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Students Could Save $47,000 a Semester by Eliminating Food Waste
10.17.12 |
Students often don't think twice about throwing away food that they don't want, since after they put their plates and cups on the conveyor belt, it's no longer their problem. But what happens when students generate large amounts of food waste after each meal? According to a food waste report prepared by LVC's dining services provider, Metz Culinary Management, the food you throw away is costing a significant amount of money.

Consider this: during last year's Earth Week, students threw away 129 pounds of food (worth $244.15) during lunch and dinner meals in the dining hall. They also threw away 41 pounds of food (worth $77.68) during breakfast. Since the College served 19 meals that week and each pound of food waste cost $1.90, students ended up throwing away about $3,473.50 during Earth Week.

Throughout the spring 2012 semester, the dining hall served 192,650 meals. At the rate they produced food waste during Earth Week, students ended up throwing away more than $47,000 a semester by wasting food. That's enough money to buy one BMW Active Hybrid 3 each semester.

The numbers are staggering, but what do they all mean? The more food you waste, the more money the College has to pay to remove the waste and purchase more food, which eventually costs students and staff more money as well.

On the other hand, reducing food waste saves the College—and you—money on buying and getting rid of food. Reducing and recycling food waste also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, improves soil health and structure, and increases drought resistance.

Instead of throwing away unwanted food next time, consider these options:
• Break up your regular meals into smaller portions. That way, you can better judge how much food you'll actually eat and how much will end up getting thrown away.
• Get less food to eat initially and then go for seconds if you're still hungry.
• Get your food to go with a takeout box and save the rest for later.
• When at home, compost your unwanted food in a big pile or in a bin. This way, you can avoid throwing out fruit, vegetables, grains, or coffee grounds.

Written by Sustainability Committee intern Nick Thrailkill ’14

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