In an effort to decrease waste, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s dining services offers reusable containers for students to take their food on the go.
The program called Green on the Go provides students with the opportunity to make a one-time purchase for a reusable container. The container costs six dollars, upon purchasing the container students will receive a card for proof that they paid for the service.
The program is only offered at the food court in the Dreyfus University Center. Students can present the card to a cashier at the food court in exchange for a reusable container and a 50 cent discount on their meal. Once the container is returned to a cashier students will receive their card back.
Andrew Schneyer, junior water resources major, is a student operations manager for dining services. He has been working for dining services for over two years.
According to Schneyer, the program is promoted through posters that are plastered around the DUC. Schneyer admitted that the program does not get utilized often because many students do not know that it is offered.
“I think it’s a really good concept, so I would like to see it catch on more and increase the student movement to help protect the environment in that small aspect,” Schneyer said.
Becky Konkol is a retail dining manager at UWSP and a registered dietitian. Konkol said that there were about 35 to 40 students that purchased the reusable containers last year.
Konkol would like the program to get more attention and is interested in working with the Office of Sustainability or other student organizations to promote the program.
Konkol did admit that, as of recently, she has had more students asking her about the program.
“Not only are you helping the environment, you’re also helping with our cost, which makes it easier for us to offer better prices for you guys and you are saving yourself money with each purchase,” Konkol said.
Hunter Lamer, senior biology major, is passionate about using reusable containers and being environmentally conscious. While living on campus Lamer did not know about the program.
“If I was eating on campus I would definitely take advantage of it because I enjoy not being wasteful when I don’t have to be and you save money for it in the long run,” Lamer said.
Though Lamer lives off-campus and does not frequently eat at the DUC he believes that the program is a good way to minimize waste.
Lamer said, “It should be everyone’s responsibility to take care of the earth, so the more people that do that the more people that it benefits. At UWSP we should be a model for other places like schools and businesses that aren’t green at the moment to become green.”