In previous years, the educational Zero-Waste Lunch designed to introduce freshmen to on-campus sustainability during NSO did not always live up to its name. Confused students sometimes threw lunch packaging into landfill receptacles, and some threw away food they were given but didn’t want.
Stanford has recently implemented a change in its Deskside Recycling and Mini Trash Bin Program in compliance with California’s goal to 75 percent recycling by 2020, partnering with the Peninsula Sanitary Services Inc. (PSSI), its waste management contractor.
At Stanford and elsewhere, Meatless Monday is not about forcing anyone to go vegetarian or vegan. It’s about embracing and encouraging this shift to a more compassionate, sustainable, and healthful way of eating—one meal at a time. For these reasons and more, our campaign has been met with enthusiasm and positivity from virtually everybody we have come in contact with, contrary to what last week’s headline might suggest.
The campaign for Meatless Mondays, which strive to reduce meat consumption and is headed by different student groups this year, is gaining traction in dining halls, cafés and Row houses across campus, but not without student opposition to food choices they are ultimately paying for out-of-pocket.
Another critical component of turning dream into reality: build on what’s already there. The good thing is, once the path is there, it’s easier to make people walk. In light of Denis’s lessons in leading by example, we can consider an ongoing environmental effort on campus: the student-led petition to replace Stanford’s grass landscaping with drought-tolerant native plants.
Ultimately Denis envisions entire green cities that function like ecosystems, exchanging materials and energy throughout the system in a self-sufficient way. Already there are experiments with sustainable buildings on a larger scale, such as the ecodistricts targeted for Washington DC and Los Angeles.
The Office of Sustainability hosted the Keys to Sustainability fair last Thursday in White Plaza.
The Green Living Council (GLC) recently began a composting program within several undergraduate residences, providing compost bins in kitchenette areas as well as Ziploc-sized re-sealable bags for each resident to keep in their rooms.