Environmentally conscious schools

by Dennis Machicao

Picking a college to attend is an arduous and at times confusing task. A student and parents want to choose the right collage or university that will benefit the student in his or hers future years. There are so many variables to consider financial, academics, and location to name just a few.

But it seems that now, among the many, there is one more consideration that students are starting to look at before they make their final choice. Today’s students are becoming more and more aware about environmental issues and as reported in Specialty Food News, an interesting study conducted by The Princeton Review showed that 69 percent of college applicants now consider the University’s environmental policies and specifically the programs in place to reduce food waste on campus. With dining halls, sporting events and social gatherings that taking place on or around campus, large quantities of excess food is generated which most times are just discarded.

According to this report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in June, launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge in conjunction with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to bring awareness on how to deal with food waste as it relates to climate change. The report states that over 94 Universities and colleges are partaking in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge making it possible for students across the U.S. to be more aware of food waste and means of implementing food conservation.

The report also numerates a few campus groups that deal with food waste like The Campus Kitchen Project and The Food Recovery Network. These groups recruit students to pick up uneaten prepared foods from University dining halls and distribute the food to local soap kitchens thus diminishing the volume of food that is taken to the landfills.

On a related story about food waste filling up landfills, the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, initiated in June The Organic Food Waste Recycling Program, a pilot program in select high-rise buildings in Manhattan with expanding programs in Brooklyn and the Bronx in the fall and Queens and Staten Island in the spring. The objective is to double the recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017 and expanding the program in the following 25 years.

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