

There’s really nothing cooler than being green.

captain planet

Until next week!

 

-Murvi

Apply to Live in the Tufts Green House Today!

Do you love our beautiful blue-green planet? Do you have a passion for the outdoors or a hankering for increased efficiency indoors? Do you enjoy windowsill gardens and casual kitchen conversations? If you answered YES to these questions… Today’s your lucky day because the application deadline for the Tufts Green House in Latin Way has been extended! The application, which you can fill out online, is open until this Thursday, February 13 at midnight. Take some time to fill it out if you have an interest in living in the house next year. Message the current residents of the Green House at their Facebook page or email them at tuftsgreenhouse@gmail.com with any questions about applications!

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.

Lunch and Learn Recap: Alicia Hunt

This week’s Lunch and Learn, an initiative of the Environmental Studies Department, featured Alicia Hunt, director of Energy and the Environment for the city of Medford.  Ms. Hunt spoke to a packed room of students, professors, community members, representatives of the Tufts Institute for the Environment and the Office of Sustainability, and President Monaco himself!

aliciahuntMs. Hunt began with an overview of city demographics and background. Medford was actually the fourth English settlement in North America! Today, the city is home to 56,000 residents, but it is also 1/3 green space, including The Fells.

Medford has also long been a trendsetter in environmental and sustainability innovation. Its Go Green Medford initiative has placed the city at the vanguard nationally. In 2002, Medford switched all its traffic lights over to LED – revolutionary at the time, but now the standard of efficiency. In 2004, its city hall was the first in Massachusetts to receive the Energy Star Plaque, and in 2009 Medford built the first municipal-scale wind turbine at a school in Massachusetts. “We love to be first” with everything green, said Hunt.

In fact, Medford has gotten so good at setting the standard for sustainability that when the Department of Energy launched its Better Buildings Challenge, they specifically recruited Medford to participate,  knowing the prestige and expertise which Medford would bring to the program.

Hunt was also quick to point out how helpful the state’s grants and other incentives are in driving sustainability.

Just last year, Medford developed a local energy action plan, an updated version of its 2001 climate action plan. Other recent initiatives and accomplishments include an Idle-Free Medford education outreach campaign and participation in SolarizeMass. Tufts’s planned installation of solar panels on the roof of Dowling Hall will be part of Medford’s Solarize Medford initiative. Hunt emphasized that the work that the city had done in vetting potential solar companies and determining which would work best in the community made the process and decision immeasurably easier for residents looking into solar installations.

In addition, while Medford has long had a focus on residential sustainability, Hunt said they are adding a focus on encouraging green business practices.

Of course, we were glad to hear that Hunt and her department are always looking for Tufts students and faculty to contribute to the efforts, whether through work-study, volunteering, internships, stenciling by storm drains, investigating the feasibility of a compost program, etc. Tufts is so fortunate to be situated in such a sustainable city!

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.

photo 3

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 Office of Sustainability is looking for a Communications Intern

*UPDATE: This position has been filled*

Come work with us! The Tufts Office of Sustainability is currently seeking a new communications intern, to begin in spring 2014. Tufts students eligible to apply. Find the job posting and apply through the Tufts job portal, JobX.

Communications Intern
Job ID 3785
Job Type On-Campus Jobs
Employer Office of Sustainbility
Job Category Editorial
Job Description The role of the Communications Intern is primarily to assist the Office of Sustainability Marketing team in implementing its marketing and outreach initiatives. Among the responsibilities of the intern are: – Produce content for the various communications channels (online and traditional) – Update the website, blog, Facebook, newsletter and Twitter feed – Assist in organizing events – Create and update materials such as brochures, newsletters, posters, flyers, signs, etc. – Design layouts for both print and online communications – Take and edit photographs as needed
Job Requirements Students with Work Study preferred. The Communications Intern should ideally possess the following characteristics: – Excellent organization and communication skills with the ability to work independently and/or within a team – Basic writing, editing and interviewing skills – Graphic design proficiency in Adobe Design Creative Suite, especially Adobe InDesign and Illustrator – Creativity and an eye for good design – Familiarity with online tools such as Mailchimp, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Thinwire (content management tool for websites) preferred, but not required – Basic HTML & CSS skills proficiency preferred, but not required Candidates who provide a portfolio of work/design samples will be given priority.
Available Openings 1
Hours 8.0 to 10.0 hours per week
Compensation $10.00/hour
Funding Source(s) On-Campus Non-Work-Study, On-Campus Work-Study
Time Frame Academic Year
Start Date Spring 2014
End Date