Category: Tufts Community News (page 3 of 29)

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).

IMG_6766

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!

IMG_6765

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.

Compost Bins Picture

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!”

ZWW CTA

New Partnership Fights Food Waste and Food Insecurity

foodrescue

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

IMG_5163IMG_5223

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.

Tufts Eco-Ambassador Takes on the Climate Ride

Title Climate Ride

 

There is nothing quite like a 300+ mile bike ride to remind someone that they can have a real impact. For Chantal Hardy, a Tufts alum and Tufts Eco-Ambassador from the English Department, the Climate Ride along the Northern California coast alongside 130 other bikers is an opportunity to challenge herself, bring awareness to environmental issues, and reeducate herself about the movement of today. It also enables others who are unable to ride with her in May to contribute to these educational and activist efforts through donations. Much like her responsibilities as an Eco-Ambassador, she sees this challenge as engaging a personal, practical ability to affect change.

Chantal with Bike 2

Chantal has not been a distance biker for long. She first began casually biking at Oberlin College, where she majored in Environmental Studies. Since then, she has biked to her job at Tufts from Mission Hill, a more exercise intensive and shorter commute option than the T. Inspired by a friend, Chantal began trying out longer distance biking and has completed a few day-long biking events.

The Climate Ride’s participants fundraise for climate education and other causes they are passionate about; for Chantal, these are local Boston organizations. She is donating her fundraised proceeds to the Climate Ride, Jamaica Plains’ Bikes Not Bombs, which is a social justice, bike-advocacy program for youth empowerment that hosts international programs in developing nations, and the Boston Cyclist Union for its work in improving Boston’s bike infrastructure.

To learn more about the Climate Ride and Chantal’s journey, click on the box below:

CTA To Learn More about Chantal's Ride

Sustainability Fellowship, Meister Consultants Group (Boston)

Meister Consultants Group’s Sustainability Fellowship Program provides Masters-level students and recent graduates with an opportunity to increase knowledge and gain work experience by actively contributing to MCG’s sustainability consulting projects.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2016

Learn more and apply.

Older posts Newer posts