Our very own Pacific University has given us the resources to have a sustainable campus. One may have noticed some of these options while wandering to and from class. Pacific has a strong dedication to recycle everything that can be used again, they offer reusable to go boxes to every student, they have arranged water bottle fill up stations throughout, and pay for numerous eco-friendly materials in the University Center. Pacific claims in their mission statement that they want “to embrace sustainability, and use the University as a learning laboratory for sustainable practices.” Pacific has provided us the possibilities to make our campus sustainable, now it is up to us to follow through and support our college and its goals.
You may be wondering where students need to become more sustainable, and it all begins in the U.C. The amount of food we waste, by taking large portions in the UC, leads to bad habits and negative impacts on our environment. Food waste can end up in landfills where they begin to rot and contribute to global warming, since these landfills are America’s primary source of methane emissions. Thankfully, Pacific’s dining service has been maintaining sustainability by giving the food waste to pig farmers, who use it to feed their livestock. Pacific has also begun to donate the surplus food to The Salvation Army in Hillsboro. Now that we are aware of the problem and how dining services are attempting to stay sustainable, what can a student do to help?
One may enjoy a meal at the U.C., but once they scrape the food off their plate it is out of sight and out of mind. The mission statement specified that they want to teach the students how to be more sustainable, but the buffet style dining (via block meals), and the allowance to return for more, can have an unsustainable impact on our future. Do we want to be taught that large serving sizes and eating till our stomachs burst is a normal meal? As students we have the most impact on whether sustainable options are followed through or not and we need to become more aware of how much we are eating and how much is being wasted. To help Pacific’s goal of creating a sustainable college, one must take what they want, but eat what they take.