For my green grant, I propose that the dining halls get rid of the trays used to carry food. Eliminating trays from the dining halls would lower energy and water use. At Union, the trays are not used by all the students, but more so to bring the dirty plates, cups, and utensils into the dish room. If we eliminated the trays from this process and just had a rotating conveyer belt system, then less water would be used cleaning the trays. Additionally, there would also be fewer plates to clean. This experiment was done at Georgia Tech and for the 18,000 student body, they save 3,000 gallons of water each day. Additionally, when students do not have trays to carry their food, they can only take what they can hold reducing the overall food waste. Another study was done in New York that showed that without trays the school saved a total of 25 pounds of waste each meal. This is because students have less space to carry the food to their area so they can take only what they need. At RIT, last summer they removed trays and they saw less food waste and the school saved 10% of food spending. Overall, taking away trays and finding a new system for Union students to transport their waste to the dish room would have several benefits.
I think this is a really smart idea! However, some kind of tray is still needed to carry the food on the conveyor belt. I think your idea could be easily implemented if the conveyor belt had some kind of permanently attached tray within it, that way there was a tray for students to place their dishes, but not to transport food.
This is a really interesting proposal! Actually wouldn’t cost that much to implement, the conveyor belt could be solved by simply attaching a large rubber belt along the already in place conveyor belt system which wouldn’t allow for dishes to move around and would eliminate trays all together. Overall, I think this has the potential to really benefit our campus.
This is a really interesting idea that I have never thought of before. It would be the exact same idea as the conveyer belts in grocery stores. I think it is an investment that is definitely worth it, and will have very impactful sustainable effects in the long run.
Using trays at upper was always more easy and effective to carry food, but I think getting rid of them entirely is a small inconvenience that students would be able to handle. Its such an easy change that would be effective at reducing our campus’ ecological footprint.