As the new school year begins, so does a new set of Eco-Reps! We kicked off this year in the same way last year’s group did, working for Tufts Recycles during the matriculation lunch and O-show dinners, helping people sort their waste into “compostables”, “plastic”, which consisted of ONLY the utensils, and trash.
But a new addition to this year’s Eco-Reps’ role in orientation included a pledge booth at “Jumbolicious”, one of the largest orientation events. This year, it was held in Aidekman, featuring an electric bull, a dance floor with DJ, free food, free swag, and of course…yours truly! Freshmen (and others) were able to pledge to be more sustainable in their lives, by doing things from composting to taking shorter showers to turning off the lights to unplugging electronics. Our goal is to print out pictures of the residents in their respective halls, holding them more accountable (AND making them famous, of course), for their noble actions. We got over 100 pledges!
Then, right as school started, we got to work. Hopefully you saw us at your all-hall meetings, in the lobbies of the dorms putting out the terraCycle boxes or Compost bins, or maybe at our meet-and-greets! (Complete with donuts, cookies, and other great treats). The meet and greets are ways for us to really have one-on-one time with our residents to receive feedback, ideas, and goals.
Another new addition to the Eco-Rep agenda this year is the terraCycle Brigade. Terracycle (http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/) is a company that turns snack wrappers that contain the shiny inner lining, such as chip bags or granola bars, into some sweet products. We’ve also decided to weigh our compost before emptying it in order to accurately report on how much people are really composting in the dorms. Reception has varied across dorms, but in general been very good. Keep up the good work, residents!
We here at the Office of Sustainability have trouble containing our excitement about all things environmental. So we decided that the best way to celebrate Earth Day was with not one but TWO weeks of activities! If you missed the first week, you can still get in on the fun with a variety of happenings (see below!).
Last week our Eco-Reps
held a session on natural spas, and on Sunday we joined student groups on campus for EarthFest 2013! It was a beautiful day – the Eco-Reps held another successful clothing swap (look at all those clothes!), we tested students’ recycling IQs, students from a Climate Justice course presented their final project, and MORE!
We have also extended our Earth Week Scavenger Hunt
for another week! Snap some cool pictures of specific items and people around campus, post them to our Twitter
pages, and you could win a cool reusable shopping bag that folds into its own pouch and is small enough to carry in a purse or pocket.
It is important to remember, however, that Earth Day (Earth Week, Earth Month) is just a greater surge in what should be a year-round effort. Make a change today, small or large. Take advantage of the many resources available on our website and blog, submit events and comments to help us improve, and always feel free to actually stop by to talk! Many thanks also to Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE), the Environmental Studies department, and Tufts Sustainability Collective for all that they do!
Also happening this week:
If you live in a dorm at Tufts, don’t forget to take our short survey about the Tufts Eco-Rep program
. By completing the survey, you will be entered into a raffle for $50!
Earth Week Events
Please join the Office of Sustainability
for a free viewing of YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip!
“Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road – traveling with hope, humor, and all of their garbage – to explore every state in America (the good, the bad…and the weird) in search of the extraordinary innovators and citizens who are tackling humanity’s greatest environmental crises.” Expect to laugh, learn – and enjoy some FREE Flatbread
PIZZA while you’re at it!
In addition to the screening of YERT, here is a selection of Earth Week events happening on the Tufts campus or in the area!
- Tuesday, April 23: Infrastructure for the New Economy, Somerville, 12:30PM
- Thursday, April 25: Sustainability UnConference, Cambridge, 5PM
- Friday, April 26: Celebrate the Tufts Rain Garden, Medford Campus, 1PM
- Friday, April 26: Wind Technology Testing Center Tour, Charlestown, 1:30PM
- Saturday, April 27: Mystic River Spring Cleanup, Medford, 9:30AM
And as always… Stay Green!
2013 Medford January Eco-Ambassadors receive their certificates of completion from instructors Tina and Dani
As we continue to thaw out from the snowstorms, the Office of Sustainability is also shaking off its winter hibernation. We would like to congratulate our five new Eco-Ambassadors: Barbara Eisenhaure and Jennifer Carland, both from the Office of the Vice Provost; Sara Hepburn of Technology for Learning in the Health Sciences (within the School of Medicine); Amey Callehan from Tisch Library; and Elizabeth Erenberg from the Music Department. They are now part of the group of Tufts staff and faculty who champion sustainability in the workplace and serve as “green” resources within their offices or departments.
We are also excited to welcome four new Eco-Reps this spring – “meet” them in the section below and read about what they are up to this semester! You may spot them at Dewick on Wednesdays from 6-7pm promoting Meatless Meals, but look out for Eco-Rep events within the dorms.
Student residents who think their dorm/house is the greenest on campus will get a chance to prove it: Tufts is once again competing in the annual RecycleMania Tournament. TuftsRecycles interns will be walking through Tufts dorms and off-campus houses grading recycling efforts. (The exact prize for the winning dorm is still under wraps, but you and your hallmates could win a party with incredible food and entertainment!) Interdorm recycling results and Tufts’ live Recyclemania standings are available online, so check them out and make sure to recycle everything you can – and tell your neighbors!
Finally, please remember that you are always welcome to drop in at the Office of Sustainability! We share a space with the Tufts Institute of Environment and Environmental Studies Program in Miller Hall (across the parking lot from Tufts Hillel). Among many other resources here at the Office, you can compost; recycle your chip bags, energy bar wrappers, batteries, and light bulbs; and even take a spin on a bicycle generator to charge your cellphone. We hope you visit us soon.
Tufts Office of Sustainability
These past two weeks, the Eco-Reps have been in contact with people all over campus. Professor Nancy Gleason talked to us about sustainable development. Our own Ben Rabe shared his experience working as an energy auditor before coming to Tufts and how it relates to dorm life. As you know from our last blog post, we’ve been doing work with Tufts Recycles to work on the Recyclemania challenge. In addition to all of this, our reps have been hard at work planning their first events of the semester. Look out for flyers advertising your dorms event!
Fletcher School alumnus and beloved professor Nancy Gleason’s talk to the Reps about sustainable development was one of the most anticipated meetings of the semester. On the university level, Professor Gleason emphasized that college is the most sustainably most students will ever live in their entire lives. We rarely use cars, all of our food in the dining halls and dorms is composted, we have have low flow shower heads, easily accessible recycling and terracycling. Even those not conscious of sustainable living are living more sustainably. Our mission as Eco-Reps is to make people aware of this fact so that Tufts’ students can graduate being aware of their effect on the planet. On a larger scale, Professor Gleason emphasized climate refugees, the people that will be displaced due to rising sea levels. Some uphill reps will be having an event talking about this the week before spring break. Find out more about Professor Gleason, her work, and her classes. (She’s extremely nice and knowledgeable.)
Ben Rabe, the Blakely Eco-Rep, worked as an energy auditor in Minnesota after undergrad before coming to the Fletcher School. Energy Auditors show you how your home is using energy, where you’re losing it and how to make it more efficient. Ben gave us a presentation of how this relates to dorm life. Opening your window on the top floor of a building for example, doesn’t let any air in, unless there’s a breeze, it just lets air out. This only serves to make the bottom floors colder! If you would like more information regarding dorm energy usage and how you can help, contact Ben!
Recyclemania is in full swing! Tufts could be doing A LOT better. We are doing okay, but so far our first round results are lower than last year. Keep up with your progress here! Also, learn what is recyclable at Tufts . It’s an easy how to guide of what goes in each bin at Tufts. If you live in Lewis or Tilton, hall snack trash sort demonstrations are coming your way. We know Tufts students love being green so let’s show our support for Tufts and the Environment and beat Harvard this year in the National competition!
Last but not least, some great Eco-Rep events are coming up. West and Hill will be joint hosting a Lorax bike-powered movie night! South will be having tasty bike-powered smoothies. Other tasty events to look forward to are Vishakha’s composting event with dirt cups (those delicious pudding + oreo + gummy bear creations) and Sidney’s delicious vegan foods event. Other events are on their way as well. If you live in these dorms definitely go! But if you don’t live in these dorms, you can still come! I know all the reps will be wanting in on these amazing events and treats. If you don’t like delicious food or the environment, then come hang out and let us know what kind of event you want to see from us!
Thanks for reading!