After doing this project and learning about the cafeteria more in depth, our team came up with many proposals we would like to see executed for the years to come.
In regards to waste management, a great, sustainable way to contribute to less waste management is to compost. If we composted half the trash we got, then we would have way less trash then we do now. The amount of trash that is produced a day is ridiculous. It’s hard to monitor how much food students get that they don’t even end up eating, so if that can’t be monitored then composting is a great way to reduce trash.
A lot of the time, we have a lot of trash because students take excess food and put it on their plates and don’t even eat it. While this contributes to a lot of the waste, a lot of the trash produced is from the left over food that is untouched. Daily food that has not been eaten gets thrown away and a great way to limit trash in this aspect is to donate the food. Donating untouched food to places like homeless shelters is a great way to not only limit trash, but help others in need who aren’t as privileged as many of us. If the food is untouched, there is no problem with giving it away to people who would eat it instead of throwing it out.
ORGANIC FARM & ROOFTOP FARM
Having an organic farm is something that would benefit the food in many ways. Aside from getting healthier food, it would bring about a sense of community. While the school gets food locally, growing it on campus ourselves and then being able to eat it would definitely strengthen the community at Manhattanville. Aside from an organic farm, having rooftop farms would be great as well. Rooftop farms are becoming more and more popular in the sustainable culture and it something that we could benefit from. Growing food on the roof during nice seasons would add a special touch to the campus aside from doing the same thing that a organic farm would do which is also strengthen the community.
Sustainability is something that is very important that many people don’t know about. People would care more if they knew about it. Incorporating sustainability in general to the curriculum would be extremely beneficial and useful because students would actually learn about different things and what it means to be sustainable so that way participating in organic and/or rooftop farms doesn’t seem like something that is strange. Knowing what it means to be sustainable plays a major role in a liberal arts education and we feel it would be really useful if it were a requirement.
Eating locally grown food is important and would add a lot of healthy varieties and options to the menu. One of the main reasons people stop liking the cafeteria or don’t find the food as appetizing is because people get tired of eating the same thing. Compared to other schools, we have a really good variety and menu but even more variety would be something to look forward to. We think that something that would be great to do is seasonal eating. Seasonal eating promotes locally grown food because one can only eat what is available at the time around you. It would be a great idea to promote variety and be more sustainable as well.
We feel that in order to have a good cafeteria experience, the food should be good but the environment should also be good. While, yes many people mainly go to socialize and do socialize, there are more interactive ways in going about doing that. For example, playing music, with more variety is something that is good. We do have music that plays now but we are such a diverse school, we should play music that appeals to various cultures and likes. Having a live DJ more often is something that could also be taken into consideration because it gives off a good ambiance. Also, during dinner time, different activities can happen on different nights. An example that we thought about was having events like karaoke happen. It’s something that could be very entertaining and could promote a lot of interaction between students and could promote a better sense of community as well. It would simply be something fun to do or watch.