As fall semester gets into full swing, CCAD students will start seeing the fruits of some labors that began last year. The Market (CCAD’s dining hall) is going green.
“It began with a zero landfill concept,” said Dwayne Todd, vice president of student affairs and dean of students about the Student Government’s work to turn the Market into a sustainable dining center.
“Before we went ahead with any decision about sustainability within the Market we discussed the idea in an open forum with the Student Government last spring,” Todd said.
Danielle Williams, a sophomore Advertising & Graphic Design major and member of the Student Government, was involved with the committee that helped initiate the program.
“I see friends who are at universities that have all these sustainable options and to-go containers, so I figured it was time for our school to initiate a program,” Williams said.
Last year CCAD diners threw out roughly 250 to-go containers a day. This year the Styrofoam to-go containers and wax-lined paper cups are gone and the dining area is trayless and using china plates. The Market has also adopted biodegradable to-go products made out of plant materials instead of synthetics.
CCAD’s dining services recycle cardboard, aluminum, glass, and even grease. The dining service also uses biodegradable trash bags. This means that the trash bags will open and breakdown in a landfill, allowing the contents inside to break down sooner.
“It is great that we had an idea and and presented our feedback and research to Dwayne Todd and he ran with it and helped our idea become a reality,” Williams said.
But the process wasn’t all smooth sailing when they had to reach a decision about funding the project, in particular the to-go containers. A higher level of sustainability comes at a higher cost for the college. So how did they compromise?
The student government worked out a plan for the students. Instead of charging every student a higher fee for their meal plans, they decided to charge 25 cents per to-go container. The extra cost of the new containers is a total of 50 cents per container, so the college is covering half of the cost. In addition, each diner, upon purchase of a meal plan, is offered five free to-go containers.
“The Market was designed to be a social environment and this charge encourages the students to interact in the dining hall, but does not punish those who may need to take their meals with them,” Todd said.
“As a freshman, I remember our trash cans in our dorm would overflow with the old to-go-containers because everyone would just go back to their room to eat their food. With the new facilitates and initiative it will hopefully help foster interactions within our student body and college community,” Williams said.
“I am really excited to watch this initiative progress; we will continue to gather feedback from the program and make adjustments where need be. As a long-term goal, I hope to work towards gaining appropriate recycle bins in the dorms and work study areas,” Williams said.
The green initiative for the Market hopes to be completely rolled out by the end of September. The final piece is the composting dumpster. Then, student-created marketing materials will go up around campus to help explain the new sustainable changes.
So keep your eyes peeled and those sustainable minds conscious!
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