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From Ali H

by on December 2, 2013

From Ali H

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5 Comments
  1. This article reminded me of Holy Cross’ initiative to reduce emissions. As we talked about in class, sometimes things that seem to make a big difference don’t often get us to where we need to go, like changing light bulbs. Initially, I viewed the trays as having the same role as the light bulbs: although a big impact, not a drastic enough change. However, taking into account the whole Urban School Food Alliance initiative, I think it proves more hopeful. Beyond compostable trays, the alliance hopes to provide healthier foods in schools such as pesticide free produce and antibiotic-free chicken. The combinations of changes could prove to be a re-working of the school’s system. Although it seems to be a big undertaking, it is hopeful to hear that the alliance is looking to improve health and environmental issues in multiple drastic ways as opposed to just one. Also hopeful is the fact that if all goes well, other institutions such as hospitals and universities could adopt the same ideas and systems.

  2. I think its awesome that schools are starting to take the initiative in responding to the environmental mess that we currently find ourselves in. As the comment above mentions, much of this article is similar to Holy Cross’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While Kimball has not replaced its food trays with sugarcane, it still strives to encourage the student body to be more ecologically considerate. This has been done through providing healthier foods, placing recycling bins all around campus, and spreading awareness of the relationship between the environment and society through student-led groups like eco-action. Although such changes and activities are not drastic, they provide hope for the future. Just as the school in the article made a minor change in their food tray by switching to sugar cane, small changes around campus could lead to a positive future for our environment. We have recently seen the administration purchase a number of smart cars for the maintenance workers on campus. Ten years ago, such an idea seemed completely erroneous. What does our future bring for our environment? This article peaked my interest in thinking about future environmental technology, and I am only more excited to continue to keep up with scientists’ progress on new innovations that will in turn benefit our environment. In hearing about the usage of sugarcane trays, a very complex innovation, I have big expectations for what is to follow, especially for what innovations will arrive in schools.

  3. This is a great extension of the farming by proxy theory posed by Foer. Instead of the school investing their money in sustainable food, which would also be extremely beneficial, they are investing their money in environmentally sustainable lunch trays. Even stated in the article, the school hopes that their idea will become a trend that stretches across the United States. By investing in sustainable products, customers show sellers that this is a product that they have a demand for, and therefore sellers are more likely to supply these products. This instance of green capitalism is an extremely effective way to introduce more “green” products to the market.

  4. I thought this was a great idea until I saw the last paragraph where it read: “Sugar-cane plates take longer to make [than foam trays] and require more machinery to produce in volume”. The product itself is more environmentally friendly then the current tray option, it’s great that there will be no waste generated after using it, but what about the environmental damage done during its production? If more machinery is needed to produce the same amount of trays currently being used, then there will be more energy required to produce each tray. There comes a certain point where the environmental costs of production out weigh the benefits of its use. It reminds me of the idea of the hybrid car. The car itself is great, but the environmental costs in producing the car are not balanced out by the product. Rather than focusing on an alternate type of tray, they should focus on getting trays out of cafeterias altogether. I really liked the idea of non antibiotic chicken though, I think that is a great idea for schools to pursuit.

  5. aliscalici permalink

    It does seem like a good idea in practice, but I think that it would be nice to see the schools take an initiative to educate their children about why they are altering the lunch trays. I do think that it is a good initiative, they state that they are doing it in order to save money and that this money could be put to buying more books and other resources that their students need. It would be interesting to see where exactly the money that they saved was invested and if they actually overall decreased their the amount of garbage they produced and energy that they saved.

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