By Michaela Steil

SBU Dining and Culinart have devoted the month of April to not only educating about food waste in America, but also stopping it. With April as Stop Food Waste Month, I thought it would be interesting to give some ideas about smalls ways in which you can not only stop food waste, but be more sustainable in general while on campus. After all, Earth Day was also this month on the 22nd.

  1. Use reusable take out containers. This semester SBU started using reusable take out containers which you can learn more about here. It’s a great way to reduce your plastic waste. The reusable containers are also great storing food if you don’t eat all of it instead of throwing it away.
  2. Don’t take more food than you need. It seems obvious, but especially if you are dining in, it’s better to take multiple smaller portions throughout eating rather than one huge serving at once. This way you are less likely to take too much food and end up throwing it away and wasting it.
  3. Recycle as much as possible. All across campus there are a bunch of designated recycling trash cans, but it doesn’t do much if they aren’t used or if the wrong trash is put into them. Make sure you are putting trash in the appropriate locations– it’s small things, but they add up.
  4. Use reusable water bottles and cups. Take advantage of the water bottle stations at water fountains and refill your bottle or take a reusable water bottle from home. Additionally, you can take refillable coffee cups to Starbucks and to HDV for coffee.
  5. Take a reusable bag or use your backpack to carry items. Effective January 1, Suffolk County began charging 5 cents for a plastic bag when shopping. While many may just opt to pay the nickel and get the bag, that’s not really the point. Plastic bags can cause serious harm to our environment– from animals eating them to clogging the sewer systems– about 500 billion plastic bags are used every year. Save your money and the environment and pass on the plastic or take your own. 

Living on campus can be hard, but it’s important to remember that every small part counts and can help in the long run. For more information, be sure to attend the events throughout the month such as the Farmers Market on April 11th, Earthstock on April 20th, and Stop Food Waste Day is on April 27th.

April 24th there will also be a screening of “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” with a VIP dinner. This feature length documentary aims to change the way we see food waste and ways to change for the better.


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