Milk, juice, coffee, tea… All of these drinks are costly to the environment and our cafeteria, but the cost of these products is further amplified when their precursors are grown, processed, and shipped simply to be wasted.
During dinner this past Monday and Wednesday, with the advice and assistance of Bon App manager Randy Clay, SustainAbilities collected data on drink waste in Stav. Between 6 and 7–caf prime time–we sat at a table near the tray drop with industrial-size buckets. We asked those leaving the caf to pour their drink waste into these buckets as we tallied all the people leaving the caf. From 6:10-7:10 on Monday we observed 1,001 people pass through, and collected 4.5 gallons of drink waste. From 6-7 on Wednesday, 986 people exited the caf, and 5 gallons of drinks were wasted. Generally, we observed a vast majority of people who had no drink waste at all, yet a couple had as many as 3 full cups of drinks left.
Here are a couple of simple and convenient ways to reduce your cafeteria drink waste:
-bring a reusable water bottle into the caf with you: even if you don’t finish your drink in the caf, you can keep it until you do!
-only take what you know you can finish: if you’re still thirsty, you can always go back for more!