Students Work with Dining Services to Create Sustainable College Experience

One of the biggest concerns in a student’s life on campus is food. Questions like where to eat and what to eat, as well as price, are some of the things that students ask themselves every day. For many students, the Utah State University Dining Services is often the answer to all these questions. Students also want to know, “How can I be more sustainable in my daily life?”

Three students from Communicating Sustainability (a course taught at USU by Roslynn McCann) are working with USU Dining Services to help answer this question. Ruth Campos, Carrie Daddow and Jake Stachewicz are concerned about the amount of plastic from single-use dishware that ends up in landfills. According to earthday.org’s single-use plastic fact sheet, 500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year and Americans alone throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups yearly. 

Although those numbers seem rather depressing, they also represent a huge opportunity. By taking simple and easy steps, such as bringing a coffee mug and using reusable cutlery, USU students can make a huge impact. These easy steps will not only help students save money and feel good about doing it, but also help lessen the amount of plastic that goes into landfills. 

With the help of Dining Services, Campos, Daddow and Stachewicz have set up an action plan to help students learn more about the sustainability programs being offered on campus and use more sustainable reusable dishware.

Their action plan includes conducting a student survey to see what reusable items students would be most interested in, working with Dining Services and the Sustainability Club to promote /sell reusable dishware, and advocating the use of reusable dishware through education, pledges and other incentives. By working together, Dining Services, the USU Sustainability Club and these three students can and will help the USU student community to have a more sustain able college experience.


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