Category: Sustainability News (page 3 of 36)

Happy Holidays


Dear Sustainability Partner,

We hope you had an excellent fall semester and are gearing up for a wonderful winter break. As we prepare to leave campus, our hearts are warm as we reflect on you and how you have helped build a more sustainable campus in 2016. Thank you for your daily dedication to sustainability. Whether you are practicing eco-friendly behaviors in your personal life, or you are working on projects that help Tufts advance its sustainability goals, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with you.

 Here are some of the things that we accomplished together this year:

  • 4,050 waste bins inventoried
  • 2,393 gallons of compost diverted from the landfill by the Eco-Reps
  • 2,248 new Facebook fans
  • 1,571 meatless meals eaten in the dining halls as part of the Meatless Mondays campaign
  • 719 pounds of food donated to Project Soup after move-out
  • 468 new Twitter followers
  • 249 residence hall rooms earned a Green Dorm Certification from the Eco-Reps
  • 200 reusable mugs sold in 2 months at The Rez as part of a Tisch Scholar Project
  • 143 new Instagram followers
  • 122 Commencement gowns recycled
  • 54 stories of students, faculty, and staff making Tufts a more sustainable campus in the Sustainability Progress Report
  • 30 blog posts written
  • 27 student class projects related to campus sustainability completed
  • 21 GreEco Reps
  • 19 Eco-Reps
  • 16.53 tons of clothing and household goods diverted from the landfill and donated to charity after move-out
  • 16 sustainability presentations to new hires
  • 14 buildings participated in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s lab energy benchmarking study
  • 13 new educational LEED signs added to 574 Boston Avenue
  • 13 recycling studies to prepare for the transition to mixed recycling
  • 12 Orientation Events attended to teach new students and faculty about sustainability
  • 11 students participated in ENVS 195-2: Sustainability In Action
  • 11 interns assisted with communications, green labs, and Eco-Reps
  • 9 offices earned a Green Office Certification
  • 9 employees became Eco-Ambassadors
  • 8 videos produced
  • 6 classes assisted with sustainability research and consulting
  • 6 new Google Maps providing information about sustainability stops and waste stations at Tufts
  • 3 zero-waste President’s Picnics
  • 1 new sustainability signage template created to identify sustainability initiatives across Tufts
  • 1 new Green Lab team including 22 people from 13 departments
  • 1 spring climate change symposium
  • 1 bold new climate commitment signed by President Monaco
  • Welcomed our new Education & Outreach Program Administrator, Shoshana Blank, and bid well wishes to Betsy Byrum

Thank you for working with us in 2016.


Wishing you a lovely holiday season and a happy new year,

Tina Woolston, Director
Shoshana Blank, Education & Outreach Program Administrator
Lauren Martin, Communications Specialist
Ashlyn Salvage, Eco-Rep Coordinator
Isabel Falls, Assistant Eco-Rep Coordinator
Juleen Wong, Communications Intern
Eujene Yum, Communications Intern
Caroline Ambros, Program Intern
Yao Wu, Green Labs Intern
Tori Wong, Recycling Communications Intern
& Kate Doherty, Supervisor, Facilities Services

5 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for the Holidays

5 Eco-Friendly Gifts graphic

The holidays are an exciting and busy time of year, and who doesn’t love getting gifts from family and friends? Every year, we receive all sorts of gifts that we don’t use, and eventually throw away. Instead, this holiday season, think about the planet as you think about what to give your loved ones! There are many ways to make gift giving more sustainable and just as much fun.

Give an experience:

Sustainable, thoughtful, and memorable! Try a new hobby, restaurant, etc. in your area with your loved one, or give them membership to a nearby museum or fitness class. Beyond reducing waste, this gift option will create a new, lasting memory with your family or friends.

Sustainable Products:

If you’re looking to give someone a specific product, make sure to pick a brand that will last. There are many websites that will help you pick items that won’t wear out quickly, like this one.

Buy local:

Support your local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by sticking to local shopping. Plus, you’re more likely to find something unique and special that your family member or friend won’t already have if you buy from one of your local small businesses.


If you’ve got a tight budget this season, DIY gift giving could be for you! This could be any number of things: bug repellent for the outdoorsman, organizational tools for the home or office, and more! Need some inspiration or guidance? Many websites publish guides for DIY projects, like this post, or Pinterest.

Choose your wrapping wisely:

Once you’ve purchased your gifts you aren’t quite done! You can keep your wrapping sustainable by re-using old bags or wrapping paper, wrapping in newspaper, and avoiding products that come packaged in lots of plastic.

Happy Holidays!

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 (, 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 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!

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