To-Go Container Charges to Offset Garden Expenses

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Bon Appetit has been charging students 35 cents per container to cut down on waste. These proceeds will benefit the Garden Project.  Illustration by Elizabeth Brown
Bon Appetit has been charging students 35 cents per container to cut down on waste. These proceeds will benefit the Garden Project. Illustration by Elizabeth Brown

Having a demanding academic schedule leaves many with little time to think of how to contribute back to Mother Earth. Well, have no fear, Holly Winslow is here, saving the world with one eco-friendly container at a time. Winslow,  director of Bon Appetit at USF, has decided to make it her mission to help the campus community become more eco-friendly.

Winslow started last semester by charging a 35 cent fee for the to-go containers in the cafeteria. As of last fall, there was an excessive use of to-go containers, causing a harmful waste of the earth’s resources. To decrease this, Winslow decided to start charging for the containers the following semester. It worked. The use to-go containers decreased by 50%. The money raised from the 35 cent fees—a total of $1,000 dollars—is to be donated the Garden Project. Winslow decided to donate the money to the Garden Project because of her goal to maintain sustainable resources.

Melinda Stone, head of the Garden Project, has yet to receive the funds, but, plans on allocating the capital to a Zip Car account, so that the project group can pick up manure and other large necessities for the garden. Allocations were also made for seeds and a new drip irrigation system. The drip irrigation system will allow for a higher yield throughout the entire garden. The Garden Project has also invested money into a public relations campaign for a market stand which will open Oct. 1 outside of Kalmanovitz hall every Thursday from 10-12 p.m.

When inquiring about students’ thoughts on the new eco-friendly containers, freshman Gabi Dounder said, “I’ve noticed [the charge] and I think it’s ridiculous when tuition is already overpriced. If they want money for the Garden Project, there are other ways to get it.”  While some students share the same view as Dounder, many are unaware of the charge. Freshman Steven Yang is one of them. “I haven’t really paid attention [to the price increase], but it’s only 35 cents so I don’t really care either way,” he said.

From bitter to unaware about the situation, Winslow’s decision to make this school a more eco-friendly place will not go unnoticed. As of next month Bon Appetit will be rolling out their new eco-shells. The eco-friendly to-go containers can last up to 4,000 washes equating to around a two year life span for the average student. You can ask to get your meal to-go in one of these containers and the chefs will gladly make the accommodations. Then once you are done with the soiled container, simply return it  and in exchange you receive an eco-key. The key is presented next and the cycle thus repeats itself. The only catch is that it will cost 10 dollars, which is the same unit price Bon Appetit pays for the containers. However, the eco-friendly containers will pay for its self in about two weeks considering the 35 cent charge for a standard to-go container.

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