Category: Sustainability News (page 1 of 58)

Move Out Donations, Recycling, and Waste

The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with the FIRST Center and Tufts Food Rescue, is collecting donations of select items to divert from the landfill during Move Out and provide them to Tufts students who need them.* 

There will be two donation stations:  

  1. Downhill (Haskell Hall on Latin Way) 
  2. Uphill (Carmichael Hall Parking Lot)  

Donation stations will be located next to the UPS storage/shipping spots and will have the same hours:  

  • Thursday, March 12 from 2 P.M. – 8 P.M. 
  • Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15 from 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. (each day) 
  • Monday, March 16 from 9 A.M. – 2 P.M. 

*If someone needs to donate at night when there is no one staffing the donation stations, there will be a U-Box at both stations to place the items in.

Here is a list of items we plan to collect as donations at these stations (please don’t donate anything if sick):  

  • Clothing (winter only) 
  • Sheets 
  • Large hard plastics, including storage containers and fans 
  • Lamps 
  • Mirrors 
  • Dining hall dishes 
  • Books/school supplies 
  • Vacuums 
  • Crutches
  • Unopened food (for Tufts Food Rescue)
  • Misc: laundry detergent, unopened bottles, cleaning supplies, good quality kitchen items, feminine hygiene products 

We will have additional collection bins at these stations for recycling the following:  

  • Plastic film, including grocery bags, air pillows, bubble wrap, and produce bags 
  • Small electronics 
  • Compost 

Students will be allowed to leave two types of donations in their residence hall rooms. Aside from these items, everything else must be removed from the residence halls:   

  • Clothing donations (including belts, shoes, rags), located inside provided blue bags 
  • Personal mini-fridges, labeled as donations 

There will be large open top trash dumpsters placed at the following locations: SoGo, Harleston, Latin Way, Miller, Carm, Hillside, and Bush.  

Black, blue, and clear trash bags will be available to students in the lobbies:  

  • Use the black bags for trash and take them out to the open top dumpsters that have been placed near the dorms.  
  • If needed, use clear bags for recycling and take them out to the adjacent recycling dumpsters (please empty recyclables into recycling dumpsters and put the empty clear bag into the trash) 
  • Use blue bags for clothing donations (excluding winter clothes and sheets), to be left in room 

*NOTE: This plan as well as the list of items we are accepting is subject to change dependent upon the labor and infrastructure that we are able to organize last-second. We will keep students updated with any changes.  

Tufts Boston Campus Community Resilience Building Workshop

By Hanna Carr

In 2016, Tufts University’s president Anthony Monaco signed the Second Nature Climate Commitment, which commited the University to act to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Aside from pledging Tufts to be carbon neutral by 2050, the Commitment includes a stipulation that Tufts lead and complete a “campus-community resilience assessment.” While it is important to reduce emissions in order to mitigate climate change and prevent its worst impacts, it is vital that institutions such as Tufts also develop a plan to adapt to the effects that are already present and are likely to be felt in the near future. These impacts include more frequent and severe hurricanes and nor’easters, higher temperatures, flooding due to sea level rise and precipitation, and an increase in the occurrence of infectious disease, among others.

As a first step in this resilience assessment, Tufts held a Medford/Somerville campus Community Resilience Building (CRB) workshop in May 2018, which helped identify the infrastructural, societal, and environmental strengths and weaknesses of the Medford/Somerville campus, as well as opportunities to strengthen its capacity for resilience. Some top priorities for actions that were identified at that workshop were human welfare (supporting students and employees during an emergency), infrastructure (utilities, stormwater, and continuity planning and upgrades), and food (food supply, distribution, and storage during an emergency). Read more about the Medford/Somerville Community Resilience Building workshop here.

On January 31st, 2020, around 50 participants convened on the Tufts Health Sciences campus to engage in a Boston Campus CRB workshop. There was a diverse group of participants, coming from across Tufts; including Facilities, Sustainability, Capital Programs, Human Resources, Tufts Technology Services, the Friedman School, the Medical School, the Dental School, the SMFA, Tufts Medical Center, HNRCA, Tufts Shared Services, and more. Representatives from Climate Ready Boston, the City of Boston Office of Emergency Management,the Commonwealth of MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Boston Public Health Commission were also in attendance.

Peyton Jones from Climate Ready Boston addresses CRB Workshop participants on the Tufts Health Sciences campus on January 31st, 2020.

The Core Team that helped organize and lead this workshop included Tina Woolston and Hanna Carr from the Tufts Office of Sustainability, Rich Perito from the Tufts Office of Emergency Management, and Adam Whelchel from the Nature Conservancy, who is the creator of the Community Resilience Building workshop model.

The full-day workshop began with a presentation introducing the participants to the topic of climate resilience and preparing them for the rest of the day’s events. Tufts’ Executive Vice President, Mike Howard, kicked off the workshop by delivering a few words about the importance of accounting for the impacts of climate change in planning for Tufts’ long term success. Rich Perito presented on Tufts’ hazard identification process, and Peyton Jones from Climate Ready Boston spoke about Boston’s approach to climate resilience. Adam Whelchel and Hanna Carr introduced the workshop purpose, structure, and resources, including maps showing the extent of flooding and hurricane inundation on the Health Sciences and SMFA campuses.

Julie Wormser from the Mystic River Watershed Association facilitates a small group discussion.

The participants were then broken up into four small workshop groups, facilitated by experienced volunteers from The Nature Conservancy, Second Nature, and the Mystic River Watershed Association. In these groups, participants labeled maps of the Health Sciences and SMFA campuses and identified features of the campuses that may present strengths and vulnerabilities in the face of four climate-change-related hazards: hurricanes and nor’easters, flooding, extreme temperatures, and infectious disease. The participants also brainstormed actions that Tufts could take to mitigate the vulnerabilities and build on the strengths. After lunch, the participants shared out their respective groups’ top 3 action items. Post-workshop, the Tufts Offices of Sustainability and Emergency Management will work to develop a report based on the findings of the workshop and follow up with the relevant individuals to execute the top action items.

Some common themes among action items for the Boston campus included building a cogeneration plant to increase Tufts’ energy independence; strengthening communication channels among the Tufts community and between Tufts and the City of Boston; working with public transportation entities to support improved public transportation; and coordinating with local communities such as the Chinatown and Fenway neighborhoods to create a people-centered approach to hazard mitigation and resilience.

Participants were encouraged to label base maps in their small groups to indicate key features of the Health Sciences and SMFA campuses that may be vulnerabilities and strengths in a climate change-related hazard event.

Community-based actions towards adapting to the predicted impacts of climate change, such as the CRB workshop model, encourage people-centric planning that meets the specific needs of the community, and its local landscape and infrastructure. In addition, it empowers community members to advocate for and actualize projects to mitigate the severity of the impacts of climate change and improve their community’s ability to withstand a climate change-driven emergency situation. This workshop will help Tufts incorporate climate resilience into its long term capital planning.

Congratulations to the Green Fund Winners of 2020!

On Friday, January 30th, hopeful Green Fund applicants presented to committee members and interested public about their projects. After deliberation by the Green Fund Committee, the following projects were funded:

Tufts Wide:

Tufts Technology Services(TTS). Presented by Freedom Baird. This project reminds Tufts community members that Every Watt Helps! They are creating a publicity campaign and operating procedures to help cut down on unnecessary energy usage. Look for their stickers around campus!

SMFA:

The SMFA Garden is the brainchild of Michaela Morse and Lauren Kimball-Brown who are creating a collaborative garden that will encourage local pollinators and the cross pollination of the various artists at the SMFA.

Health Sciences Campus:

The Multi-Site Conference Hosting initiative(MULCH) is an initiative Parke Wilde proposed to create a more sustainable way to go to conferences: rather than flying across the country, applicants can go to local hubs and mingle with other conference attendees either in person or with technology.

The Fall Harvest Week project presented by Kevin Cody of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is working to integrate local produce in Tufts Dining halls. New Entry will work with Tufts Dining to host a number of harvest events in Fall 2020 to highlight delicious local foods while also educating the Tufts community about the conditions of small farmers.

Grafton Campus:

The Elm Café Meal Take Out project presented by Lauren Gawel willestablish a take-out container system at Elm’s Café. This system will help students enjoy meals while minimizing waste!

Medford Campus:

The Loj Composting Project was presented by Ida Weiss and is designed to make Tufts Mountain Club (TMC) even more environmentally friendly! Soon there will be a student made and designed bear-proof compost bin at Tufts “Loj” in Woodstock NH for any food scraps from delicious Loj meals.

The Tisch Roof Garden Renewal project was proposed by Alicia Bellido and Bayley Koopman to revitale one of the best views at Tufts. Working with Tufts Garden Club, they will turn the TUFTS on top of Tisch roof to a beautiful garden that benefits local pollinators.

Fall in Love with Sustainability this Valentine’s Day

As February 14th approaches, love is in the air and, for many of us, in our shopping carts. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show some appreciation for our loved ones, but with all the gifts, cards, and flowers, the amount of waste left behind can come at a steep cost for the planet. Share your love for the Earth this Valentine’s Day with these sustainability tips from the Tufts Office of Sustainability:

  • While a store-bought gift might be traditional, skip the landfill and try opting for an experience or homemade gift instead:
    • Plan a romantic picnic or bike ride at Mystic Lake or the Middlesex Fells if you’re on the Medford/Somerville Campus. Check out the Ecomap for bike rentals and repairs locations.
    • Give your loved one the gift of sustainably farmed fresh produce by registering them for the coming season of Tufts CSA.
  • Check out the Craft Center on the Medford/Somerville campus for all your homemade card and gift needs.
  • Make sure you are familiar with waste disposal at Tufts, especially where your nearest specialty recycling and compost sites are located. This information can also be found on the Ecomap
  • Minimizing Waste on Valentine’s day:

  • DO Recycle:
    • Aluminum cans
    • Cardboard boxes from gifts or flowers
    • Card envelopes
    • Plastic floral wraps only at participating stores (most likely grocery or hardware store)
    • Cardboard chocolate and gift boxes
    • Plain paper greeting cards (without metal, plastic, musical elements, glitter, or foil add-ons)
  • DON’T Recycle:
    • Any greeting cards with other elements than plain paper
    • Candy wrappers
    • Ribbons and bows
  • COMPOST:
    • Flowers and bouquets 

(list taken from The Recycling Partnership)

Get creative and make this red and white holiday green your way!


Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, UMBC (Baltimore, Maryland)

The Environmental Sustainability Coordinator (ESC) reports to the Assistant Director of Sustainability (ADS).  The ESC will assist UMBC’s Office of Sustainability with the administration, coordination, development, outreach, and planning of the university’s sustainability efforts.  The ESC position will be responsible for programs, events, and communications related to sustainability engagement throughout the university community, including, but not limited to, UMBC Green Office Program, Eco-Ambassadors, Student Sustainability Leadership, event planning, and community outreach; participating in and maintaining a record of the Climate Action Steering Committee (CASC), and associated working groups (i.e.: Education/Research, Energy, Resilience, Transportation, and Waste Reduction). 

See full posting and apply here.

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