Category: Sustainability News (page 2 of 30)

5 Items You Need to Stay Waste-Free at the President’s Picnic

We’re already counting down the days to the 2016 President’s Picnics!

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Can you believe it’s almost that time of year? We certainly cannot. As part of Tufts’ university-wide commitment to sustainability, the events will once again be zero waste! If you can, we encourage you to BYOP (bring your own reusable place setting) to help Tufts reduce as much waste as possible. Learn why it’s important in our post from 2015.

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Zero Waste President’s Picnic Checklist:

  1. Reusable silverware or bamboo ware
  2. Cloth napkin
  3. Reusable water bottle
  4. Reusable plate or jar (lid allows you to carry without spilling)
  5. …and a bag to carry everything in!

All attendees who BYOP will be entered in a raffle to win a special grand prize at our table. The first 50 people on each campus who BYOP and visit our table will also receive individual prizes.

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This reusable lunch container could be yours if you’re one of the first 50 people to bring your own placesetting!

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If you’re the GRAND PRIZE winner, you’ll receive this stainless steel & bamboo ware kit!

Need a little more inspiration? Learn how a family of 4 lives a zero waste lifestyle & discover the unexpected benefits that come with it:

 

 

Biking Resources at Tufts

Whether you regularly pedal your way to work or are looking to take advantage of the warmer weather and incorporate biking into your routine, your biked miles can help you and your company, office, or school win prizes through Bay State Bike Week. Massachusetts is the only state with its own statewide bike week, and it starts in just over a week! From May 14th to May 22nd, events across Massachusetts will encourage and reward bike ridership and promote bike safety and awareness.

You can sign up as an individual to participate and compete, but you can also join the Tufts team through the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge. Last year Tufts cyclists logged over 900 miles during Bay State Bike Week – can we top that this year?

As you participate (and after!), check out these resources available on the Boston and Medford campuses:

  • Showers and changing rooms at 574 Boston Avenue (Medford)
  • Bike racks across campus (check locations on the Tufts Bike Map)
  • Bike safety tips (also available on the Tufts Bike Map)
  • A new bike repair station outside the Medford Campus Center
  • Tufts Bikes offers a free bike share as well as mechanic hours
  • Hubway bike rental throughout the city, including locations near the Tufts campuses
  • Join NuRide, a program which rewards you for finding more sustainable ways to travel and commute

Know of any bike resources we’ve missed? Tweet them to us — @GreenTufts !

Three Things I learned from Tufts’ Zero Waste Week

Three Things I learned from Tufts’ Zero Waste Week

 

In the week leading up to Earth Day (Friday, April 22nd), I participated in the Eco-Reps’ Zero Waste Challenge. After signing up for the challenge, I received a clear bag to collect all of the waste I generate which cannot be diverted from the landfill (i.e. all non-recyclable and non-compostable items excluding biohazards).

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Eco-Reps standing with completed Zero Waste Challenge Bags.

During this time, I became aware of some of my more wasteful behaviors. I found that most of the waste I normally produce comes from food packaging. As a student with a meal plan living on-campus, I don’t have the ability to buy food in bulk to reduce my waste. However, there are many ways to produce less waste with the great and convenient options on campus.

1. Eat at the dining halls!

I am lucky enough to have an unlimited meal plan, so I tend to eat most of my meals at the dining halls. I love Carm, because it offers plenty of food options and convenient, nice, cozy place to study. During this week, I realized that when I eat at the dining halls, I do not directly produce any waste. There is no packaging to send to the trash. Leftover food gets donated to Food For Free through Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative and waste gets composted. Carm and Dewick get all their products in bulk which greatly reduces the amount of packaging that would be sent to the landfill. If you have the time, and the meal swipes, head to the dining halls!

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Jumbo Mountain collected from Monday through Friday in Houston Hall.

2. BYO containers or mugs to avoid food packaging.

We all have days when dining halls are just not an option. We are heading to class, yet another meeting, or just need to bunker down in Tisch, Eaton, Campus Center, or Halligan. That’s when Hodgdon, Pax et Lox Kosher Deli, and The Rez come in handy! It is easy to forget about the small waste items like straws, plastic seals, and packages for things like dressing, soy sauce, and condiments, but a great way to reduce waste from food packaging is to bring reusable food containers or a mug with you. In fact, The Rez provides discounts when you BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug), for any size you pay for a small. (Extra Special Bonus: The Rez also composts all its used coffee grinds—which are fair trade!) You can also get 20¢ off your purchase through the Mug Discount Program at Mugar Café, Hodgdon Food-on-the-Run, Commons Marketplace, and Brown & Brew Coffee House.

If you forget to bring your reusable food containers with you, some of the packaging at Hodgdon is compostable—the recycled pulped paper containers that come with Quesadillas and Roasters meals.

If you are in a pinch and have to grab a granola bar from Hodgdon, you can hold onto the wrapper and deposit into one of Tufts’ many Terracycle Stations (set up in the Office of Sustainability (in the back of Miller Hall) and in several residence halls) found in the Office of Sustainability’s Eco Map. These wrappers get collected by Tufts and sent to Terracycle which converts them into retail products like bags and lunchboxes.

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Yellow compost receptacles can be found all over campus.

3. Compost your food scraps!

The organic food waste I created came from fruit scraps (apple cores, orange peels, strawberry leaves, etc.). But, I realized how abundant composting on campus is. I could either wait until I got home to compost in my residence hall, bring my scraps to the dining halls which compost food scraps, or even deposit my waste at one of many compost receptacles on campus, easily found in the Eco Map. Living off campus? No worries! You can compost at home and bring the full bags to the yellow receptacles scattered across campus.

Zero Waste Week reminded me to keep my eyes open and pay attention to the wasteful behavior that I normally don’t notice.

To the Eco-Rep Zero Waste Week Challenge, I say, “10 out of 10, would recommend and will do again!”

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New Partnership Fights Food Waste and Food Insecurity

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A collaboration between Tufts Dining, staff and faculty, students and Food for Free seeks to minimize food waste at Tufts while at the same time addressing food insecurity in our host communities. Through the new Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative, Tufts Dining donates about 125 lbs. of food per week. Learn more about the initiative. 

Eco-Reps Clothing Swap

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Have you started your spring cleaning yet?  Need a wardrobe refresher? Come to the Tufts Eco-Reps Clothing Swap during Earth Fest on Friday, April 22nd from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM! The Eco-Reps have been collecting clothes for months and want to get you styled up in time for spring.

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