By Carolina Gillam
When you see a bird pecking at a foam container that has fallen out of an overstuffed garbage bin – that’s when you know there’s a problem. Rest in pieces, our beloved foam eating containers, because the green boxes are here to stay! It’s been a few weeks since the Associated Students of Northwest University (ASNU) acted upon student feedback and, alongside Dr. Rick Engstrom and Caf Director Jonathan Gilbertson, were able to transition us back into using ceramic dishes and the green boxes. The effects of this major change have been absolutely incredible.
An email from ASNU informed students that the switch back to ceramic dishes and reusable takeout containers had “been prompted by conversations both within and without ASNU as part of a drive to reduce our ecological footprint on campus as well as reestablish a small semblance of ‘normalcy’.” Although dining inside the Caf is still not at the capacity it usually is, the return of ceramic dishes has definitely made NU feel a little more like home.
Student Body President Kam Goetz, he said, “the Caf has cut their consumption of foam materials by 1,700-1,900 boxes per week.”
That’s an incredulous amount of landfill if you think about it. Additionally, on top of reducing our ecological footprint, the Caf is also saving somewhere around $3,000-$4,000 monthly.
Another effect of using dishes in the Caf again is the new need for dishwashers, which creates more jobs for NU students. “We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the transition, especially from NU staff, faculty and administration,” Goetz said.
Bringing back ceramic dishes and the green boxes has significantly reduced our school’s ecological footprint, saved our food service money, brought back some normality and provided more job opportunities for students. Furthermore, it is an example of how student-feedback can create positive change. This whole operation has been a great illustration of ASNU’s work and the hearts its members have for the NU community.