Category: Sustainability News (page 1 of 34)

New My Bus Home Service for Students

Tufts is offering a new way to get home during University break periods. Tufts has partnered with My Bus Home (www.MyBusHome.com), which provides coach bus service to various areas in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions. My Bus Home will be offering bus transportation starting this winter break (and future break periods throughout 2017).

Private, fully insured motor coaches with a restroom, DVD and Wi-Fi will pick up Tufts students on campus in the Cohen Parking Lot (east of the Granoff Music Center) and transport students to and from central locations in Darien. CT, Jericho, Long Island, West Orange, NJ and Plymouth Meeting ,PA.

The coaches can hold 50 passengers. A minimum of 30 is required. The estimated round trip fares will be between $90.00 & $140.00 depending on the stop and the number of students who ride the bus. One way seats are also available. Depending on demand, buses will depart campus on December 20th 2016 at 4:00pm and will arrive back to campus on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017.

If you/your student is interested in this opportunity, please sign up at www.MyBusHome.com to receive more information and make trip reservations. 

Discounted Spring Semester MBTA Passes Available for Purchase

Discounted Spring Semester MBTA Passes

Are you a Tufts student on the Medford/Somerville Campus? Don’t miss your chance to purchase a discounted spring semester MBTA pass from Student Services. You must order your pass by January 6th, 2017.

3 Things the Zero Waste Challenge Taught Me

Three-Things-I-learned-from-Tufts’-Zero-Waste-Week-676x676 (1)

The Zero Waste Challenge entails collecting everything that I don’t recycle or compost in a clear Ziploc bag that I clip to my backpack for a week. This was an eye opening experience and (literally) helped me see what type of and how much trash I produced. Here are a few takeaways from my experience!

Zero Waste Challenge Ziplock

My Ziploc bag three days into the Zero Waste challenge

1. Not all paper and plastic are recyclable…

Before my 8:30 AM class, I stop by Hotung Café to pick up their sausage and egg breakfast sandwich. The packaging is made out of waxed paper and plastic. At first glance, I thought I would simply separate the plastic and paper, recycle, and go on with my day.

However, waxed paper cannot be recycled because paper is recycled with water, so any type of wax or oil coating would contaminate the batch. (Check out this infographic that illustrates this process by the Recycle Guide!)

Soft plastics and plastic bags cannot be recycled either. I learned about the Scrunch test—if the plastic item can be scrunched easily into a ball or breaks apart easily, it can’t go into your recycling bin. Unfortunately, the breakfast sandwich packaging ended up becoming the first item in my Ziploc bag.

2. I Use So. Many. Paper Towels

Maybe it’s living with friends, maybe it’s being in college, but my house uses up a lot of paper towels. I’ve noticed that I use them for the smallest things—wiping down the table, picking up food waste in the sink, or even drying my hands after doing the dishes.

These paper towels were piling up in my Ziploc quickly, and I realized I need to make a change in my cleaning habits. I first started to use a small cloth towel to wipe my hands after the dishes, and designated another small towel for wiping down the table.

3. Easy to cook? Difficult to recycle!

As college students, we are probably all guilty of buying premade, or easy-to-cook food like mac and cheese, frozen hot pockets, and ramen. I’ve noticed that I couldn’t recycle any of this packaging. During the Zero Waste Challenge, I started to cook a lot of things from scratch.

Instead of buying individually packaged meals, I bought items in bulk. I got glass bottles of sauces and a big package of noodles, both of which will last a long time. As an added bonus, I noticed that this only adds a few more minutes to my cooking!

5 ways to make your Thanksgiving more sustainable

5 ways to make thanksgiving more sustainable

We’re all excited for the upcoming holiday, but let’s also be conscious of our environmental impact. According to the USDA, Americans will throw away more that 200 million pounds of edible turkey meat this Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a few ways to prevent the wasteful and tragic aftermath of Thanksgiving.

  1. Eat local and/or organic. Many Thanksgiving foods like squash, potatoes, and apples are seasonal in the U.S. during the fall and can be purchased from a local farm. Local farms reduce the miles that the food has to travel to get to your kitchen, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Some local farms are certified organic, but you should ask the farm if they have organic practices. You can also purchase organic produce from a grocery store. Organic produce protects farm workers from harmful chemicals and is safer for humans. Most importantly though, local and organic food tastes better!
  2. Don’t waste food! Americans waste 40% of all food produced in the United States according to the NRDC. You could give out leftovers to guests, eat it as breakfast, or even compost and transform food waste to benefit your garden. “Begin with the Bin” has a great resource for composting leftover food.
  3. Use reusable plates, silverware, glasses, and napkins. This is better for the environment, and no one likes cutting turkey with a plastic knife and having gravy soak through paper plates.
  4. Eat less meat. The meat industry is the largest source of methane gas, which is a major contributor to climate change. You don’t have to be a vegetarian, but try having less meat on the plate and filling the rest of it with healthy sides like squash and green beans! You could also consider purchasing a smaller turkey.
  5. Drink tap water. Americans spend $18 billion on bottled water, which creates mountains of plastic that will stay on this earth for a long time. If you are concerned about the water quality, investing in a filter for your tap water is a wiser alternative.

Recycling at Tufts is about to get easier…

Today is America Recycles Day!

To celebrate, Facilities Services and the Office of Sustainability are excited to announce the introduction of single stream recycling at Tufts starting in the spring 2017 semester!

Tufts currently uses a dual stream system, which requires separating glass, metal and plastic containers from paper and cardboard items. Starting in January 2017 all these items will now be collected as a “single stream” of material in one bin.

What is Single Stream?

“Single stream” means that all the items you normally sort into the blue and green-capped recycling bins can be disposed of together! Recycling materials collected will remain the same but will not need to be separated.

After the winter recess, Tufts students, faculty, and staff can begin placing all these recyclables in a single recycling bin.

Why is Tufts Moving to Single Stream?

  1. It’s easier for you!

Introducing the ability to put all recycling in one bin will make recycling simple and easy, providing the campus community with two primary options for disposing of waste: “All Recycling” or “Landfill” (along with composting for food waste in some locations).

  1. Our waste stream is changing

The switch to single stream is a direct reaction to the changing needs of the recycling industry: with increased demand for more efficient packaging and changes in personal habits, the makeup of the nation’s waste stream is changing. At one time, paper made up to 70 percent of the weight flowing through recycling programs, but now it accounts for less than 40 percent in many cities. More complex, lightweight materials have begun to replace paper; Tufts single stream recycling program will accommodate the disposal of these changing materials more efficiently.

  1. Single stream will support Tufts waste reduction goals

Transitioning to single stream recycling supports Tufts’ larger plan to improve solid waste and recycling efforts in line with the President’s Campus Sustainability Council’s goal of reducing total waste by 3% per year. Every Tufts community member is asked and expected to help the university meet its waste goals by educating themselves about their campus’s move to single stream recycling. Read more about the President’s Sustainability Council goals to reduce waste here.

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