Sustainability at Tufts

sustainability.tufts.edu

Category: Sustainability News (page 1 of 23)

Sustainability Takes a Village

In the media lately there has been a lot of talk about divesting from fossil fuel companies. I applaud this. It’s important to use all the tools in the toolbox to stem the rising tide (pun intended) of climate change. However, divestment today will not change the way buildings are built tomorrow, the types of zoning regulations adopted, how food is grown or clothes are made. The reality is that change is a long, slow process. Some of the things we think have happened quickly, like the adoption of smart phones, have actually taken a decade to reach a 10% global penetration rate.

While a shrinking fossil fuel industry will impact energy costs, which in turn will lead to changes in purchasing decisions on a larger level (e.g. what type of power plant to build) and at a more personal level (e.g. what type of car to buy, whether or not to buy a car at all), and will eventually decrease greenhouse gas emissions, these changes take time.

In that intervening time, between the eventual collapse of the fossil fuel industry and now, change still needs to happen in the way it always has – by individuals making decisions in their daily lives. By office managers who change what is purchased by their department, by building project managers who decide to hire a company experienced in LEED buildings, by students who take the train to their internship instead of driving. By people making choices every day that can change something lasting, like how buildings are conceived and built, or something habitual, like how to get around.

So while it is tempting to focus all our energy on a single cure to a problem, we, as individuals, need to be prepared for the long and often tedious business of waking up every day and making decisions that will, over time, lead to change. This takes strength, stamina, and a lot of self-motivation and hope. It lasts more than three days or three months and is, most of the time, inglorious and unappreciated.

Campaign finance reform, fossil fuel subsidies, investment decisions – these are all things that need to change, but we also need enthusiasm and passion to make local changes, the ones that will make a difference in the immediate future and reduce our emissions now. The people and actions highlighted in the sustainability progress report released today are doing those things. They have taken the time and effort, often above and beyond what is required of them, to make Tufts a better, more sustainable place. We applaud them and thank them with all our hearts, for we recognize that what they do is not easy but is very, very necessary.

Tufts Sustainability Program Intern – Academic Year (2015-16)

Position Description:

The Tufts Office of Sustainability is seeking a student intern to assist with day-to-day office activities and projects, such as planning and gathering materials for events and creating documents and outreach materials. The program intern will also help support office programs such as the student Eco-Reps, employee Eco-Ambassadors, and the Green Office Certification program. The student will be expected to research and support sustainability initiatives that might be undertaken on any of Tufts’ three campuses (Boston, Medford, Grafton) and to help the Program Director, Education & Outreach Program Administrator, and Communications Specialist with any projects they are currently working on.

Hours & Timeframe:

This position is for the 2015-16 academic year and will start in September 2015. Interns typically work ~8 hours per week.

Required Skills & Qualifications:

  • Reliable, with good time management skills
  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Excellent research and writing abilities
  • Interest in sustainability
  • A can-do attitude
  • Comfortable talking to and working with faculty and staff from across the university in person and via email or phone

Preferred Skills & Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of sustainability efforts at Tufts
  • Experience organizing events
  • Undergraduate students preferred

Pay Rate: $10/hour

Please contact Betsy Byrum, Education & Outreach Program Administrator, with questions or for more information at betsy.byrum@tufts.edu.

All applicants should submit a cover letter and a resume and apply through JobX.

Earth Week Events at Tufts!

Don’t miss these exciting Earth Week events coming to a campus near you!

Medford Campus

Click here to see all of the Earth Week Events on Facebook

Grafton Campus

Join the Grafton Green Team in fun and informational events all next week!

Tuesday April 21                          

12:00 PM
(Rain date on Friday)

Did you know there was a vernal pool on campus?
Take a nature walk (starting at the Wildlife Building entrance) led by Whitney Stiehler and explore the environment around the campus.

Wednesday April 22

10:30 AM

Plant a tree!  We’re continuing the tradition of planting a tree on Earth Day.
Join us on the lawn in front of the Campus Center for the pear tree planting.

11:00 AM-2:00 PM

Learn about composting, bling out your trash buddy, challenge your recycling knowledge, win prizes!-—All these things are happening over at Elms Café.  

Thursday April 23

8:00 AM-10:00 AM

Join Professor Mark Pokras as he “weeds” out the invasive species over at the Wildlife Clinic.
Stop by anytime with gardening gloves to get down in the dirt and learn about what’s there and what shouldn’t be. 

4:30 PM

Clean up Rte. 30—Spend some time after work cleaning up and beautifying the area around our campus, including Willard Street, Pine Street and Rte. 30.
Email Elizabeth Lauzon (Elizabeth.lauzon@tufts.edu)  for more information and to sign up.

 

#TrickedOutTrashBuddy

TrashBudy

Trick out your trash buddy & win prizes:

Because it is the responsibility of all employees to use and empty their own trash buddies, make your trash buddy your own! Decorate your trash buddy, photograph it, and tweet your photo to @GreenTufts using the hashtag #TrickedOutTrashBuddy, or email your photo to sustainabilityoffice@tufts.edu with the subject line “Tricked Out Trash Buddy.”

As the program is rolled out across the University, sustainability-themed prizes will be awarded to the most creatively decorated trash buddies (with preference given to those that us recycled materials).

Institutional Research & Evaluation Trash Buddies

Tricked Out Trash Buddies from the Office of Institutional Research & Evaluation

Introducing: The Trash Buddy Program


Tufts is joining a rapidly growing number of colleges and universities in adopting a proven new office waste management program for faculty and staff that we’re calling the “trash buddy” initiative. Tufts has a robust recycling program, but with your participation in the “trash buddy” initiative, we can do better!

A trash buddy is a miniature trash can that attaches to the blue paper recycling bin in your individual office or cubicle. The trash buddy replaces your traditional desk-side trash can, and its size represents the typical proportion of office waste that is truly trash. The trash buddy’s small volume and attachment to the recycled paper bin encourage recycling. Comparable programs at other universities and organizations increased recycling rates by up to 55%.

All waste produced at your desk that is not recyclable should be disposed of in the trash buddy, and you should empty the trash buddy into a central waste station when it fills up or whenever you find convenient. Only paper and cardboard  should be placed in the desk-side recycling bin the trash buddy attaches to. Central waste stations are typically found in common or well-traversed spaces in your office or building and include a trash bin, a paper and cardboard recycling bin, and a glass, metal, and plastic recycling bin. Custodians will empty the central waste stations every day and will empty your individual paper recycling bin weekly when your office or cubicle is cleaned.

For details, visit the Facilities Services Trash Buddy web page. Want more information about how to recycle at Tufts? Check out the recycling primer!

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