Category: sustainability tips (page 2 of 3)

What to pack for spring break

Are you traveling next week? Remember to pack these items to reduce waste on your trip!

Eating: Bring a fork, spoon, and knife. Or, to save space, bring a spork or chopsticks! Make sure you only bring a knife in your checked luggage. In addition, bring a few cloth napkins – they double as handkerchiefs.

Drinking: Definitely remember to pack a reusable water bottle. You may even want a travel mug for coffee and tea, too.

Transporting: Once you’re done eating, you’ll need Tupperware for leftovers. Carry the Tupperware and your Tufts Office of Sustainability reusable sandwich bag in a reusable shopping bag.

Toiletries: Invest in small reusable containers to bring small amounts of shampoo, sunscreen, and face wash on your trip instead of buying the travel size toiletries. Also, pack a wash cloth and a menstrual cup.

 

Last, but not least, bring mindfulness about your waste and consumption on your trip! As a visitor, treat your destination with respect.

Bring Home Sustainability

Congratulations, you finished the semester! You’re done with finals and are heading home for winter break. We know that before you left campus, you made sure to unplug all of your electronics, turn the heat down to 1, and close all of your windows.

You’re officially ready to leave for break, but don’t forget about sustainability while you’re at home. While at school, we are often shielded from a lot of the waste that is created on our behalf. In the dining halls, we often don’t see all of the packaging that goes into food production and all of the food waste at the end of meals. At home, we can be more aware of the waste we produce.

How to bring sustainability home with you:

Remember to recycle!

At home, it can be easy to put all waste into the trash bin. So, remember all of the good recycling habits that you learned at Tufts and bring them home with you. Always sort your waste into bins destined for the landfill or recycling.

Care to compost!

At Tufts, the Eco-Reps take out compost from the dorms, but at home, there might not be a city-wide composting program. If you don’t, talk to your family starting your own compost pile at home. When food waste is sent to the landfill, it releases methane gas. When food waste is recycled to form fertile soil. Learn more about how to create a compost at home from the EPA.

Reduce your food waste.

Holiday meals are notorious for their large spreads of food. Make sure you eat what you can and that you save any leftovers. Read more tips for a sustainable, food-centric holiday from our Thanksgiving blog.

Think before you buy!

Have you ever thought about how much energy, labor, water, and raw materials go into everything that you buy? Before buying new, try reusing what you already have, or buy used and save money. Watch The Story of Stuff to learn more about the life cycle of some of our most used goods.

Be wary of plastic packaging! 

Plastic film cannot be recycled and is used in many single-use items. Before you buy something in plastic wrapping, try looking for a bulk size to cut down on packaging waste or find a similar item that’s not wrapped in plastic.

Make sustainability your New Year’s resolution!

In 2018, commit to being more sustainable and taking steps to reduce your environmental impact. Read some great tips for how to live more sustainably from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Bring on the sweater weather!

Put on a sweater before turning up the heat. Save energy in your home by keeping the temperature down, and if you get chilly, then put on a sweater and some cozy socks before turning up the heat.

Connect and engage!

Being home is a great time to reconnect with your family, friends, and community. Share your passion for sustainability with your communities at home. Here are some tips for .

Enjoy your time off from lectures, exams, and projects, but don’t forget about your environmental impact and responsibilities. Enjoy a restful and sustainable winter break!

 

Finals Heat, Winter Needs, and Holiday Greets

Picture Credits: Tufts University

Stressed about finals? Excited about winter break? Procrastinating moving out? Have no fear! Follow our tips and tricks to handle your end-of-year stress in the most efficient and sustainable way!

Stay Toasty in a Sweater

Heaters use up a lot of energy. While we don’t encourage anyone to freeze in their rooms, remember to be conscious of how high your heat is turned up. Often times wearing a sweater or warmer clothes can help keep your dorm heating low while allowing you to be warm and cozy.

Closing Up When You Leave

Remember to shut all windows when you move out so that heat doesn’t escape the room. This helps save energy and money! Leave your heat setting to no.1- not on the snowflake- so the pipes don’t freeze. If your windows don’t close, be sure to put in a work order request before you leave!

Pull the Plug

Electronics and power cords run the risk of short circuiting or fuse bursting if left plugged in. Avoid any possibilities of mishaps and unplug all power chords and cables from sockets.

Gateway to Winter

Your mini-fridges can often get moldy and smelly if left shut and unplugged for a long time. Don’t forget to keep your fridge door open with a towel underneath to catch the melting ice.

Donate Instead of Waste

Finals are stressful. Often times we don’t want to take a second look at our books after we are done. If you already plan to get rid of your leftover paper, books, pens, and other materials, donate them. Someone else could benefit from your donations, and so will the environment!

Pizza Crusts and Coffee Mugs

Finals season calls for higher doses of caffeine and late-night snacks. If you are an avid beverage drinker, be mindful of the waste you generate. Reusable coffee mugs are a great way to reduce the number of visits you make to the trashcan.

While you enjoy snacks, and stock up on them in your dorms, composting leftovers is an effective way to dispose of your waste rather than throwing it in bins. Find composting tips and tricks from Facilities Services.

Santa in the Papers

Exchanging presents and goodies is a tradition for a lot of people this season. However, wrapping paper wastes a lot of plastic and is harmful to the environment. Get creative instead; wrap your presents in newspapers that are self-painted or designed. Your loved ones will appreciate the personal touch, and the environment will also be smiling!

 

The Office of Sustainability wishes everyone speedy finals and happy holidays! Remember to do your part in keeping your surroundings clean, green, and healthy.

Sustainable Winter Break

Classes have ended, finals are on the horizon, and everyone is dreaming of going home for the break as soon as their last final is over. But before you can go, there are some things you must do to winterize your dorm.
Remember to:

  • Close all of your windows.
  • Turn off all power strips and unplug everything from the wall.
  • Unplug your refrigerator and leave the door of the fridge open. Place a towel underneath the door to catch the melted ice.
  • Prevent food waste by eating or taking home all left-over nonperishable foods.
  •  Turn the thermostat to 1.

All of these simple things help Tufts reduce our energy consumption over break! Want more tips on how to have a sustainable winter break?

Sustainable winter break tips:

  •  Put on a sweater before turning up the heat.
  • Recycle any notebooks that you’re done with after your final.
  • Think about how your travel impacts the environment. Find more about sustainable travel from last week’s blog post.
  • Wrap your holiday presents in newspaper and reusable gift bags.
  •  Give sustainable presents. Check out some great gifts for everyone on your list here!
  •  Reduce your food waste during those big holiday dinners.
  •  If you have the opportunity, go adventure in the outdoors! Use your winter break to reconnect with your home and nature. Take a walk, go for a hike, swim, or ski. Take advantage of not having exams, homework, or meetings and get outside!

Congratulations on a great fall semester and good luck with finals! We wish you a very sustainable winter break!

Jetting Across the World; To Clean Skies and Green Fields

Opening my acceptance email to the DIS Copenhagen program was filled with squeals of excitement and happiness. A new city. A new culture. A new experience. I was ready. But what about sustainability efforts abroad? Tufts University does a fantastic job with their sustainability-related works on campus, and for the surrounding community. Here at Tufts we are constantly engaging in initiatives, organizing events, and highlighting content that builds awareness around our sustainability initiatives. Involving myself in sustainable initiatives and opportunities is an important factor for consideration during my semester abroad. I asked myself, How can one study abroad sustainably?

I researched programs and activities in Copenhagen, as well as fun facts about the city. Did you know that Copenhagen aims to be the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025, and independent from fossil fuels by 2050! In a city that is so environment conscious, I decided to make a list of things I could do, and ways I can get involved, to continue my own efforts away from Tufts:

  1. Learning how to bike: every time I tried to cycle as a child, I ended up with multiple bruises and cuts. This year, I am going to commit to learning how to bike the right way!
  2. Using public transport: reducing gas emissions can reduce your carbon footprint. The public transport in and around Denmark is supposed to be really accessible, so it will be a great way for me to get around.
  3. Take part in sustainability initiatives: I plan to visit offshore windmill parks, heating plants, and urban gardens.
  4. Reform my food habits: learning how to eat like the locals, incorporate composting into my routine, reduce my meat consumption, and use reusable water bottles are more ways to do my part to reduce my impact while abroad.

In a city that has so much to offer, I want to make the most of this opportunity. I can learn about new sustainability methods to bring back to Tufts and ways to improve my own habits.

If you are looking for study-abroad programs that prioritize sustainability, find a list of program options here!

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