PSU Makes Progress in Reducing Waste and Increasing Sustainability

March 13th, 2014 by blyndes

 

A PSU student disposes of unused food in a bucket as part of the institution's "Weight the Waste" waste reduction program.

Plymouth, N.H. – It is estimated that 40 percent of food in America goes uneaten, which is roughly 20 pounds of waste per person every month– the weight of a car tire. It’s a problem and students at Plymouth State University are doing something about it. The student organization Common Ground and the University’s Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) joined forces for a “Weigh the Waste” event in Prospect Dining Hall, hosted by Sodexo. “Weigh the Waste” consists of student volunteers collecting food waste in five gallon buckets at the dining hall and weighing them. OES volunteer Brittany Angelo said students are often surprised at the amount of food they throw out. 

“Students are definitely noticing their waste more, and they say, ‘oh, I’m so sorry, I took too much’,” Angelo said. “I’m hoping that a lot of people realize how much waste they’re producing and they’ll reduce the amount of food they take.” 

In last year’s “Weight the Waste” event, 459 pounds of food waste was produced by 2,515 people in only 12 hours. This factored out to nearly three ounces of food per person, every day. That means over an entire school year, students were wasting over 40 tons of food. PSU’s Director of Environmental Sustainability, Brian Eisenhauer, believes “Weigh the Waste” is already making a difference. 

“We have seen increased student awareness about the issue evidenced in their familiarity with us,” Eisenhauer said. “We have experienced a slight decrease in the waste totals every time we have done this, a trend we hope continues. Our goal is to cut our food waste in half, a difficult target but an ambitious one. This is an example of how each of us can make small steps that can add up to big differences.” 

In addition to its “Weigh the Waste,” program, Plymouth State is consistently recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability and is regularly included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, a compilation of the most environmentally responsible higher education institutions in the United States. The University also participates in a national recycling competition and organizes an annual electricity reduction competition between residence halls.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

 

In the News

Example Image

PSU hosts National Writers Project camp for teachers and children

PLYMOUTH — Seven grade-school students clutch their notepads and anxiously eye each other in a Plymouth State University classroom as they prepare to share their inner-most thoughts out loud. The students are part of the National Writers Project (NWP) summer writing camp, and today culminates their efforts as they read their work to each other, their [...]

Example Image

Plymouth State educators honored at 2014 EDies Award Ceremony

PLYMOUTH — Eleven educators with affiliation to Plymouth State University were honored June 7 at the New Hampshire Edie Awards, which recognize New Hampshire schools and individuals who meet high standards of educational excellence. Esther Asbell, Donna Ciocca, Christina Flanders, ’00, Carl Ladd, ’05CAGS, Judith Lavoie, Joseph Lee, ’06, Bill Marston, ’54,’64G, Pearl Sandy, Thomas [...]

Example Image

PSU grads to host Third Annual Dance to Make a Difference

PLYMOUTH —Kelsey Piper and Suzanna Derynioski have been working hard with more than 30 local dancers in anticipation for the upcoming Third Annual Dance to Make a Difference. Dancers from all across the state have been meeting each week to rehearse for the Aug. 2 performance taking place at Plymouth Regional High School at 7 [...]