Here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we eat a lot of food. As a result of this, we also waste a lot of food. A study by the UNL Office of Sustainability found that, on average, we waste over 2,000 pounds of food every day just from the dining halls on city campus. That amounts to over 10,000 packets of ramen or 8,000 bananas tossed out per day. Currently, it all gets thrown into a landfill where it decomposes into methane gas.
This is not a new problem. Several student-led efforts have tried to address this issue in the past. The university even ran a one-year pilot program to compost its food waste at a local facility. The program was not continued because the facility couldn’t keep up with the immense volume of waste we generated.
The best step you can take right now is to raise awareness. Many students don’t even think about how much food they waste throughout the day. The EcoHuskers program has recently placed composting receptacles at various places around campus. Support this initiative with your voice and your waste. Talk to your friends and professors.
I implore you to be more mindful of how much you put on your plate. Everything you scrape off into the trash or put on the conveyor belt at the dining hall contributes to the problem. It is the little things that you do that will add up to make a difference. Thank you.