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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Some students, faculty say campus lacks enough sustainability initiatives

Students recognize existing sustainability strides of dining services.
Ella York
A picture of Strosacker Hall.

While Baldwin Wallace University provides several sustainable programs in its dining hall, some students still think more could be done campus-wide. 

Matt Regula, the dining services assistant director at BW, said that the Lean Path Program is something they “came across last semester.” Beginning at the start of the 2023 spring semester, the Lean Path Program works to prevent food waste. Regula said its goal is simple: to “have less plate waste than yesterday.” 

Additionally, Grind2Energy, which began on BW’s campus around seven years ago, has been turning food scraps into energy and fertilizer. This system is not only used by BW but several other universities as well, such as Kent State University.  

Regula said that this “diverts food from landfills” and that it also has reduced the number of trash pickups on campus, which has saved the university money.  

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Last year alone, Grind2Energy at Baldwin Wallace diverted 40 tons of waste, and, according to Regula, the amount of waste diverted has increased every year.  

In addition to Grind2Energy, green boxes—the reusable to-go boxes in the Union—first appeared on the BW campus around 15 years ago and provides a sustainable dining option. 

From fall semester to spring semester, Regula said that he has seen a huge jump in sales. Last semester, they sold 20 boxes. This semester, in about two months, they have already sold 42 boxes.  

Marie Oravec, coordinator of nutrition and student relations at BW, said she believes the sales progress could be a result of the incentive program. Students who buy a green box are handed a punch card, and every time they use it, a hole is punched in the card. On the thirteenth use, they are gifted a free meal. 

Other sustainable initiatives have been put in place, including eliminating plastic wrap in kitchen by using reusable lids, eliminating waste in the Colony Café, using less plastic, having bulk condiments instead of plastic packets, using cup bowls rather than paper and the Coffee on Demand program, eliminating the amount of coffee waste in Strosacker Hall.  

As for other sustainability goals, Stamper said that the sustainability committee is “trying to tackle heating on campus.” She also said she hopes a Green Revolving Fund, designed to be put aside specifically for sustainability projects, will be implemented one day. 

Furthermore, Stamper said that BW needs a Climate Act Plan and that the school should include sustainability in their university plan. 

“I think that having sustainability in the strategic plan for the university would be huge,” Stamper said. “That would be a giant leap in the right direction.” 

Stamper also said she would love to see the First-Year Experience courses have a sustainability module and have student workers be paid for their work on the sustainability committee.  

According to the Princeton Review, data from the 2022 College Hopes & Worries Survey said that 77% of people said the university’s environmental dedication would impact their decision on going to that school.  

“Sustainability provides a sense of hope and purpose for people,” Stamper said, “That’s one of the things I try to bring into the committee.” 

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