By: Portia Bharath, Columnist
Last time, we discussed food waste – and mostly the negative aspects of it, at that. I do apologize for such discouraging statistics! But as promised, here are some of the initiatives Towson University has taken to reduce food waste:
- The Office of Sustainability’s residential composting program is a great way for students to combat food waste on campus. TU senior Daija Odom, who has been overseeing the program for the past semester, has worked hard to make sure the program is accessible to as many students as possible. A yellow compost bin is located in the community kitchens of each residential hall (except for 10 West and Millennium Hall – they are in the lobby). Students can collect their food scraps, uneaten food, napkins and food containers from campus dining services only (excluding Au Bon Pain) to place in the bins – this includes the brown compost bins in the dining halls as well! On collection days, the waste is taken to an industrial composting facility and processed for further use.
- The Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a national program whose goal is to fight food waste and hunger in America. Towson University founded an FRN chapter in 2014 and it is funded by the Enactus team on campus. At the end of each week, student volunteers collect leftover food from on- and off-campus food services and deliver them to local food banks and shelters where they can feed community members in need. So far, TU has recovered 8,000 pounds of food over the course of five years! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can contact the program coordinator Lydia Hillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the FRN Instagram account @foodrecovery_tu to sign up.
While these two programs are monumental steps in reducing food waste, the university could not accomplish any of this without the help of the student body. Your effort and participation will lead us towards a more sustainable campus that supports its students’ awareness of their impact on the health of the environment.