Sustainability at Tufts

sustainability.tufts.edu

Category: Tufts Community News (page 3 of 23)

Take Public Transit to Campus for Commencement!

Commencement is a little over a week away! Families coming to campus can easily take public transportation to the Medford campus. Instead of worrying where to park, simply take the MBTA, bus, or the Tufts shuttle bus (The Joey).

Subway

  • Take the Red Line to Davis Square
  • From Davis Square, you can walk approximately 15 minutes to get to campus or take the Tufts Shuttle Bus (The Joey)

The Joey

  • Picks up in Davis Square in front of J.P. Licks and drops off at Lower Campus Center, Wren Hall, and The Olin Center
  • Visit tufts.doublemap.com for live tracking, or download the Double Map app.

Bus

  • #80 at Lechmere Station
  • #94 at Medford Square
  • #96 via Davis, Porter, and Harvard Square
  • All buses stop at College Avenue and Powderhouse Square, College Avenue and Professor’s Row, College Avenue and Boston Avenue, & Boston Avenue and Tufts Garage

Sustainability Takes a Village

In the media lately there has been a lot of talk about divesting from fossil fuel companies. I applaud this. It’s important to use all the tools in the toolbox to stem the rising tide (pun intended) of climate change. However, divestment today will not change the way buildings are built tomorrow, the types of zoning regulations adopted, how food is grown or clothes are made. The reality is that change is a long, slow process. Some of the things we think have happened quickly, like the adoption of smart phones, have actually taken a decade to reach a 10% global penetration rate.

While a shrinking fossil fuel industry will impact energy costs, which in turn will lead to changes in purchasing decisions on a larger level (e.g. what type of power plant to build) and at a more personal level (e.g. what type of car to buy, whether or not to buy a car at all), and will eventually decrease greenhouse gas emissions, these changes take time.

In that intervening time, between the eventual collapse of the fossil fuel industry and now, change still needs to happen in the way it always has – by individuals making decisions in their daily lives. By office managers who change what is purchased by their department, by building project managers who decide to hire a company experienced in LEED buildings, by students who take the train to their internship instead of driving. By people making choices every day that can change something lasting, like how buildings are conceived and built, or something habitual, like how to get around.

So while it is tempting to focus all our energy on a single cure to a problem, we, as individuals, need to be prepared for the long and often tedious business of waking up every day and making decisions that will, over time, lead to change. This takes strength, stamina, and a lot of self-motivation and hope. It lasts more than three days or three months and is, most of the time, inglorious and unappreciated.

Campaign finance reform, fossil fuel subsidies, investment decisions – these are all things that need to change, but we also need enthusiasm and passion to make local changes, the ones that will make a difference in the immediate future and reduce our emissions now. The people and actions highlighted in the sustainability progress report released today are doing those things. They have taken the time and effort, often above and beyond what is required of them, to make Tufts a better, more sustainable place. We applaud them and thank them with all our hearts, for we recognize that what they do is not easy but is very, very necessary.

#TrickedOutTrashBuddy

TrashBudy

Trick out your trash buddy & win prizes:

Because it is the responsibility of all employees to use and empty their own trash buddies, make your trash buddy your own! Decorate your trash buddy, photograph it, and tweet your photo to @GreenTufts using the hashtag #TrickedOutTrashBuddy, or email your photo to sustainabilityoffice@tufts.edu with the subject line “Tricked Out Trash Buddy.”

As the program is rolled out across the University, sustainability-themed prizes will be awarded to the most creatively decorated trash buddies (with preference given to those that us recycled materials).

Institutional Research & Evaluation Trash Buddies

Tricked Out Trash Buddies from the Office of Institutional Research & Evaluation

Introducing: The Trash Buddy Program


Tufts is joining a rapidly growing number of colleges and universities in adopting a proven new office waste management program for faculty and staff that we’re calling the “trash buddy” initiative. Tufts has a robust recycling program, but with your participation in the “trash buddy” initiative, we can do better!

A trash buddy is a miniature trash can that attaches to the blue paper recycling bin in your individual office or cubicle. The trash buddy replaces your traditional desk-side trash can, and its size represents the typical proportion of office waste that is truly trash. The trash buddy’s small volume and attachment to the recycled paper bin encourage recycling. Comparable programs at other universities and organizations increased recycling rates by up to 55%.

All waste produced at your desk that is not recyclable should be disposed of in the trash buddy, and you should empty the trash buddy into a central waste station when it fills up or whenever you find convenient. Only paper and cardboard  should be placed in the desk-side recycling bin the trash buddy attaches to. Central waste stations are typically found in common or well-traversed spaces in your office or building and include a trash bin, a paper and cardboard recycling bin, and a glass, metal, and plastic recycling bin. Custodians will empty the central waste stations every day and will empty your individual paper recycling bin weekly when your office or cubicle is cleaned.

For details, visit the Facilities Services Trash Buddy web page. Want more information about how to recycle at Tufts? Check out the recycling primer!

Signing up for the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge!

Knowing that the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge is coming up, I decided to do my part and register for the Tufts cycling team. Being fully away of how difficult it can sometimes be to register for large events such as the Challenge, I decided to document the process in hopes that it would serve to be of some use for interested Jumbos looking to ditch the car and grab their bikes for the week.

Screenshot 2014-05-02 14.41.53After typing in the URL, I was met with the MassCommute Bike Challenge main page. It was incredibly simple to read, easy to navigate, and fairly minimalist. The sections were displayed on the left and were short and sweet. Below the main  “Welcome” message was what looked like the log data for the upcoming event, and the tab “Register for the Challenge Today!” was directly in front of me.

Screenshot 2014-05-02 14.50.30Clicking on it led me to a page that asked me to type a username and come up with a password. I used my email for the username, jotted down a password for the website, and clicked continue.

Screenshot 2014-05-02 14.57.49

The information page loaded after this. Being familiar with registration sites, I was prepared for copious amounts of information to be asked (Email, phone number, home address, blood type, mother’s maiden name, work history, your kindergarten teacher’s best friend’s third cat’s middle name) and feared for the worse. I was surprised that, much like the other pages of the website, it was incredibly simple and uncomplicated It asked me my affiliation, so I selected “school” and picked Tufts from a drop down menu. I was also asked my age, gender, typical bike mileage, and reason for registering. It took me two minutes to give them the information before I continued to the next page.

I agreed to the Terms and Conditions after that and was told that my registration was complete. “That was it?!” I thought to myself. “Really?!”

I was fascinated by the expedient nature of the website, how easily I was able to prepare to cycle for Tufts, and how ready I was to grab my bike and hit the road. The takeaway from this is: Signing up for the bike challenge is simple, painless, and takes less than a few minutes.  If you want to represent the school, its as easy as that.

-Tim

 

 

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