Category Archives: Waste - Get RSS Feed

Do It In the Dark

This week we are going to talk about the Eco-Rep initiative DO IT IN THE DARK (DIITD).  With the help of facilities we’re comparing the electricity usage from mid-October – mid-November 2011 to mid-October – mid-November 2012.  Since weather differences won’t make much of a difference with for electric usage, it should be a fair comparison.  We as students can make a tremendous difference by doing simple things like remembering to turn off our lights and computers when we leave for class.  Just switching our desk lamp to a CFL from and incandescent bulb save 75% of the electric used.  Below are some Fun Facts about how to save energy at Tufts.

Fun Energy Facts:
- 90% of the energy that goes into an incandescent bulb is wasted as heat.
- If everyone in a South a floor lamp with an incandescent bulb while they’re at class it would save 23kWh of electricity.
- If you don’t unplug your mini-fridge when you leave for Winter Break, you’d waste 20kWh of electricity.

Campus Sustainability Council Fall 2012 Update

During the summer, the Tufts Sustainability Council’s various working groups met to discuss goals for Tufts in the areas of water, waste and energy/emissions reductions.

The Water Working Group envisioned Tufts having an integrated water management approach that reduces consumption, promotes reuse, and minimizes impacts on the environment enabling Tufts to become a leader in campus water management in higher education.

To reach this goal, the Water Working Group recommends that Tufts meets and exceeds federal, state and local regulations regarding runoff, sanitation, and sewer systems; implements LEED standards for water use and quality; and ensures that Tufts students, faculty, and staff are knowledgeable of how their actions impact water use and quality and know how to mitigate negative impacts on their watersheds.

The Waste Working Group’s primary goal as discussed during their Summer meetings is an overall reduction of waste at Tufts by 3% a year through source reduction, improved waste management strategies, and a general culture change on campus with regards to waste.

Part of the Waste Working Group’s proposed strategies involves improved purchasing practices to ensure that an increased percentage of environmentally responsible products are purchased by the university.

The Energy and Emissions Working Group discussed ways for Tufts to demonstrate leadership in responsible climate action through energy efficiency, emissions reduction and adaptation. Under the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action plan, the Energy and Emissions group is committed to seeing Tufts reduce emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and reducing emissions to 75-85% below the 2001 levels by 2050.

To do this, the Energy and Emissions group is developing a laundry list of energy efficiency measures and is committed to supporting a transition away from fossil fuels and teaching the Tufts community about the importance of energy efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and reduced emissions.

The groups stressed a need for reporting, feedback, and community outreach to ensure that all of Tufts sustainability efforts and goals can be reached.

Over the remainder of the semester, the Water, Waste, and Energy/Emissions groups will be meeting to discuss progress towards these goals, ongoing sustainability efforts, and additional strategies the university could use to meet their goals. A draft report will be available on February 1st, 2013 for comments. The comment period will end on March 1st and a final report will be prepared for the end of the academic year.

- by Robert R. Lynch, Campus Sustainability Council Administrative Intern

Eco-Reps Weekly Updates

Zero Waste Week

Today, October 17th, is the start of Zero Waste Week! From October 17th to October 24th, 200 students will participate in this challenge to raise awareness that trash doesn’t just “disappear.” Participating students will place all trash that will not otherwise not be recycled or composted in a clear plastic bag that they will carry around with them for the week. Students should feel less compelled to create waste since they’ll have to carry it all with them! The plastic bags will be dropped off on the RezQuad at Mt. Trashmore on October 24th and the amount generated by the participants will be compared to the trash generated from a comparable sized dorm.  Visit the Office of Sustainability, the Crafts House, or find your Eco-Rep to be a part of the challenge!

Sustainability Day

October 24th, the end of Zero Waste Week, is also Sustainability Day! This event, taking place from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, focuses on raising awareness of what has been done and what needs to be worked on to become a sustainable campus. Events for this year’s Sustainability Day include Mt. Trashmore, which will feature individual piles of trash taken from Miller, Houston, Carmichael, and Hill Halls, and “The Story of Bananas” dinner at Dewick. “The Story of Bananas” dinner seeks to educate students on the path of the dining halls’ most eaten fruit from farm all the way to compost. Check out the five stations, play the fun foodie game to win banana themed prizes, and enjoy foods with bananas! In addition, Annie Leonard, the author of “The Story of Stuff” will be holding a talk, question and answer, and book signing session in Cohen Auditorium from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Eco-Rep Events

Last night Eco-Rep Sidney May, the Eco-Rep for Wren Hall, held her first event. She set up a tap water vs bottled water taste test and raffled off a Brita reusable water bottle! Sidney threw residents a fun curve ball by serving only tap water. Residents had fun doing the test and were almost always surprised they tried two cups of tap water. Way to go, Sidney!

Hill and West residents, don’t miss the Sustainability Dinner event tomorrow night put on by Eco-Reps Chantal Davis and Laina Piera. The dinner will focus on sustainability of the food in the dining halls. You can’t miss the delicious Flatbread pizzas they’ll be serving for dinner! The event takes place from 6-7pm in the Hill Hall Lounge.

Plus, look out of Do It In the Dark, an inter-dorm competition to see which can reduce their energy consumption the most over a one-month period! More information to come in our next post!

Oct. 1-15: EcoChallenge 2012

The EcoChallenge is an opportunity to change your life for good. For two weeks, October 1-15, we challenge you to change one habit for Earth. You choose your challenge, we connect you with other EcoChallengers, and collectively we prove that small actions create real change.

Participating is simple:

1. Choose your EcoChallenge category and actions (October 1-15): water, energy, food, transportation, trash or choose-your-ownLooking for inspiration? We’ve got suggestions and success stories in each category to get you started.

2. Register for the EcoChallenge.

3. Decide whether you’re going to take on the Challenge individually or as part of a team

  • To start your own team, select “start a team,” and we’ll help you invite friends and coworkers to join.
  • To join an existing team, select “join a team”.
  • To participate individually and raise pledges to support NWEI’s sustainability eduction programs, select “participate as an EcoChallenge Fundraiser,” and set your fundraising goal. Remember: everyone who raises at least $50 is entered into the EcoChallenge raffle!
  • To participate individually without raising pledges, select “join a team” and join the “NWEI Community Team”.

4. Create your EcoChallenge profile page. You can start your page during the registration process and Log In at any time to add or edit.

5. Share your challenge with friends and family—and while you’re at it, invite them to take the EcoChallenge, too!

6. On October 1st, start working toward your challenge goals and Check In on the website daily to log your progress. Connect with other EcoChallengers online and share your progress on your personal EcoChallenge blog.

Whether the EcoChallenge is your first step toward a lower impact lifestyle, or you’ve been around the environmental block many times, we invite you to Challenge yourself this October 1 – 15. Register today, and join a growing community of people who are taking action on behalf of the planet!

Conference “Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace”

On October 4th through 6th, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, in conjunction with the Tufts Initiative on Climate Change and Climate Justice, will hold its 2012 annual conference at Tufts. Entitled “Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace,” the conference will be featuring presentations from a wide range of disciplines, professions, and perspectives on the many complex issues now unfolding amidst disruptive climate change, which promises to be among the most significant social justice concerns in the 21st Century.

The impressive list of plenary session panelists includes: Christian Parenti (Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence), Ken Conca (Environmental Peacemaking), Betsy Hartmann (“Don’t Beat the Climate War Drums”), Ellie Perkins (“Women and Participatory Water Management”), Darlene Lombos (Community Labor United), Burt Lauderdale (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth; New Power Initiative), Wenonah Hauter (Executive Director, Food & Water Watch), Gregor Wolbring (University of Calgary; energy/water ethics), John Peck (Family Farm Defenders), Greg White (Climate Refugees or Mere Migrants: Climate-Induced Migration, Security, and Borders in a Warming World), Tariq Banuri (renewable energy and climate change), Eveline Shen (reproductive justice), and Julian Agyeman (Just Sustainabilities; Cultivating Food Justice)

The Tufts Institute of the Environment is co-sponsoring this event, and Tufts community members are encouraged to attend. Student volunteers are also needed.

To register, visit http://www.peacejusticestudies.org/conference/registration.php or e-mail Dale.Bryan@tufts.edu

Kitchen Scrap Bucket Pick-up and Delivery Driver

Bootstrap Compost is Greater Boston’s only year-round residential and commercial food scrap pickup service. We use vehicles, bicycle trailers, the T and hand trucks to collect and transport kitchen scraps from houses, apartments, dorms, co-ops, condos, cafes, offices and restaurants. Additionally, we arrange to collect scraps from one-off events. Watch this video to learn more.

About us: Partnering with local farms, Bootstrap diverts hundreds of pounds of organic material from landfills every week. As a result, we are harnessing the potential of organic refuse to redefine and empower a local food community. Our farms benefit from our compost in the production of crops while each Bootstrap subscriber receives a portion of cured compost for their own gardening projects. We consider it thoughtful, sustainable, and community-engineered composting.

Company values: Ultimately, the Bootstrap Compost philosophy is simple: To give local residents a means to harness the power of organic scraps; to give back to the community what Bootstrap borrows from the community; to have fun; to enjoy work.

What we need: We are looking for a sustainability-minded individual to help with kitchen scrap bucket pickups and compost delivery for our 300+ subscribers in the Greater Boston area. This individual will receive a manifest of their day’s scheduled bucket pickups and dropoffs and will have to plan and organize their driving route in accordance. In addition, this individual will help with cleaning and sanitizing buckets, sifting cured compost, attending events and performing other tasks as they arise.

Job requirements:

-A vehicle and driver’s insurance
-A perfect driving record
-Ability to work on Saturdays
-Familiarity with the streets of Boston
-Organizational and mapping skills
-A passion for sustainable and start-up businesses
-An autonomous self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit
-An enthusiasm for greening the Boston community by providing a composting service
-A professional manner with an emphasis on punctuality, discipline and patience
-An ability and desire to clearly communicate Bootstrap Compost’s mission and values

Bootstrap was founded in January 2011 to help Boston put it’s kitchen scraps to good use. It has quickly expanded to a businesses serving 300+ clients. This is not your average job delivering pizza for Godfather’s or stocking VHS tapes at Blockbuster. At Bootstrap Compost, an employee’s hard work, enthusiasm and creativity is rewarded with further professional opportunities as the business continues to grow. We are especially looking for team members who bring in fresh ideas and go above and beyond to help our company and the world of composting expand and succeed!

 

Please contact us at bootstrapcompostPR@gmail.com if you are interested and send a resume and cover letter outlining your top five reasons for why you are interested in composting and joining the Bootstrap Compost team. If we like what we see, we will contact you to set up a time to meet and discuss your hourly rate and availability.

Note: Please do not email with follow-up inquiries as we will contact you if we are interested.

Logistical Operations Assistant Internship (Boston, MA)

This internship is short term.

Bootstrap Compost is Greater Boston’s only year-round residential and commercial food scrap pickup service. We use vehicles, bicycle trailers, the T and hand trucks to collect and transport kitchen scraps from houses, apartments, dorms, co-ops, condos, cafes, offices and restaurants. Additionally, we arrange to collect scraps from one-off events. Watch this video to learn more.

About us: Partnering with local farms, Bootstrap diverts hundreds of pounds of organic material from landfills every week. As a result, we are harnessing the potential of organic refuse to redefine and empower a local food community. Our farms benefit from our compost in the production of crops while each Bootstrap subscriber receives a portion of cured compost for their own gardening projects. We consider it thoughtful, sustainable, and community-engineered composting.

What we need: We are looking for an individual to assist in building an extensive customer service directory for Bootstrap Compost. This individual ideally has some expertise in software systems and has an interest in sustainable business. You do not have to be an IT whiz. The task at hand requires around 30 hours of data entry and data management. We hope to be done with this project by Monday, August 6. While this internship is unpaid, your tenure will be rewarded with your experience in an exciting start-up – currently a MassChallenge finalist – with a focus on social and environmental impact, an opportunity to foster relationships within the sustainability community and the potential for future professional opportunities within our growing company.

Company values: Ultimately, the Bootstrap Compost philosophy is simple: To give local residents a means to harness the power of organic scraps; to give back to the community what Bootstrap borrows from the community; to have fun; to enjoy work.

Internship requirements:

-Some experience with software systems and data management
-A professional manner with an emphasis on punctuality, discipline and patience
-Organizational skills
-A passion for sustainable and start-up businesses
-An enthusiasm for greening the Boston community

Bootstrap Compost was founded in January 2011 to help Boston put it’s kitchen scraps to good use. At BSC, an employee’s hard work, enthusiasm and creativity is rewarded with further professional opportunities as the business continues to grow. We are always looking for team members who bring in fresh ideas and go above and beyond to help our company and the world of composting expand and succeed!

Please contact us at bootstrapcompostPR@gmail.com if you are interested and send a resume and short note outlining three reasons why you are interested in this opportunity and want to join the Bootstrap Compost team. We will contact you to set up a time to meet and discuss your availability.

Communities benefit from Tufts Computer Donation Program

Tufts Community Relations (TCR) has been working with University Information Technology (UIT) for several years to donate computers to community agencies and schools.

The Tufts Computer Donation Program collects, cleans up and donates Tufts-owned computers that are less than five years old to the Grafton, Boston, and Medford/Somerville communities. Older computers are recycled via Tufts’ long-standing recycling program. Before donation, all computer hard drives are wiped and their operating systems  reinstalled. UIT then provides a list of available computers to TCR to identify organizations that would benefit from a donation.

Medford/Somerville faculty and staff with old computers to donate should go to Facilities’ website and ask to schedule a time for them to pick-up your old computer. If you work in Boston or Grafton, email computers4community@tufts.edu.   For more details, visit UIT’s website.

 


Re2Pack, food for the summer and the MassCommute Bike Challenge

With commencement only two weeks away, you are probably (a) taking finals and writing papers, (b) preparing for commencement, or (c) moving off campus for the summer or (boohoo!) for good.

We can’t offer you much help with the first two things but if you are indeed moving off campus, you should know that TuftsRecycles has a list of things that they collect for recycling, among them: books and school supplies, carpets, crutches and air casts, electronics, clothing and linens, hangers, and unopened cans of food. Look for the proper boxes in the dorms and check the TuftsRecycles website for more details.

World Peas CSADo the CSA folks miss their fresh organic vegetables? I know I do. Most local farmers’ markets won’t start for a few more weeks (usually after Memorial Day). Download a schedule of farmers’ markets near Tufts from our website to look for one near you. In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for the summer CSA with World PEAS, a program of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project sponsored by Community Teamwork Inc. and the Freidman School of Nutrition.

Don’t forget - the 2012 Bay State Bike Week is going on from May 14-20 and you can still register and help Tufts win the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge. Tufts’ total miles wentfrom 130 to 537 in a week but we are still a distant 4th behind BU. Come on, Jumbos! If you signed up, contact us at the Office of Sustainability. We have a few t-shirts to give away. (Supplies limited)

Best of luck and enjoy the sunshine!

Fannie
- Communications & Outreach Specialist, Tufts Office of Sustainability

Campus Sustainability Council update: Waste Working Group

Since the beginning of March, the three Working Groups of the Campus Sustainability Council have been meeting to discuss the current state of energy/emissions, water, and waste policies and practices at Tufts, and to create new policy measures in these areas.

The Waste Working Group met for the first time on March 12th and reviewed its roles and responsibilities, which include collaborating to create university-wide solid waste reduction/avoidance goals, presenting goals to the main Council for feedback and approval, and creating strategies to meet the goals, including implementation planning.

The group reviewed how Tufts manages its waste as well as consumption data. They learned that causes of waste output variations are usually hard to determine but that waste increases noticeably during a strong economy and times of high consumption, and that reduced consumption and reusing materials could impact waste output considerably. The group reviewed the waste breakdown for the past several years on the Boston and Medford campuses. Finally, the group looked into strategies for waste reduction. The waste management hierarchy follows, from most preferred to least preferred:

  • Source reduction and reuse
  • Recycling/composting
  • Energy recovery
  • Treatment and disposal

In the second meeting, the Waste Working Group decided to break down into smaller sub-groups, and the third meeting was spent working within those groups. The groups, along with their objectives, are:

  • Waste Management
    • To identify gaps and weaknesses in current waste management and address gaps, and to achieve uniformity in waste management practices wherever possible
    • Group will cover practices and metrics
  • Source Reduction
    • Group will impact waste reduction and responsible choices through purchasing contracts and client interface
  • Labs and Hospitals
    • Group will focus on laboratory and hospital waste management including animal facilities
  • Marketing and Education
    • Group will raise the level of awareness for waste reduction across all Tufts communities through behavior change

The working group members are now in the process of brainstorming goals and areas of policy change within their subgroups. Once this process is complete, the sub-groups will discuss their findings and the Waste Working Group will make a report to the Sustainability Council. The working group is co-chaired by Gretchen Kaufman, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Medicine in the Department of Environmental and Population Health and Director of the Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and Dawn Quirk, Waste Reduction Program Manager in Tufts Facilities Services.

As always, Tufts community members are welcome to add their own suggestions for the working group through the easy, on-line form available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.