Tufts Gets Green

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Tag: Eco-rep

Eco-Rep Blog Post Double-Header!

Because it’s Earth Month, we actually have TWO Eco-Rep blog updates this week! Here’s your second:

Spring is here and it’s super busy for the Eco Reps! Recyclemania ended last Sunday (March 30) and the results of both the final round recycling scores and the overall winners of the competition can be found HERE. Remember, the dorm and house  that receive the highest recycling grades overall get to hang out in an inflatable bouncy house, which is totally awesome!

Individual Eco-Reps have been busy hosting their individual events in their dorms. Last Monday I hosted a composting-focused event where Houston Hall residents could grab a personal compost bin, eat chocolate “dirt” pudding and learn about composting in the dorm. I also know that a bunch of other Eco-Reps had their events this past week, like a ‘pot a plant’ event in Carmichael, a clothing swap in Wilson House and a jeopardy event in Hogdgon.

One big upcoming event this week is Earthfest. This Friday, April 11th, from 11 am to 2pm on the Academic Quad Tufts Sustainability Collective (TSC) will be hosting its annual Earthfest. Activities include bike riding, a green photo booth and local (free!) food. This will be an amazing opportunity to celebrate spring and learn about sustainability at Tufts and in the surrounding community. Also, the Eco Reps will be hosting a clothing swap, so be sure to swing by our booth to find some cool new additions to your spring wardrobe!

-Rachael (Houston Eco Rep)

Eco Rep Update: Travel Green!

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. Bring a reusable bag for any of your shopping trips to the markets stalls or stores wherever you are visiting.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

-Danielle

Eco-Rep Semester Update!

It’s hard to believe, but the semester is finally coming to a close and with that, the Tufts Eco-Reps Program officially concludes its third semester run after returning from a three-year hiatus.

The Tufts Eco-Reps, as you probably already know, are a group of residential students who work to encourage environmentally responsible behavior in their hall-mates and peers. They accomplish this through organizing group activities and collaborative projects, and by representing the Eco-Reps Program at various on-campus and off-campus events.

The fall semester started off with a bang, as this year’s newly selected bunch of Eco-Reps completed training and immediately jumped into their new roles by implementing compost bins in their respective dorms and hosting meet-and-greet events.

As the semester rolled along, the Eco-Reps began planning and hosting eco-related events in their dorms. Josh Metersky, Eco-Rep for South Hall, hosted a Make-Your-Own-Pizza night with dough from Flatbread Pizza and organic, local ingredients. Eco-Reps Katie Segal and Mel Rubin chose to host a joint event for Hodgdon and Bush on sustainable holiday crafts, utilizing recycled and donated materials to encourage responsible consumption over the holidays.

The Eco-Reps also took a part in the Tufts Sustainability Collective’s ‘Sustainability Night in Dewick,’ by hosting an entertaining Trashion Show where students designed and modeled attire made out of trash or reused materials. The event also served as a kickoff to the new Terracycle program, an initiative for “upcycling” chip bags, granola bar wrappers, and candy wrappers and making them into really cool products like tote bags and speakers.

The Eco-Reps as a group was also able to attend the 2011 Eco-Rep Symposium at Babson College last November. Tufts Eco-Reps had an impressive showing –  giving two presentations, running an icebreaker, and participating in various roundtable discussions and breakout sessions – showcasing to other schools our program successes, as well as taking in new ideas to improve our program in the future.

The Eco-Reps have also hosted multiple Meatless Meals, with over 200 participants over the course of the semester, and on average collected over 200 gallons of compost from dorms every week! They have worked hard to revamp the Green Dorm Room Certification process and hope to encourage even more students to certify their dorms as ‘green’ in the spring.  Look out for the Eco-Reps next semester, as they plan on hosting even more exciting eco-events and programs!

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