Some days, the connections between our environmental vocation at Gustavus and wider global issues just jump up and slap you in the face. I got up early this morning to welcome our new composting vessel to campus. Two years ago, the Student Senate passed a resolution asking for our food waste to be composted, and this new equipment will make that possible.
After the crane had gently placed the unit, I went back to my office. Digging through my email (can my Inbox be composted?), I found this link to trailers for a new documentary,”Midway: A message from the gyre” which takes a close look at where some of our plastic waste ends up–like the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the bellies of albatross chicks.
So here is the challenge: our new food composter is a great way to recycle the nutrients in our food waste. But it is also a great opportunity to reduce plastic waste. We need to keep the plastic out of the food waste ( or we will have some pretty trashy compost), which means all of us will have to take more care with what’s left on our plate. Our great Dining Services team will be replacing as much of our disposable dinnerware with compostable materials, but we will all still have to be vigilant about keeping plastics out of the food waste.
And while we are at it, we can apply that care to all the other plastics we use:
We can use less plastic (think drinking fountains and reusable water bottles)….
We can return our GustieWare to the caf….
We can make sure our plastic bottles and aluminum cans get in the recycle bins…
Its time for Gusties to step up to the plate and make this recycling effort work–the albatross chicks will say thank you.