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The Latest From the Eco-Reps!

by Ellen Osborn

Hey there Tufts greenies!

recyclemaniaThe Eco-reps have been busy this week, just as I’m sure you have been! The semester is in full swing, especially with the kick-off of RECYCLEMANIA!!! The competition is officially on, so start obsessively sorting trash everywhere you go, but especially in your own dorm to win the inter-dorm competition and claim the epic prize at the end!

This week, residents of Hodgdon Hall taste-tested bottled and tap water during the Superbowl to see if they could taste the difference, as many big bottle companies claim most can. As Eco-Rep Arshiya Goel predicted, her residents mostly preferred the tap water! So fill those water bottles at the fountain without fear, Jumbos: you’re getting a great deal and saving the planet one plastic bottle at a time! Thanks to our guinea pigs, the wonderful residents of Hodgdon Hall, who were multi-tasking, taking their Superbowl time to create some fascinating new data in favor of sustainability!

cups morecups evenmorecups

Wren Hall is making green strides this week as well with the kick-off of a new DORM BAGS campaign. Piloted last semester, the project is back in full swing with lots of new bags and potential users! Residents are very excited for this new resource as thawing sidewalks start to make a trek to Whole Foods actually realistic. The bags can be signed out for a day and are set up in the lobby. They can be seen as you stroll by uphill, so take a peek! And, if you live in Wren, enjoy the new bags!

signupbags

-Ellen

 

Call for Writers – Connecticut and Boston GreenScene

Connecticut GreenScene and Boston GreenScene, community-based, environmental and sustainability blogging sites, are looking for students interested in becoming writers for their websites. This experience will allow students to understand sustainability in action within their communities and to familiarize themselves with local events or news topics, develop their writing skills and resumes, and learn about different environmental issues. This Call for Writers is for young brains that want to write about environmentally related news and share it with the blogs’ readers. Interested applicants should email editor Riley Johnson at Riley.Emerson.Johnson@gmail.com.

Eco-Reps Update: SoHa Really is SoHawt

by Murvi Babalola

There’s a crazy rumor going around that South Hall is one of the hottest dorms (if not the hottest dorm) on campus. In the past few months that Jesse and I have been Eco-Reps here, I’ve come to the conclusion that if this is, indeed, a fact, it is largely due to the Eco-Reps’ presence in the dorm.

The Eco-Reps have been very active in South Hall these past few days. We revamped our compost facilities, re-launched our FreeCycle campaign, and hosted our Meet-and-Greet for the semester. One of our goals this semester was to keep the compost fresh, and what better way to do that than to put on the face of the Fresh Prince himself? By the end of the month, we plan to have compost bins on every floor with the faces on Will and Carlton on each of them, reminding residents to keep the compost fresh simply by closing the lid.

compost compost

Our Meet-and-Greet was great! We served milk and cookies in some compostable cups left over from our smoothie event last semester. Everyone that came through made a sustainability pledge, committing to perform at least one day-to-day action in a more sustainable way. They put these pledges on paper leaves, which will soon go up on the SoHa Sustain-a-Tree in the lovely eco-nook.

meetandgreet meetandgreet meet and greet

When SoHa residents heard about the Sustainable Selfie Contest, they were only too happy to pose with me, giving their best selfie faces. You saw it here first, folks; this is the start of a beautiful union between South Hall and the Eco-Reps.

selfie Selfie2 selfie selfie

It might be a little early to be talking, but to all the other dorms, WE’RE TAKING THE RECYCLEMANIA PRIZE THIS YEAR!

There’s really nothing cooler than being green.

captain planet

Until next week!

 

-Murvi

Apply to Live in the Tufts Green House Today!

Do you love our beautiful blue-green planet? Do you have a passion for the outdoors or a hankering for increased efficiency indoors? Do you enjoy windowsill gardens and casual kitchen conversations? If you answered YES to these questions… Today’s your lucky day because the application deadline for the Tufts Green House in Latin Way has been extended! The application, which you can fill out online, is open until this Thursday, February 13 at midnight. Take some time to fill it out if you have an interest in living in the house next year. Message the current residents of the Green House at their Facebook page or email them at tuftsgreenhouse@gmail.com with any questions about applications!

Sustainable Selfies Contest!

sustainable.selfies.logoYOU’RE INVITED… TO TAKE SELFIES! 

Who: Tufts University students, staff, and faculty

What: A contest involving selfies, sustainability, and prizes!

When: All semester long!

How: IT’S EASY!  Each week on Monday, we’ll post a prompt on Facebook (“take a picture of yourself negotiating a climate change action treaty” – they’ll be a bit easier than that). Post your selfie to our Facebook page, then encourage your friends, family, colleagues, pets, etc. to like your photo. Whichever photo gets the most likes before the next prompt will win one of our weekly prizes! Plus, whoever takes the photo with the most likes over the course of the semester will win our GRAND PRIZE!

So just to reiterate: snap the selfie, post it to Facebook, accumulate likes, win big!

Why: Prizes! Glory! Plus you’ll learn a ton about sustainability at Tufts and beyond in the meantime.

Some logistics: You need to be in each photo (it’s a selfie!), but feel free to do group pics. Also, you can only win one weekly prize, but make sure to keep participating for the GRAND PRIZE!

GET STARTED NOWLike us on Facebook for the latest info. The first prompt will be up on Monday, February 3rd! Get your polaroids/digital cameras/phones/Google Glasses ready!

Here are some of the prizes at stake:

Spaghetti Scrub

Spaghetti Scrub

Black + Blum lunch box

Black + Blum lunch box

Citrus Zinger

Citrus Zinger

Eco Reps Update: Welcome Back to Tufts!

Hello fellow Jumbos! The Eco-Reps are so excited for a new semester of being green. We are pleased to welcome some new Eco-Reps to our team:

Savannah Christiansen, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies and English, will now be repping in Hill Hall. Danielle Mulligan, a freshman from Chicago, is also interested in Environmental Studies and will be an Eco-Rep in Tilton. Hayley Ernyey has returned to her position as an Eco-Rep from a semester in Vietnam; she will be in West Hall while she studies International Relations this semester. Also joining our team is Aparna Dasaraju, a sophomore who will be the second Eco-Rep in Carmichael Hall.

Along with some new faces, the Eco-Reps have some new practices this semester. First of all, compost use will be revamped. This semester, reps will be checking and removing the compost regularly, and each dorm will have a central compost removal hub outside. Dorm dwellers will have the pleasure of knowing whenever their Rep has checked the compost, by viewing the checklist posted at each bin:

 

The bins will be checked on Mondays and Thursdays each week, which will be evident from the sign in sheet.

 Additionally, the Eco-Reps will each be in charge of presenting to the rest of the group about an environmental issue during our weekly meetings. Each of us will get the chance to impart to the group what makes us passionate about the environment, and learn about a variety of others’ interests in the process.

Look out for the Eco-Reps in the upcoming weeks at our meet-and-greets! Hope to see y’all there.

Three Days of TELI-G

For a graduate interested in environmental concerns, it doesn’t get much better than the TELI-G workshop.

Originally designed as a week-long conference for educators, the 2014 TELI-G seminar was a condensed format that ran from January 17th-19. Held in the Chase Center, it also had the unique distinction of being designed for graduates, allowing Boston students to partake in the Tufts Institute of the Environment’s (TIE) prestigious event.

Photo Jan 19, 1 52 01 PM

As a student personally interested in Water issues, I was fortunate enough to be chosen in the handful of participants for the year. True to TIE’s advocation of inter-disciplinary  study, the students were from a large assortment of academic backgrounds: The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts Engineering School, Tufts Medicine, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy were a selection of the schools represented amongst the students.

Led by the charismatic and enthusiastic director of TIE, Antje Danielson, as well as staff from the TIE office, students were exposed to a variety of issues and methods for

considering complex water issues in our Environment. Friday was composed of a day long introduction to Water considerations, led by Tufts academics highly versed in the problem. Saturday culminated in a day long negotiation simulation on water crisis, with students participating in a multilateral exercise to understand the complexity of such a dilemma. Sunday involved discussions, information sessions, and opportunities for students to create feasible water projects with the opportunity to be funded by a TIE grant.

I was personally impressed by both the breadth and utility of the information provided. Students were able to gain useful skill sets to apply to their studies. Over the course of three days, I learned about Systems Thinking, Systems Mapping, and Social Network Analysis, all under the umbrella of environmental water concerns but capable of being adapted to any field of study. We were even instructed on utilizing online technology for finding research by one of Tufts’ highly skilled librarians.

Photo Jan 19, 1 51 18 PM

Overall, by the end of one weekend, I found myself resolved to studying the issue further. I came out of TELI-G not only with the ability to speak credibly on the complexity of water issues, but also with developed skills useful for any range of academia. Most importantly, I was educated on a complex issue and taught to look at the concept from multiple perspectives in order to create an effective solution.

Timothy Grant
Communications Intern, Tufts Office of Sustainability
Graduate Student, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Lunch and Learn Recap: Alicia Hunt

This week’s Lunch and Learn, an initiative of the Environmental Studies Department, featured Alicia Hunt, director of Energy and the Environment for the city of Medford.  Ms. Hunt spoke to a packed room of students, professors, community members, representatives of the Tufts Institute for the Environment and the Office of Sustainability, and President Monaco himself!

aliciahuntMs. Hunt began with an overview of city demographics and background. Medford was actually the fourth English settlement in North America! Today, the city is home to 56,000 residents, but it is also 1/3 green space, including The Fells.

Medford has also long been a trendsetter in environmental and sustainability innovation. Its Go Green Medford initiative has placed the city at the vanguard nationally. In 2002, Medford switched all its traffic lights over to LED – revolutionary at the time, but now the standard of efficiency. In 2004, its city hall was the first in Massachusetts to receive the Energy Star Plaque, and in 2009 Medford built the first municipal-scale wind turbine at a school in Massachusetts. “We love to be first” with everything green, said Hunt.

In fact, Medford has gotten so good at setting the standard for sustainability that when the Department of Energy launched its Better Buildings Challenge, they specifically recruited Medford to participate,  knowing the prestige and expertise which Medford would bring to the program.

Hunt was also quick to point out how helpful the state’s grants and other incentives are in driving sustainability.

Just last year, Medford developed a local energy action plan, an updated version of its 2001 climate action plan. Other recent initiatives and accomplishments include an Idle-Free Medford education outreach campaign and participation in SolarizeMass. Tufts’s planned installation of solar panels on the roof of Dowling Hall will be part of Medford’s Solarize Medford initiative. Hunt emphasized that the work that the city had done in vetting potential solar companies and determining which would work best in the community made the process and decision immeasurably easier for residents looking into solar installations.

In addition, while Medford has long had a focus on residential sustainability, Hunt said they are adding a focus on encouraging green business practices.

Of course, we were glad to hear that Hunt and her department are always looking for Tufts students and faculty to contribute to the efforts, whether through work-study, volunteering, internships, stenciling by storm drains, investigating the feasibility of a compost program, etc. Tufts is so fortunate to be situated in such a sustainable city!

EPA P3: People, Prosperity, and the Planet Competition

Got an idea for making society more sustainable? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking applications from higher education students and faculty proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. Winners of the first phase of the competition will receive a $15,000 grant to develop their idea. Designs will then compete at the National Sustainable Design Expo in April 2013 for the P3 Award and a $75,000 grant for real world application. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 17, 2013. Learn more/apply.

TELI G: Environmental Literacy for Graduate Students!

Application Deadline: Dec. 2

Attention Tufts Grad students!

Are you interested in the environment?  Are you interested in water issues?  Would you like to get paid for your research work?  If yes, then we have a workshop just for you: TELI G!

     You probably wonder what is TELI G? It is the Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute for Graduate Students, hosted by the Tufts Institute for the Environment! It will be a weekend- long workshop aimed at enhancing your environmental literacy in relation to water issues.  As Tufts graduate students, you will have the opportunity to participate in a water crisis simulation exercise, interact with faculty, map water crises using the latest technology and acquire the tools you need for a cutting edge thesis.

   To register, please fill out our form by clicking here. The application deadline is December 2.