Cash or Conservation?


Ricky Jackson is a sophomore biology and history double major.

From listening to my fellow classmates, I have found that one of their top complaints about the reusable to-go boxes is the additional $5 cost per year.  With meal-plan prices running high, many students believe that this hefty sum should also cover the cost of these boxes.

However, adding this money to the meal-plan would charge students who never use the to-go boxes. Under the current policy, only the necessary amount of to-go boxes used are purchased, and students that do not use the to-go boxes will not be penalized.

But this debate touches on an issue of much more importance than a few dollars: whether the UD student body is really committed to going green.  Prior to my freshman year (two years ago), few students really pushed for measures like this one.  In the last year, however, students have been much more receptive to these so-called “green” changes.

These environmentally friendly boxes are the next litmus test.  Whether we choose to accept this transition for a smaller carbon footprint or cling to our $5 will indicate just how sincere we are in continuing down the “green” path.

Louis Hannegan is the Commentary Editor and a junior politics major.

Like most new policies, Aramark’s transition from Styrofoam to plastic to-go boxes in the cafeteria has both pros and cons.  From the positive perspective, these new boxes offer UD students an easy opportunity to minimize their environmental impact.  Though on the small side, the UD student body makes a noticeable contribution to local landfills with our disposable to-go boxes.  Assuming that 25 people take a meal to go each day, the UD community throws away nearly 6,000 Styrofoam boxes each academic year.  With the new to-go boxes, we can eliminate that waste with hardly any inconvenience to us.

Though cutting back on trash, this policy is financially a little dubious.  As explained in an Aramark presentation to Student Government last year, the new plastic boxes cost $5,000 less per year than the old Styrofoam boxes.  Yet Aramark plans to charge each student $5 to use the boxes.  According to common sense, prices should increase when cost increases.  But in this case, the opposite has happened with Aramark charging extra for something that saves money.  Perhaps there is an explanation for these counter-intuitive finances, but in the mean time they seem a little dubious.

Stephanie Ossowski is a senior chemistry major (pre-med).

Through a conjunction of the student body and the Aramark employees, the University of Dallas cafeteria has switched to reusable to-go containers, completely eliminating Styrofoam containers in the cafeteria.  Initially implementing these containers at other universities across the nation, Aramark saw the success of the switch, prompting them to make a change at UD after receiving input from the students. Starting this year, Aramark has purchased reusable containers at $6 per container and provided them to UD students for $5 per container.

Students may use their to-go containers for the remainder of their time at UD, but are not obliged to participate in the program. Typically using about 60,800 Styrofoam to-go containers a year, Aramark will now purchase significantly less reusable containers. Although carrying around a to-go container might seem slightly inconvenient at times, UD students can help to decrease the quantity of Styrofoam waste generated and minimize costs for Aramark and the university by participating in this efficient system.


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