Stoves and Service

Two bits of Bucknell News intersect with some of my interests.

First, the “Service” movement for lack of a better term continues with BU showing up at an interfaith call to service the white house.  I like how food is being incorporated thematically.  We live in an agricultural area.  Plus, wasting less is just good old fashioned American thriftiness.

In contrast, students in a spring 2011 waste audit found that about 850 pounds of food per day were being discarded in Bucknell’s main dining venue, Bostwick Marketplace. Bucknell Dining has addressed the waste issue in part through a composting program and the removal of trays, but, Fujita said, there are more opportunities to help students learn about consumption and waste.

I am not sure how no trays cuts down on waste.  People take less?

I wish there were some legal/organizational way to share unused food.  People usually say they can’t give it away due to safety regulations.  Well, then, is it possible to shield more food from being un-givable?  DO we need to shift attitudes about abundant food spreads?  Or, is it possible to have a way for recipients to agree to take on the risk of food problems in exchange for access to mostly fine food?  A way to have a middleman broker of unused food?
Second, in the general theme of experiential education that links service and this story,  we have BU students working with a local manufacturer to see a super-light-weight stove come to market.  What if this was the norm instead of the exception for our students? I don’t mean they all design objects, but that they all do a project with real world potential value before they graduate.  What would that look like?  Would it produce a generation of hackers, entrepreneurs, and “makers.”


Filed under Hacker ethic, higher education

4 responses to “Stoves and Service

  1. Nicole

    I worked on the trayless initiatives with the Environmental Club and Parkhurst Dining Services while studying at Bucknell. The stats that came from other schools that had done studies showed that there was drastically less waste when a tray was not an option (wish I could remember the facts). So basically, yes, students do take less without a tray simply because it is harder to take more than what you really need. I still find it crazy that 850 lb food/day are wasted, I hope that takes into account liquids!

    • Imagine how much less it would be if you had to compost your own left overs. Like, you have a bag you carry around till you get back to your residence and can add it to the compost…

  2. 1. trays make a HUGE difference, but education would make a change that would follow them out of the cafeteria. Let’s make that happen.

    2. I have worked with city groups who did agree to accept food from a school for a homeless shelter knowing that there could be food risks. It required a lot of log keeping and reffer trucks to transport but it was possible.

    3. Oh, to live in a world of makers and hackers, dream… sigh….

    • Phoebe. Good to know that it can be done. I was imagining it is at least three factors: how food is served (in other words, can we come up ways to put less “out” where I presume it gets higher chance of contamination), legal responsibility, and transport and distribution.

      Sounds like it is a question of leadership to get it don and not barriers per se. Costs too, I imagine. The win-win is maybe lower costs in lost food and providing food to those in need.

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