Category: Tufts Community News (page 2 of 47)

2018 Spotlight Award from MassRIDES

At the recent president’s picnic, Carlos Robles from MassRIDES presented our own Shoshana Blank with our 2018 Spotlight Award.  MassRIDES is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) that works to reduce traffic condition and improve air quality in the state through partnerships with employers, colleges, and universities.

The Spotlight Award is given to companies and organizations that offer and incentivize sustainable commuting options. Tufts University was given an honorable mention for our various efforts to promote public transportation, biking, and other sustainable forms of transportation.

Many employees, staff, and students commute to Tufts Medford, Boston, SMFA and Grafton campuses on a daily basis. Sustainable transportation helps reduce traffic congestion, improves air quality, and supports strong local and regional economies.

Not only is biking and taking public transportation a more sustainable way to commute, it can also be a much more peaceful and rewarding endeavor! A driven commute during rush hours in Boston be incredibly stressful, so why not take public transportation instead? Instead of being stuck in stop-and-go traffic, you could be on a bus reading a book, or on a bike releasing some stress-relieving endorphins.

So how do we promote and facilitate public transportation here at Tufts?

Getting the word out:

All new staff hired at Tufts go through an orientation to encourage sustainable commuting. There, they are provided with information on programs like Bay State Commute and MassRIDE’s Emergency Ride Home which offer reimbursements and incentives for taking public transportation, carpooling, and biking. The Office of Sustainability also hands out commuting brochures to new students at all graduate student orientations and at a number of undergraduate orientation events.

Tufts Initiatives to Promote Sustainable Commuting:

  • This year Tufts started offering all of its employees a 35% discount on their MBTA passes .
  • Tufts Bikes, a student-run bikeshare, has 30 bicycles available for rent to encourage biking. Bikes and helmets are checked out just like library books, and can be kept for up to 8 hours.
  • We have 11 Zipcars on campus and the annual membership is discounted for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Shuttles connect the Medford/Somerville campus to the Davis Square train station, as well as to our SMFA campus in the Fenway. Live tracking of our shuttles is available on the Tufts Mobile app.
  • Students at the SMFA campus can receive Lyft credits for a Safe Ride between campus buildings.

Resources for Sustainable Commuting:

  • Our Sustainable Commuting brochures for the BostonGrafton, and SMFA campuses highlight many of the commuter benefit programs available to Tufts employees as well as information on MBTA discounts offered through Tufts, carshare and ride matching programs, and several public transportation options and routes.
  • Our Bike Guide publication and website illustrate where cyclists can lock up, get their bikes fixed at the FixIt station, and shower on campus.
  • The Tufts Eco-Map is available online, in print, as well as on the Tufts Mobile app and Google Maps. It shows features such as EV charging stations, Zipcars, Hubway bikes, Tufts Bikes bikeshare, MBTA bus stops, and Tufts shuttle stops.

 

2018 Tufts Move-Out Recap

Summer has officially begun, all of the students leaving Medford for the summer have moved out, and we can finally stop posting all over our social media about Move-Out 2018!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated their unwanted items. This year, we collected 14,290 pounds of textiles, 719 pounds of food, as well as a significant amount of other donations in the form of e-waste, books, appliances, furniture, and miscellaneous items! That is very significant amount of items that will not be going straight into the landfills, as would have otherwise happened.

Many thanks also to all of the Recycling student workers and staff and the Office of Sustainability staff who helped sort through, organize, carry, and store all of the items. It took us many, many hours to ensure that what can be reused will have the opportunity to find a new home.

So what happens with all the items that are collected?

  • Many of the items that are in working and usable condition go to the Back To School Sale hosted by the Green House in the fall. The profits from the sale help them run programs on campus throughout the school year.Items collected that will be sold in the fall move out sale
  • Books go to the Book-it-Forward Lending Library which allows Tufts students on financial aid to borrow textbooks and other books. Books that will go to book-it-forward
  • Non-perishable food items are donated to Project Soup, part of the Somerville Homeless CoalitionNon perishable foods taken to Project Soup
  • Dining hall dishes get taken back to the dining halls!
  • Textiles (old clothing, sheets, linens, towels, etc.) go to Bay State Textiles, where 50% of the textiles are recycled for reuse, 30% are turned into wiping cloths, and 20% are recycled into new items. Joannie and Tina with all of the textiles donations!
  • Plastic bags are taken to Whole Foods who then deliver them to Trex, an outdoor decking and living products company. Trex converts used plastic film into new, environmentally responsible outdoor products!

Although we are happy to help minimize waste that will go to landfills through our move-out initiative, we also want to remind you that the best way to reduce waste would simply be to purchase fewer items, especially if you are not certain you will use them! You would be surprised by how many unopened packages we found of various miscellaneous items, as well as clothes and shoes that seemed barely worn.

Nonetheless, everything that was donated will be put to good use, and we hope that those who will be returning to school in the fall will stop by the Green House’s Back To School Sale – there will be many great items sold at significantly discounted prices (lots of dorm furniture, some coffee makers, a pair of Hunter boots and some North Face down jackets in good condition, just to name a few)!

Zero Waste and BYOP at the 2018 Medford President’s Picnic

Wednesday was a picture-perfect day for promoting sustainability on the Medford campus! President Monaco hosted another picnic on the Medford campus. Faculty, staff, students and new graduates gathered to eat a delicious lunch provided by Tufts catering and enjoyed the beautiful day outside.

To make the picnic a zero-waste event, staff from the Office of Sustainability helped attendees sort recyclable and compostable items at the numerous zero-waste stations located throughout the venue.

Catering also helped with sustainability efforts by providing condiments and drinks in bulk, as opposed to the smaller, individual packages that are commonly seen at such events. This helps reduce packaging waste produced by the event.

Plastic film and bags will be recycled separately at Whole Foods

In addition to the standard recycling collected at all zero-waste events, plastic film and bags were collected separately to be recycled at Whole Foods!

In order to take our sustainability efforts a step further, we promoted the event as BYOP – Bring Your Own Place-Setting. While using compostable and recyclable items are a great first step to reducing waste, bringing your own place setting from home or work helps reduce waste even more efficiently.

The first 90 attendees who visited the Office of Sustainability’s table had the opportunity to show the plates, knives, forks, and cups they had brought with them to claim a free, reusable sandwich bag as well as an “I saved a Tree” sticker. To our delight and surprise, we ran out of the sandwich bags after just twenty minutes!

Everyone who had a complete place setting was also invited to participate in our raffle to win an insulated, multi-compartmental, bento-style lunchbox. Over 140 people entered our raffle!

The grand prize of the raffle -- a cool lunchbox!

We loved seeing the diversity of the place settings people brought with them, and couldn’t be happier with the number of people who enthusiastically stopped by our table.

Folks with their own plates and silverware

Head to our Facebook page to see all the photos of everyone who stopped by our table on Wednesday with their place settings.

If you are a faculty, student, or staff at the Boston or Grafton campuses, be sure to bring your own plates, cups, knives, and forks to the President’s lunches next month for a chance to get a reusable sandwich bag and to enter our raffle for the grand prize lunch box! For everyone at Medford, thanks for helping make the event a sustainable one, and we hope to see you next year.

Zero Waste President’s Lunch at the SMFA

staff posing with sandwich bagsFriday was a busy day at the SMFA, with the last day of review boards, the annual Sidewalk Sale, and the President’s lunch. Every year, the Tufts community celebrates the end of a busy school year at each campus. Tufts Catering provided a delicious picnic lunch, including berries, pound cake, and chocolate sauce for dessert. Darin Weiss with place settingAnthony Monaco joined staff and students for the zero-waste event, where only recyclable and compostable plates, napkins, utensils, and cups are offered to keep material out of the landfill. Although recycling and composting eliminate waste, reusable options are even better! student with place settingAt this first ever President’s lunch held at SMFA, fifteen people brought their own place settings. Those who arrived with plate, cup, and utensils in hand won a Tufts Sustainability sandwich bag and a chance to win a lunch box. Sporks, Tupperwares, and cloth napkins are convenient to bring to work and school and using them is an easy way to reduce waste. staff with place settingWe hope to see everyone at next year’s picnic!

 

Check out our Facebook album for more photos of the event:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/greentufts/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1851786801507218 

Summer Sustainability On-The-Go

It’s the last day of classes, which means summer is around the corner. It is a time for traveling, whether you’re going home or you’re off to somewhere new. To make your trip more sustainable, be conscious about planning before you leave.

  1. Packing: Bring reusable utensils, tupperware, water bottles, shopping bags. Our sustainable packing video has great tips and tricks to make packing for break easy and sustainable!
  2. Moving Out: The items you do not wish to bring home with you do not necessarily belong in the landfill. Donate or recycle clothes, books, plastic bags, electronics and more at our Move Out stations. Find more information on our website. 
  3. Leaving: Unplug all electronics, close all windows, turn down the heat, and eat or pack your perishable foods.
  4. Travelling: Take public transportation like busses and trains, carpool, and avoid flying less than 500 miles, and buy a carbon offset if you can.

500 miles radius from Tufts.

5. Enjoy: Feast on locally sourced dishes and treat your destination with respect.

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