By Danielle Mulligan
Welcome back! Hopefully everyone enjoyed their week off and feels rejuvenated for part two of the spring semester. Some may have stayed on campus while others may have travelled back home or to warmer places in search of actual spring-like weather. I personally love to travel when possible but struggle to balance that passion with my knowledge of the hugely negative environmental impacts of travelling. Starting from the ride to the airport and then the plane ride, I’m already leaving a huge carbon footprint! How can we become more environmentally conscious travelers?
Since we’re back at school, it may be good time to just take a pause and think about our past week. Whether we stayed in our dorms, were home or were lying on the beaches of Cancun-what are ways in which we could have made our vacation time a little more eco-friendly?
Here are some tips from my own travel experiences and from the travel section in “The Green Book”-a book filled with different tips on how to change habits in all areas of our lives.
- If you are traveling to a place where tap water is not safe to drink, purchase a plaster water bottle with a filter. It may seem a bit more expensive at first, but buying plastic bottles at every stop adds up and the environmental impact is huge!
- Look for alternative forms of transportation! Take a train instead of a plane. Walk instead of taking a taxi or renting a car-you are in a new place, and if it’s walkable why not take that extra time to be outside and explore a little?
- Bring a reusable bag for any of your shopping trips to the markets stalls or stores wherever you are visiting.
- Try adventure travel or eco-tourism –not only does eco-tourism generally have a much smaller negative impact on the environment, it also frequently channels money to positive environmental initiatives.
- Pack your own shampoo, soap and toothpaste and leave the hotels mini-bottles untouched. To give some perspective, a 300-room hotel in Las Vegas uses more than 150,000 plastic bottles of shampoo a year!
Part 3 of Unwrapping Building 574 is now available! Part 3, entitled Adaptation, talks about the difficulties and nuances of adapting such an old, historic building into a modern, sustainable office. The section also includes some pictures of the building and concludes our series. We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Read the blog here!
The weather this past weekend was just GORGEOUS and we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!
We have some exciting news to share… the first round of Recyclemania grades have been released! Woo!
Here are the results…
Blakely Hall: C
Bush Hall: B
Carmichael Hall: C+
Haskell Hall: C-
Hill Hall: B-
Hodgdon Hall: B-
Houston Hall: C-
Lewis Hall: C
Miller Hall: C+
South Hall: C
Stratton Hall: B-
Tilton Hall: B-
West Hall: B-
Wren Hall: B+
The official report can be also be seen here.
It looks as though Wren Hall is in the lead! But have no fear – If your dorm received a less-than-satisfactory grade, there is another round of grading just around the corner. The winner will be announced at this year’s Earthfest on April 11th! Speaking of which, keep an eye out for a clothes donation box in your dorm where you can drop off any gently used/unwanted clothing. What you may consider a former fashion faux pas may totally brighten someone else’s day. We appreciate very much your donations as we gear up for Earthfest!
EcoRep, Miller Hall
Our ongoing coverage of building 574 continues with Part 2- Stormwater. The interview details some fascinating mechanics of the building design, including how water and runoff is handled. Read it here!
The Office of Sustainability is proud to present Part 1 of Unwrapping Building 574, a three part blog on Tufts’ current building project.
Building 574 represents the future of sustainability on Tufts Campus, with green initiatives designed into the building. Due to the uniqueness of the site and age of the building, the project requires some unique initiative and planning to make such a concept feasible. Communications intern Timothy Grant interviewed Ray Santangelo, the project manager, and one of the building’s head architects, David Kasdish, on 574 and what it means for sustainability. Even without a background on the subject, the interview is fascinating and easy to follow. Part 1 includes the history of building and some initiatives to include sustainable design. Part 1 is Available Now!