Sustainability at Tufts: The Tufts Mountain Club

Graphic by Ilsiia Shakirova
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This week, I got to sit down with Bitsy Sharon, the Tufts Mountain Club’s  Stewardship Director, who told me about how the club practices sustainability. We talked a lot about what goes down in terms of sustainability at the Loj, TMC’s cabin in Woodstock, N.H. 

Up in the White Mountains, recycling has always been important, but a more recent development is the addition of compost at the Loj. Additionally, during TMC hikes and climbs, the phrase “leave no trace” is the rule to live by.

It means not leaving any trash or food scraps that may interfere with local ecosystems. Additionally, Sharon mentioned that one of her goals for the semester is to start a garden up at the Loj so members can enjoy some homegrown produce. Outside of the Loj, Sharon added that for her, not eating meat is a big way that she practices sustainability in her everyday life. She also enjoys thrifting, using a reusable water bottle and limiting food waste.

Recently, TMC hosted “Peakend,” which usually occurs around mid-October. It’s a fun-packed weekend where students can head up to New Hampshire and backpack up various mountains during peak fall leaf season. 

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This year, the vibes of the weekend were intentionally different. Sharon told me how TMC is working to acknowledge tribal lands, including during Peakend. A group of TMC members wrote a dialogue that provided information about the Abenaki tribes who live in the area where the hikes took place. Hike leaders then presented the dialogue to their groups. 

Overall, Sharon shared how TMC engaged with the weekend in a more thoughtful and intentional manner.

“This year, we wanted to change the intention of [the Peakend], and it was more like peak foliage weekend and appreciating the beauty around us, and not just trying to get to the top of the mountain,” Sharon said.

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