The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors unanimously passed a sustainability resolution Feb. 20 that may impact dish options in future campus dining locations.
Through this resolution, ASI representatives strongly urge for future campus dining locations to use reusable dishes, similar to how 805 Kitchen is currently set up, in order to limit waste.
“We have had a bunch of people come up to us and say, ‘What is campus dining doing about sustainability?’ and ‘Campus dining is so wasteful,’” ASI Secretary of Sustainability and mechanical engineering sophomore Bree Zedar said. “When we were looking to do something about sustainability, dining was just one of the things that came naturally from what people said and my personal experiences.”
According to Campus Dining Sustainability Coordinator Kaitlin Gibbons, Campus Dining is looking at reusable containers for a to-go option for Vista Grande. However, due to the setup of the new complex with its multiple exits, an 805 Kitchen style with only reusable dishes will not be possible for Vista Grande, which is expected to now open in the 2020 calendar year.
“There will at least be the option to use reusable dishes at the majority of the different concepts in Vista Grande,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons said they are also looking to provide reusable to-go options, which are currently available at 805 Kitchen.
Gibbons also said Campus Dining is currently making an effort to become more sustainable through local food sourcing, composting campus dining kitchen scraps, and their zero waste stations in dining locations.
“We are just weighing all of our options and looking at if we will be able to achieve that, and looking into different companies that offer different solutions,” Gibbons said.
Zedar wrote this resolution along with Representative for Orfalea College of Business and industrial technology and packaging sophomore Matt Appell and Representative for Liberal Arts and political science sophomore Rob Moore.
“We all die if we don’t fix the environment, so it’s big,” Moore said. “On campus, we’ve been talking about making changes towards sustainability but we haven’t been seeing a lot. One of the areas that is feasible is in dining.”
As part of their research, Zedar and her team sat outside The Avenue and watched how much trash had been thrown away. Following this, the team researched other California State University and private school initiatives to resolve this issue. The team also made sure that reusable dishes would make a positive impact on campus sustainability, such as researching how much water would be used to wash the reusable dishes compared to the waste the current trash produces.