Green Purchasing at Tufts


At the last Tufts Eco-Ambassadors session in Medford, we discussed “green” products more in depth and how to identify if products are legitimately non-harmful to the environment or if the company is falsely marketing a green product to increase sales. This is important both personally and professionally when purchasing items.


In your personal life, it’s always good to know what you are consuming. To assist in deciphering labels, The Office of Sustainability website has listed common labels we see in grocery and other stores to let us know if the “green-ness” of the products are reliable or unreliable: Another great website is: and the EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing site for more info on specific green products:


Here at Tufts, when purchasing items, you are encouraged to be conscious about the products you buy and how they affect the environment. Tufts purchasing and Staples have made it easier to order supplies that are recycled and environmentally friendly.


Staples and Purchasing have talked many times about ways to encourage more environmentally favorable practices at Tufts. Some of the ways they have done that is to:


  1. Subsidize the cost of recycled content paper (100% recycled content paper is discounted, but not yet the same price as virgin paper – this was a misunderstanding. Thirty percent recycled content paper IS the same cost as virgin);
  2. Put the “Eco-Easy” banner on the top of the Marketplace Staples’ landing page so buyers can quickly find eco-friendly products
  3. ‘Auto-point’ people to 30% recycled content paper when they look for copy paper;
  4. Increase the minimum order size to encourage order consolidation (see attached flyer). Order consolidation is also facilitated at Tufts (as of January this year) but allowing you to use more than one dept ID so offices can order supplies together (feel free to use the Eco-Ambassador elist to facilitate this if you’re looking for someone to share an order with).
  5. Offering eco-friendly tableware like these (and putting them on the top of the list of options for disposable kitchen products):


Bare™ Sugarcane Dinnerware by Solo


Made with annually renewable resources; compostable in a commercial compost facility


  • Total chlorine-free bleaching
  • Strong and soak-through resistant
  • Ivory
  • BPI Compostable Certified


Eco-Products™ Biodegradable and Compostable Cups


  • Made from corn-based plastic, these cups look and feel like regular plastic
  • Great for cold beverages, fruit and pudding
  • Not to be used with hot liquids
  • Biodegradable, compostable cups are made from annually renewable corn-based PLA


[Thanks to Roxana McClammy of the Fletcher School for the session summary]


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