Sometimes green clashes with blue and orange.
To try to reconcile that Pepperdine’s student-led eco-initiative the Green Team is trying to create change in at least one institution of daily student life: the Waves Café.
On Tuesday Sept. 15 students who came to eat in the Caf noticed something different — no trays.
The project known as Trayless Tuesday is part of a new initiative to save energy and encourage less wasteful eating habits.
“Most people are confused said Peter Duby, a year graduate. They ask ‘Is the dishwasher broken?'”
Though the dishwasher is in fact completely functional the Green Team is quick to cite environmental reasons for giving it a rest.
According to informational signs posted throughout the Caf one ounce of environmental waste is saved for every tray left unused.
This accounts for the energy and materials required to wash them.
But “Trayless Tuesday” was not just about saving the dishwasher. It is also designed to reduce food consumption.
“Students will be less inclined to pick out more food than they can eat said Rhiannon Bailard, Director of the Center for Sustainability.
In an effort to find out if Pepperdine will align with the research conducted on waste, the trash was weighed on Tuesday, Sept 8.
This initial weighing served as a control by which this week’s success has been measured.
Members of the Green Team were positioned next to the conveyor where students usually leave their refuse.
They collected the garbage and compostable to-go containers as students left the Caf.
Some students said they had the uncomfortable feeling they were being judged by what they could not finish eating.
It makes me feel self conscious said junior Matt Jones. It’s like I have to overeat to avoid criticism from the trash-collectors.”
In addition Martin Finfrock area general manager for Sodexo wants students to seize the opportunity to save in other ways.
“We are hoping that people will use the plates and silverware instead of the plastic disposable ones Finfrock said.
Too many students are using the to-go materials and then staying here to eat.”
Many students however already miss their trays for purposes of functionality.
“I usually have too many things: a drink silverware and maybe some cornbread junior Graham Lightner said.
This green thing is OK but I think the lack of decent late-night dining is the bigger issue.”
Junior Katherine Phillips shares a similar sentiment. “It’s hard to balance.” she said. “I could get used to it but I’d rather not.”
Despite some aversion to the tray experiment many students feel removing trays from the Caf would be a step in the right direction.
“We don’t need trays. Just carry your food said junior Megan Reel. I never use them anyway.”
Because he is so closely associated with Sodexo and familiar with student concerns about the Caf Finfrock was surprised there was not more resistance to the experiment but attributed it to the cause.
“For anything that is sustainable and green Finfrock added, people have a higher tolerance. They are willing to help.”