Category: Sustainability News (page 1 of 55)

Second Carbon Neutrality Community Workshop

By Michael Wilkinson, Office of Sustainability Intern

The Second Carbon Neutrality Community Workshop provided students, faculty, staff, and community members an opportunity to try their hand at creating a path to carbon neutrality at Tufts through a carbon reduction simulation. In this simulation, the carbon neutrality planning team and Tufts’ carbon neutrality consultant, Ramboll Group, provided information on potential scenarios to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Teams broke off into groups to see if they could arrive at full carbon reduction by 2050 within the temporal, social, environmental, and economic constraints of our University. Through critical thinking and teamwork, the groups were able to assemble a cohesive and functioning group of projects that both satisfied our carbon neutrality requirement while remaining conscientious of our constraints. Following this simulation, groups were given an opportunity to explain their choices.

Dan Kelley from Ramboll Group then provided relevant information to explain potential projects for the Medford/Somerville Campus. Throughout this presentation, event participants asked pertinent questions relating to each project and their larger implications for campus life. To conclude their presentation, Ramboll Group provided the current project choices, which include steam to hot water conversion, connection of the Upper and Lower Campus heating loops, a conversion of existing boilers to biofuel, and several more.  

This event allowed participants to learn and engage with the carbon neutrality planning process. Chockfull with complex technologies, on-campus interests, varied stakeholders, and peculiarities, this project requires the attention of our entire community.


Recycling in Tufts Apartment Style Dorms

Do you know how to properly recycle in Tufts residences such as Latin Way, Hillsides, SoGo, and Coho?

Test yourself:

Which of these can you recycle?

  • clear plastic cups
  • colored plastic cups
  • paper plastic cups

Can you dispose of your recycling in a plastic bag?

Where is the recycling dumpster for your dorm?

To learn more about recycling visit go.tufts.edu/recycle!

UEP Tupperware Initiative

I asked Mike Flanary, a staff assistant at the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Eco-Ambassador, about UEP’s Tupperware initiative. He described a system that reduces waste – both food and dishware – as long as students remember to bring them. Below, read more details about the program. 

The Urban and Environmental Policy department hosts an event series each semester called the UEP Colloquium. The events, usually presented by alums of the program, focus on urban and environmental issues. Since they take place during Wednesday open block (12-1pm), the department provides lunch. 

Mike Flanary says that with extra department funds, the department Chair, Mary Davis, wanted buy swag for students. “It’s pretty crazy the amount of objects that you can put a logo on these days and most of them aren’t very practical or usable and are rather cheap quality… Our students and faculty use the kitchen in our building for storing their lunch in the fridge and microwaving food, so when I was looking at possible swag items, this instantly came to mind.” Tupperware would be practical, especially for bringing home food from the colloquium. Otherwise, leftovers are thrown out, whether on the day of the event or later, when the fridge gets cleaned out. 

Flanary described a lesson from his Eco-Ambassador training that stuck with him: Companies try to “go green” but often just to make it look or feel good, without making a dent in waste production. For example, recyclable or compostable products are more expensive and still are only used once. If they are not disposed of properly, they will end up in the waste strem along with the food that remains uneaten at the event. He quoted a proverb, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

The response to this initiative has been positive. Many students also bring reusable water bottles, coffee tumblers, and mason jars. Flanary says that food waste has decreased. “It’s allowed students to grab some extra food for later that would probably have been thrown out. We don’t send out an RSVP for the event so we try to get enough food while not having too much leftover. Since getting the containers, we have tried to have food that fits in the containers and that people would want to have later.”

For the future, or for other departments to adopt? “Remind students to pack up their containers the day before or even better to just have it their backpack.” The production of the plastic containers will only be offset if students use the containers frequently. “My hope is that students continue to bring them to future events, but it might be like the reusable bags issue, they’re great but it only works if people actually bring them into the store, or to the events in this case. Perhaps entice people with an incentive for bringing it with them.” Other departments who would like to start a similar initiative could think about what disposables get used up often. What costs a lot when ordering through WB Mason? How could an alternative work? Do you think it would be used? Would it be convenient? 

More information about past UEP events is available: https://as.tufts.edu/uep/news/colloquia

Water-By-Bike Tree Ambassador Interns (Cambridge, MA)

The City of Cambridge is hiring interns for the summer. One supervisor and eight intern positions are open for their Water by Bike summer intern program.

Water-By-Bike Tree Ambassador Interns (Summer Positions), City of Cambridge Department of Public Works (A547)

  • Inspect, water, and maintain selected young trees throughout the City.
  • Ride a bike with trailer attached loaded with equipment and connect equipment to fire hydrants to watertrees and fill ‘Gator Bags’ with water. Weed existing tree wells
  • Record watering progress with mapping program on tablet.
  • Interact with residents and businesses and promote urban tree care and benefits.
  • Responsibly represent the Cambridge Department of Public Works – Parks and Forestry Division.
  • Perform related tasks as needed.
  • Minimum Requirements: A demonstrated interest in environmental stewardship and appreciation for trees in urban settings. Background or interest in urban forestry, horticulture, environmental studies, landscape architecture, or urban planning. Undergraduate coursework in Horticulture, Forestry or Environmental Studies or related field is preferred. Ability to work independently. Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Must be comfortable riding a bicycle in urban environment.
  • Rate: $16.63/hour 30 hours/week; 10-12 weeks, typically May through August. (8 Positions)
  • Application Procedure: Submit both your resume and letter of interest via email to:employment@cambridgema.gov or to Personnel Dept, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139. Fax 617-349-4312 
  • Resumes and letters of interested requested by 03/25/19. Position will remain open until filled. For a complete job description please visit our website at www.cambridgema.gov and click on “Jobs”. We are an AA/EEO Employer.

Water-By-Bike Tree Ambassador Supervisor (summer position) City of Cambridge Department of Public Works (A551)

Cambridge DPW seeks a qualified individual to supervise the Water-By-Bike Tree Ambassador program. The supervisor will work with a group of approximately 8 summer interns to lead and coordinate daily activities to support work objectives related to the Water-By-Bike summer program. Specific duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Coordinate watering routes with DPW staff for each team of interns and monitor progress throughout the day.
  • Supervise Water-By-Bike interns and ensure professional presentation and behavior.
  • Coordinate maintenance and repairs to bicycles and other equipment.
  • Inspect, water, and maintain selected young trees throughout the City.
  • Ride a bike with a trailer attached loaded with equipment and connect equipment to fire hydrants to water trees and fill‘Gator Bags’ with water. Weed existing tree wells.
  • Record watering progress with mapping program on tablet.
  • Interact with residents and businesses and promote urban tree care and benefits.
  • Responsibly represent the Cambridge Department of Public Works – Parks and Forestry Division
  • Perform related tasks as needed.
  • Minimum Requirements:
    • College coursework in urban forestry, environmental science, urban planning, or education preferred. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Equivalent experience may substitute for education.
    • Demonstrated experience in supervisory role and team-building.
    • Enthusiasm and flexibility; ability to “think on one’s feet” to revise and/or adapt to schedule changes.
    • A demonstrated interest in environmental stewardship and ability to engage with the public on these issues.
    • Familiarity with Cambridge preferred.
    • Must be comfortable riding a bicycle in urban environment.
    • Rate: $20.00/hr
    • Application Procedure: Submit both your resume and letter of interest via email to: employment@cambridgema.gov or to Personnel Dept, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139. Fax 617-349-4312. 
    • Resumes and letters of interested requested by 03/25/19. Position will remain open until filled. For a complete job description, please visit our website at www.cambridgema.gov and click on “Jobs”. We are an AA/EEO Employer.

Recycling Education and Outreach Coordinator, Orange County, North Carolina

Seeking an experienced solid waste and recycling educator and motivator for full time work.

The Orange County Solid Waste Department has an opening for a Recycling Education and Outreach Coordinator. This position promotes proper waste management and waste reduction practices by developing, coordinating and providing education and on-site recycling services regarding recycling and solid waste programs and operations.

Application closes March 4, 2019.

Apply Online.

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