This is Andrew, the Fletcher School’s Eco-Representative. For this week’s post I’ll give you an idea of what it is like to be the Eco-Rep for Blakeley Hall, Fletcher’s graduate student dormitory. First, some background: Blakeley was built in 1926, in a Georgian style of architecture. It has three wings set around a courtyard, with seven independent towers of rooms. The middle tower houses Blakeley’s common room and kitchen, which serves as the busiest gathering space for residents, and the source of delicious smells when students cook dinner or prepare baked goods as a method of procrastination during exam periods…
Every year, about eighty students in Fletcher’s various degree programs spend a year (or a semester, for exchange students) in singles, doubles, and triples. Many residents come from overseas, which results in a vibrant social scene and a tremendous variety of cuisines prepared in the kitchen. Residents routinely come together for dorm-wide events, like communal cooking events, pick-up cricket matches in the courtyard, and Fletcher’s infamous Blakeley Halloween Party.
As to Eco-Rep and sustainability initiatives, Blakeley, like all Tufts dorms, has receptacles for recycling and compost collection. Each tower contains recycling containers on the ground floor, and the communal compost bin is located in the kitchen. I am happy to report that since the beginning of the school year, Blakeley residents have increased their average weekly compost collection by about 60%! Lastly, each of Blakeley’s towers will contain boxes for TerraCycle recycling. Regarding recycling, we may have to wait until Recyclemania to ascertain how well residents are sorting their materials. Residents have been keeping tabs on recycling and composting, asking me many good questions, and offering suggestions on ways to make Blakeley even greener. I’m very encouraged thus far by their enthusiasm and look forward to holding further Eco-Rep events at the dorm. Next up this month: a pie baking event with a review of composting and recycling best practices!
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!
Carol Ellis accepts the certificate for Tisch Library
This spring, the Office of Sustainability finally launched a new program to recognize, support and promote offices that are engaging in sustainable practices.
The Green Office Certification program has four levels of certification allowing offices to be recognized for their current conservation actions, while still providing a goal to work towards (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum). On Tuesday, May 8th, at the annual luncheon for Eco-Ambassadors, four offices were awarded a certificate that will be displayed in their office to reflect ongoing efforts in energy reduction, waste conservation and sustainable purchasing.
Congratulations to the Tisch Library for being the first office to achieve Gold level Green Office Certification, and to the Department of Environmental and Population Health, Ginn Library at the Fletcher School and Tufts Renewable Energy & Applied Photonics (REAP) Labs for achieving the Bronze level of office sustainability!
If your office or deparment would like to participate and begin the process of Green Office Certification, just follow this link! Any office or department on all three campuses can participate. Every year, your office can resubmit the survey to evaluate improvements made in the workplace and help Tufts University become a more sustainable campus!
Good luck! We cannot wait to award more Green Office certificates.
When: Monday, March 26 at 3:30 PM
Where: ASEAN Auditorium, The Fletcher School
YES, the Arctic is warming……………
YES, the Arctic holds 30% of the world’s untapped mineral resources………
NO, there is not an imminent race to riches among northern nations to exploit these untapped resources………..
OLAFUR RAGNAR GRIMSSON
President of Iceland
The ARCTIC: A NEW MODEL FOR GLOBAL COOPERATION
With responses – maybe challenges – from:
- Diplomat Pontus Melander of Sweden
- Economist Alexander Pilyasov of Russia
- Politician Mead Treadwell, Lt. Governor of Alaska
The wrap-up session of a two-day dialogue among government, business and media leaders from among the eight Arctic Council countries organized by the Murrow Center of the Fletcher School with cooperation from the Institute of the North in Anchorage, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy of the Fletcher School and the government of Norway.
More information here.
When: Thursday, Feb 9th from 3:20pm-5:20pm
Where: Mugar 200, The Fletcher School
Climate Change & Sustainable Development Diplomacy: The Ongoing Process is an upcoming lecture featuring presenter Andrew Steer, who is part of the Special Envoy for Climate Change within the World Bank.
Hosted by CIERP’s Sustainable Development Diplomacy & Governance Program.