Food Waste Campaign 2007
Food waste is a problem in cafeteria settings. Because individuals can put large portions of food on their plate, many overestimate their appetite. To address this issue some institutions of higher education have instituted "trayless" policies or committed themselves to food waste campaigns. These methods are usually quite successful at bringing attention and awareness to the issue.
Food Waste Campaign 2007 - "Clean Your Plate to Fill Another's"
In April of 2007 Eckerd College held its first three week Food Waste Campaign. For one week prior to the campaign, food waste in the cafeteria was measured. The total for this week was 2,113 pounds of food waste. By the end of the third week food waste was down to 1,443 pounds. This represented a 670 pound decrease, which is almost a one-third reduction in food waste.
To achieve these results, the student groups Sustainable Campus Task Force and Save Darfur provided incentives. Students who displayed a clean plate in the cafeteria could enter their name in a raffle to win prizes. In addition, for each 500 pound reduction in waste over the three week period, the Bon Appétit cafeteria donated $500 to the Darfur cause. In total they made a generous donation of $1,000.
Not only does 2,113 pounds represent a large amount of unnecessary waste but it is also a financial drain. Each time an individual disposes of unwanted food, our landfills grow in size and money is wasted. It is also a relatively easy form of waste to address. Essentially it only requires individual responsibility and awareness.