Earth week kicked off last Monday with an event challenging all students to refrain from the use of straws followed by an event held at the Hawk called Meatless Monday– sparking controversy amongst dining hall staff and patrons. “The biggest noise that is negative comes from the athletes, they really like the homestyle menus,” explained David Carringer, the Head Executive Chef at the Hawk. “Most of our staff disagrees with serving meatless options, but they will always prepare to the best of their ability.”
The Head Chef was doubtful that the Meatless Monday or similar events would affect students who live on campus and eat at the Hawk regularly. “In my opinion,” said Carringer. “Having Meatless Monday will not change the attitude on campus for sustainability for many people.”
The Hawk’s Food Service Director, Josh Lanier, said, “For the most part people don’t seem to mind having it once a term.” In terms of benefits, according to Lanier, “Meatless Monday is a cost saving when purchasing food.” He continued, “Raising livestock has a huge impact on the environment. Reducing meat consumption even for a day can have a huge impact on water usage, greenhouse gases, and fuel usage.”
ECOS helped facilitate the event, and the Hawk has agreed to hold Meatless Monday once per term. Lanier agrees there are some benefits to this event, despite the lack of protein. “Meatless Monday is a cost saving when purchasing food,” says Lanier, “Raising livestock has a huge impact on the environment. Reducing meat consumption even for a day can have a huge impact on water usage, greenhouse gases, and fuel usage.”
The Meatless proposal was headed by ECOS who helped with advertising the event and demonstrating the pros and cons of meat consumption. The club puts on activities that encourage and inform students on environmental awareness.
“Essentially ECOS coordinates events, campaigns, and service projects to connect students with each other, the community, and the environment,” explained Lindsay Swanson, the ECOS Student Director and Earth Week Coordinator.
Taylor Ristvedt, the Garden Coordinator for ECOS was enthused to talk about some of the great things ECOS brings to SOU. She explained, “ [ECOS has] worked hard as an institution to implement different sustainable practices to help make our school more green and efficient.” The Garden Coordinator continued, “Having events throughout earth week for students to attend is a way for them to educate themselves and to show the student body, and community, that there are ways you can live a more sustainable and environmentally conscious life so that our we can help our planet to be healthier.”
“Reducing waste by buying local produce rather than prepackaged or frozen foods, using reusable grocery bags/lunch sacks instead of one use plastic bags, composting, using reusable cups when going to Dutch and other coffee shops, biking rather than driving, carpooling, taking shorter showers, and many more,” Ristevedt concluded enthusiastically.