Category: Tufts Community News (page 2 of 43)

Get Involved with Sustainability

 

Do you want to get more involved with sustainability this semester? Good news! There are dozens of “green” organizations on campus that help foster a more sustainable world! In the next few weeks, there will be plenty of General Interest Meetings (GIMs) to check out. These are just a few of the amazing groups on campus to join.

The Tufts Mountain Club (TMC) encourages all students to explore outside, whether that means a quiet walk in the Fells or a hiking trip to the Loj in New Hampshire. TMC helps students with all ability levels get outside. TMC has owned and operated the Loj in Woodstock, New Hampshire for over 75 years, which allows for the Tufts Community to explore the great White Mountains of New Hampshire. Josh Cohen, who is currently a Junior and an Education and Verification intern here at the Office of Sustainability, is also the TMC Historian. Here is what TMC has meant to Josh over his time here at Tufts:

I’m currently serving my second term on the TMC executive board, now as the Historian and previously as the Loj Director. I was introduced to TMC through the climbing program, and I spent much of my first year at Tufts climbing at Metro Rock. I have spent many weekends up at the Loj hiking in the White Mountains, and that space really feels like home to me. TMC’s tradition of teaching skills and leading trips has given me the ability to enter outdoor spaces and feel confident, and I also have met many of my closest friends through the club.

Max Migdail, who is the Bush Eco-Rep, is also currently on the TMC executive board. He has been a member with TMC since his first semester at Tufts:

I’m very involved in TMC. I spend most of my weekends at the Loj and am the Loj Director for the club. This means I oversee caretakers, groups at the Loj, Loj upkeep, and other various goings on around the New Hampshire property…. When I got to Tufts, I sought out the Mountain Club and started developing relationships within the club and just going outside….The club has been like a home to me as well as the source of many of my deepest friendships. Perhaps most importantly though, the club has been an incredible resource to aid me in going outside, fulfilling both the purpose of the club and many of my own ambitions.

There is no set date for the TMC GIM yet, so be on the look out for it in the next few weeks!

If generating grassroots support for divestment from the fossil fuel industry, then Tufts Climate Action (TCA) is perfect for you! TCA is hosting their Spring GIM on Sunday, January 28th from 7-8pm in Eaton 201. Celia Bottger, who is a Programing intern for the Office of Sustainability, is also an organizer for TCA. Celia explains what the club has meant to her during her time at Tufts:

I have been involved in TCA since the fall of my freshman year…. I wanted to be a part of a group on campus that was doing work on climate change past sustainability initiatives. TCA has introduced me to the concept of climate justice, which highlights the intersectionality of climate change and social, economic, and racial justice struggles around the world. It has revealed to me the deep truth that climate change is above all a human issue, and that climate change work is inherently about working to support and sustain communities over corporations. I value the passionate and socially minded people I have met through TCA, as well as the fresh and worldly perspectives I continually encounter as co-leader of the group.

Is biking your main mode of transportation? Have you heard of Tufts Bikes? Tufts Bikes teaches students proper bike safety and upkeep and fosters a community for fossil free transportation. Tufts Bikes is hosting their GIM on January 28th in Campus Center Room 219 at 1pm. Mandy Rosengren, who is Metcalf’s Eco-Rep, is also involved with Tufts Bikes. Mandy explains here involvement in the club:

I am Head of Communications at Tufts Bikes and have been a member since Fall Freshman year. I signed up on a whim because my friend was in charge of the Tufts Bikes booth at the student club fair, and I love being a part of the club. It is so satisfying to fix someone’s bike, and it is part of the reason that I decided to switch into Mechanical Engineering for my major.

Would your friends call you electric? Have you ever considered joining the Tufts Energy Group? The Tufts Energy Group educates students about the surrounding energy. They are hosting their Spring GIM February 10th in Eaton 208 at 8pm.

The Tufts Food Rescue Collective helps prevent food waste and provides food for those in need. Students package leftover food from Dewick and Carmichael every day of the week and partner with Food for Free to deliver the meals all around the Medford/Somerville area. The Food Rescue GIM is apart of the Lenard Carmichael GIM, which will be on February 6th fro 9-10 pm in Cabot Auditoriums.

What more information about green organizations on campus? Check out our Get Involved publication!

 

January 2018 Eco-Ambassador Session #2 – Boston Health Science Campus

Session Summary:

We started off our second session by hearing from a current Eco-Ambassador, Nikki Lowe Lane, the Associate Director of Financial Aid at the School of Dental Medicine. She has been the driving force behind moving the Tufts Dental Financial Aid Office’s application process online, greatly reducing the amount of paper waste and allowing the office the opportunity to use more recycled paper.  The initiative has yielded significant cost savings in the office’s budget.

Then we discussed water, including where Tufts’ water comes from, water conservation projects at the university, and ways you can conserve water in your offices. Emma Groves from ABC-TMA joined us to talk about transportation options and resources available to Tufts employees on the Boston and Medford campuses. We reviewed ways to “green” meetings and events and looked at green event resources on the OOS website. We went over energy use and infrastructure at Tufts, as well as upcoming energy projects and ways to conserve energy in our offices. To end the day, we sorted “Eco-labels” and talked about which are reliable and unreliable and reviewed some purchasing tips and resources.

Assignments for next week:

  • Introduce yourself as an Eco-Ambassador to your officemates
  • Meet with your supervisor/Eco-Ambassador team
  • Create a draft community-based social marketing plan using this worksheet. Email to Shoshana by Friday, February 16.

Next Steps:

 

Additional Resources

Water:

Transportation:

  • Tufts’ Commuter Benefits: Visit the Commuting Benefits website for information about how you can get discounted transit passes.
  • Transportation Incentives & Regional Programs: folks on all campuses can sign up for Bay State Commute to find carpool partners and earn rewards for your “green” trips.  Employees on the Medford and Grafton campuses, can sign up for MassRIDES’ Emergency Ride HomeABC TMA provides incentives to employees on the Boston Campus, including the Guaranteed Ride Home Program.
  • Public Transportation: Visit the MBTA website for information on the rail, bus, subway, and commuter boat systems and access to helpful resources such as schedules & mapsreloading your CharlieCard online, and MBTA apps.
  • Tufts Shuttles: Find information about Tufts’ shuttles, including schedules and the live tracker, here.
  • BikingMassBike offers a wide range of bicycle safety and maintenance courses as well as extensive online resources about bike laws, local bike clubs, guides for new bikers, and much more. Learn more about bike safety from the Tufts University Police Department. View the City of Somerville Bicycle Routes map here.
  • General Transportation Info: Visit the EPA’s website for information about transportation and climate change, regulations related to greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and how to calculate your greenhouse gas emissions.
  • For guests traveling to campus: Provide information about how to travel to your campus via public transportation.  This page (and its subpages) have some good resources and language.
  • Transportation Brochures and Maps: Visit the Office of Sustainability’s Publications Library for electronic versions of our various transportation-related handouts.

Meetings & Events:

Energy:

Purchasing:

Additional Topics of Interest:

  • The Environmental Studies program organizes weekly Lunch & Learns about environmental and sustainability topics that are open to all members of the Tufts community (free food is provided!) and they are recorded live each week to watch online – learn more and see a schedule of upcoming speakers here.
  • There are CSA farm shares that deliver directly to the Medford and Boston Health Science campuses.  This is a great way to get fresh produce delivered conveniently to Tufts.  Click here for more information.
  • Meet other Eco-Ambassadors at Tufts – click here for a list (you will be added shortly!).
  • The Office of Sustainability/TIE chore chart detailing how we split up chores like washing the hand towels and putting dishes away.

 

Contacts

Shoshana Blank

Education & Outreach Program Administrator

Shoshana.Blank@tufts.edu

(617) 627-2973

Nikki Lowe Lane

Associate Director of Financial Aid, Tufts Dental School

Eco-Ambassador

Nikki.Lowe@tufts.edu

617-636-6973

Emma Groves

TMA Manager

A Better City + Allston Brighton TMAs

egroves@abettercity.org

617.502.6254

January 2018 Eco-Ambassador Session #1 – Boston Health Science Campus

Session Summary:

During our first meeting, we discussed the history of the Eco-Ambassador program and the role of Eco-Ambassadors, as well as the definition and meaning of “sustainability.” We also went through an overview of sustainability at Tufts and the goals for water, waste, and energy and emissions set forth in the Campus Sustainability Council Report. We then discussed waste and recycling at Tufts.  To round out the day, we talked about behavior change and the steps to creating a Community-Based Social Marketing plan, followed by an overview of climate change, its impacts, and how it will specifically impact the Boston area.

Assignments for next week:

  • Do your personal behavior change challenge! We will report back to each other about how it went.
  • Introduce yourself as an Eco-Ambassador to your officemates, your department, etc. This can be informal in person, or maybe you want to do a cute email?
  • Check that you have the proper Landfill and Mixed Recycling labels on your waste bins and that you have a blue lid on the recycling lid. Also, assess if you want a wall sign sticker or sign to go above your waste bins. Please bring a list of what you need to next week’s session. You can print your own wall signs here.
  • Start brainstorming behavior change ideas for your office (many of you have some ideas already!)

 

Additional Resources

Sustainability at Tufts:

 

Behavior Change:

 

Climate Change:

 

Waste & Recycling:

  • Requests: To request a compost bin for your office or a trash or recycling bin, or bin labels, go here.
  • Recycling at Tufts: Visit the recycling website (tufts.edu/recycle) for the latest recycling news or for a refresher about what’s recyclable. Check out the video!
  • Zero-Waste Events: Email recycle@tufts.edu to request that your event be zero-waste.
  • Freecycling: Sign up for the Tufts Freecycle Elist here.
  • Junk Mail: The University of Texas at Austin’s website has some good information about how to unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists. There is also a great app called PaperKarma.
  • Tufts’ Waste Hauling Company: Learn more about Republic Services
  • Recycling in Massachusetts: Get useful tips for recycling at home and in your community at the MassRecycle website
  • Waste Disposal Bans in Massachusetts: Learn more at the MassDEP’s website
  • Living a lower-waste lifestyle: There are many bloggers dedicated to this topic. This site is one of the more well-known bloggers, Bea Johnson. If you always have a reusable water bottle on you, as well as a cloth napkin and a set of utensils, that will help you reduce a lot of waste! There are some lightweight utensils that are easy to take in your bag, see here and here, but also it’s not difficult to take a metal fork around.

 

Contacts

Shoshana Blank
Education & Outreach Program Administrator
Shoshana.Blank@tufts.edu
(617) 627-2973
Gretchen Carey
Recycling and Organics Coordinator, Republic Services

GCarey@republicservices.com
(781) 560-1412

Recycling (General)
recycle@tufts.edu
go.tufts.edu/recycle

 

Sustainability Classes for the Spring

This spring semester, if you are looking for some interesting perspectives on sustainability, the environment, and climate change, look no further! Log into SIS for more information,

VISC 130 ITAL-0092-01 Arte Povera and Post-WWII Sculpture in Italy: Nature, Energy, and Experience

Wednesdays, 9AM – 12PM, SMFA taught by Silvia Bottinelli

In 1967, critic Germano Celant coined the phrase “Arte Povera”. Such label defined the unsystematic work of a group of contemporary Italian artists that were interested in simple materials and their physical and chemical transformations. The word “povera”, literally “poor”, also meant to criticize Pop Art, interpreted as an acceptance of consumerism. Mainly through sculpture, installation, and performance, Arte Povera offered an alternative to the traditional mediums of Classical and Renaissance art.

The class will analyze Arte Povera’s history, reception, and context by considering theoretical, cultural, social, political, and gender issues in 1960s and 1970s Italy. The diverse perspectives of select Italian and English-speaking scholars will be taken into account.

VISC 160-01 Landscapes and Ecologies: 1500-2018

Fridays, 9AM – 12PM, SMFA taught by Emily Gephart

This class examines the origins of landscape as a subject through which ecological relationships have been given form. We will consider why it has been an enduringly popular topic, and look at how artists from the European Renaissance to the present day have explored space & place, home & environment, and transformational ideas about nature and human societies. Through trans-historical case studies, we will consider how landscape in art allowed artists to reckon with modernization and changing beliefs about the wilderness, rural space, urbanism, indigenous peoples and resources, and the complex entanglements that have come to define the Anthropocene.

 

DRW-0120-01 ADVANCED DRAWING – LARGE SCALE

Wednesdays, 2-5 PM and 9-12PM taught by Ethan Murrow

This is a class for students with a background in drawing, painting, print and installation based practices. It will offer opportunities for students to expand and consider the physical range of their drawings in relationship to scale, context, perception, place, space and the public. We will explore techniques and strategies for working at large scale, whether in traditional media or in more temporal installation based approaches.

GER 82/182 ILVS 82 ENV 82 Imagining the Environment: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3PM – 4:15 PM taught by Professor Markus Wilczek

Film  / Literature / Music

Environmental Justice

 

Take a moment to think about your environment, where you grew up, and where you currently live? Did you have a yard? Did you walk around and see trees along your street? Was the Flint Water Crisis the first time that you considered that some places in this country have unsafe drinking water?

The environment is central to all human activity, and the treatment of the environment is inherently linked to the treatment of the people who live there. The EPA has defined environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” Historically, protection of environmental quality, like other resources such as money and time, has been unequally enforced across the country. Communities with more social capital and societal influences, therefore, have greater access to a healthy, safe, and livable environment with access to safe drinking water, clean air, and healthy, affordable food.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan found tremendous health impacts from entirely preventable leaching of lead in the predominately Black community’s drinking water. This is a classic example of environmental racism and brought the issue of environmental justice to the national spotlight. In the city, low-income areas and neighborhoods have disproportionally high levels of lead in their water. Globally, we see environmental injustices when discussing the future effects of climate change. According to The World Bank, the countries that will see the greatest negative impacts from our warming climate are disproportionately low-income nations.

Environmental injustices typically stem from lacking access to political capital and voice in government and industry decision-making. Wealthier communities have more disposable income and time to spend to have their voices and concerns heard. While historically the environment reinforces existing inequalities across communities, increasing awareness and advocacy for the environment through the lens of justice and health can achieve more equitable outcomes.

When advocating for the environment or any social justice issue, we all must recognize how our backgrounds or privileges have shaped us. White activists must recognize white privilege (https://www.pachamama.org/news/race-and-class-privilege-in-the-environmental-movement), and how historically white privilege has come at the cost of quality of life for communities of color and low-income globally. We can use their privileged position in society to advocate for historically disadvantaged communities and uplift their voices to be heard and protected.

Want to learn more about environmental justice and the inequalities between the global north and south? Read the Yale Environment 360’s article on how increased per capita consumption is a greater global threat than increased population.

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