Amidst the sea of grading statistics exams, cognitive exams, and student papers, I'm also trying to quickly learn about Styrofoam issues (Radical Garbage Man, you are a GEM! Thanks for sending those links!), the Greendisk program, and the logistics of composting food/yard waste on campus. I'm also coordinating with the Facilities Committee on green issues; I figure it's better to collaborate and build a unified voice surrounding these issues rather than work on these issues in a disjointed and fragmented manner.
So it's time to get organized. Next week, I'm meeting with a colleague to write a letter to Dining Services. The purpose of this letter is to publicly raise the issue of using Styrofoam on campus and to offer alternative solutions to this problem. After this letter has been drafted, I will ask students, faculty, and staff for their support by signing this letter.
But why write a letter?
As I reflected upon my meeting with Steve Rose this week, I realized something. In passing, Steve said that about four people have approached him about using Styrofoam on campus. As I thought about that comment, it occurred to me that it's easy to dismiss four people's suggestions. And another thing: The Recycling Committee receives several emails about how Dining Services should be improved. Those emails are not sent to Steve, so he's not getting those messages. So there's a disconnect here. And that's why it's time get organized--we can't afford to wait indefinitely for price decreases on bio-plastics. We've got to be pro-active to instil these changes and first, these ideas need to be heard, not deflected on an individual basis.
So, as you can imagine, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes activities going on at this time. To be sure, this is a labor of love: Taking action to make positive changes is labor intensive and time consuming. And it's worth it.