Bon Appetit launches new sustainability initiative with 'Green to-go' boxes

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DePauw University Dining is a hot topic on campus, and it’s not just due to the growing anticipation over Hoover Dining Hall. Last week, Bon Appetit implemented their latest strategy towards promoting campus sustainability, the “Green-to-go” program. 

After research found that DePauw students were using over 7,000 cardboard to-go boxes per week and 244,000 boxes per year, Bon Appetit is making attempts to change food culture across campus. On March 7, it unveiled the “Green-to-go” program, where students have the choice to receive new, reusable to-go containers instead of the single-use cardboard ones.

Each DePauw student is allowed to have up to three green containers at a time and is required to return the containers back to Bon Appetit within 72 hours, or incur a $6 fee. These Green-to-go boxes can be returned to the hub, the den or any of Bon Appetit’s cafe’s around campus. 

Currently, the project is in a voluntary test mode in an effort to get direct feedback from students before the Green-to-go program becomes mandatory for all students in the fall of 2016. Students can elect to use cardboard boxes until then. 

Junior Madeline Piscetta is Student Director of the Sustainability Leadership Program and the person in charge of the Green-to-go program.

“[The Green-to-go program] is a fantastic initiative that will significantly cut back DePauw’s ecological footprint,” and “a gateway to implementing more sustainable practices in the future.” Piscetta said. Adding that, hopefully “it will help to teach the student body about the little things they can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle and how simple it is to make changes in their lives that actually make a difference.”

It seems as though students are already taking to the idea of greater sustainability on campus, and many were shocked at the amount of cardboard boxes they went through. First-year Nicole Pasho was thrilled with the implementation of the program. She said that even if not everyone participates, it still greatly helps with sustainability.

“I feel like we’re guilted into using the green containers because they make a big deal about how using them is going to help the environment in the long-run,” first-year Megan Mannering said, offering a different perspective on the program. “Like most college students, I’m forgetful, I don’t want to get a fee for not turning in my green container on time.”

If any students have questions, comments, or concerns about the program, those queries can be directed to Jason Rose, head of Bon Appetit, or any Bon Appetit employee on campus. DePauw is looking forward to providing a sustainable environment for years to come.