In the Fall of 2008, we launched a pilot program on the Medford campus that connected staff and students to the sustainability resources on campus. Eco-Ambassadors participated in 6 sessions during the Fall semester and learned about current and past initiatives on campus; energy generation and use on campus; recycling; communicating the ‘green’ message; and opportunities for greening on campus.
In response to feedback from the 2008 participants, we began a year’s worth of programming for interested staff members in September 2009. One extended (noon to 2 PM) lunchtime meeting took place once a month, covering a wide range of interesting and practical eco-topics. Meetings were open to all interested staff members, but those who attended 8 sessions or more received official recognition as an Eco-Ambassador and were eligible to apply for funds to green their office.
The Eco-Ambassador program was designed with the goals of:
Reducing the environmental footprint of Tufts’ administrative operations
Enabling staff to play a direct role and have a personal stake in greening efforts
Building a sense of community by networking like-minded staff around a shared commitment to sustainability
Enabling us to use energy and other resources more efficiently, and save money
Generating new ideas, test conservation strategies, and incubate best practices for sustainability
Helping Tufts meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals