Category: Water (page 3 of 5)

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

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!

Oct. 12: The Future of Water Symposium

Cloudy with a Chance of Solutions:
The Future of Water

Friday, October 12, 2012 | 9 am – 5 pm

 

Radcliffe Gymnasium, 10 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard
Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Radcliffe Institute’s annual science symposium will focus on the important and challenging topic of water. Water is a theme that encompasses issues as varied as environmental contamination, public health, agricultural shortages, and geopolitical disputes. “Cloudy with a Chance of Solutions: The Future of Water” will focus on the ecological and human health hazards of environmental contaminants, the threats to drinking water of fracking, the promise of new technologies for water treatment, the need for national water policy, and the role of urban and other areas in conservation. The majority of the talks will focus on the “hard science” of water-related issues; others will offer the perspectives of experts from the policy, business, or urban-planning worlds to put the scientific discussions in a broader context and to link them thematically.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.  

For more information and to register, please visit www.radcliffe.harvard.edu or call 617-495-8600.

Register Now!

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

Sept 4-Oct 5: Register for EPA’s Campus RainWorks Design Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened registration for student teams from colleges and universities across the country to participate in its new design competition, the Campus RainWorks Challenge, through which teams will compete to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. This first annual competition, will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design. Stormwater is a major cause of harmful water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds.

Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge is open from September 4 through October 5, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 – $2,500, as well as $8,000 – $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.

EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits. Green infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for single-purpose ³gray² infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges.

More information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge.

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