While tons of food go to waste every month, Abby Ihrke, senior accounting and Spanish double major, makes her contribution to protect the environment by composting food waste from Geisert dining hall.
As Ihrke’s composting project is not the first one nor the only student- led project that has made a greater impact on campus, this is another great demonstration of Bradley’s vision to be “the leading in student engagement.”
With the efforts of the environmental club, led by Ihrke, they were able to compost a few times throughout the year. With the limitation of winter season, the Environmental Club and Ihrke’s efforts are even more limited.
Student efforts are limited by many factors, but it doesn’t have to be like this.
Since Aramark, Bradley’s contractor for dining services, stated on their Bradley specific website that environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of their mission, food waste shouldn’t be ignored and left with students. Although, to their credit, they did add more posters and other promotions in dining halls to
encourage students to reduce wasting food.
That is not enough, and we should be doing more than that.
While Bradley has done composting in the past, the discontinuation of the composting service shouldn’t be the reason to stop composting and to allow food wastes to go to landfills each year.
We understand there will be difficulties and limitations even if the university decides to compost food wastes, and it will increase operational costs. But if “sustainability” is one of the six menu tabs on their website,
the dining services should invest more than just posters; they should actually help Ihrke to achieve her goal and bring back the compost project.
Composting food waste does not only help to reduce our carbon footprint, but can also benefit local gardens with more organic soil.
It may not be the cheapest option in the short run, but it is definitely beneficial in the long run.