Tag Archive for what can i do?
Since I?ve been at Xavier, I?ve had two experiments with meal sharing, both of which have been helpful and positive. Food cooperatives are a terrific way to accomplish multiple goals: saving time on food preparation, saving money in food purchasing, gaining support and reinforcement for one?s own ideological commitments (e.g., organic ingredients; low-fat, healthy meal preparation, vegetarian or vegan commitments, using only locally grown produce, etc.), and, depending upon how it?s done, building community. There isn?t a right or wrong way to put together a dinner co-op. The most important thing I?ve found is that keeping lines of communication open and doing regular assessment of the program that a group establishes is important to success, both short and long term.
Scholars may disagree over how many laborers were needed to build Egypt’s pyramids. But no one?except those promoting alien theories?appears to argue that it required many people working together, one small step at a time. It seems to me that this approach is generally mirrored in many of the actions we take in the name of sustainability: It’s in the aggregate that the true value of the effort is revealed.
I am really proud of the way the staff of the McGrath Health and Counseling Center embraced recycling. All of our staff is committed to the effort, and we now recycle approximately 50 percent of our waste. But that wasn?t always the case.
Just two years ago, many in our office bypassed the few-and-far-between recycling bins for the trash can. When I wondered aloud why this happened, I heard comments indicating confusion about what could and could not be recycled, worries about unsightly bins and empty pop cans attracting bugs, and a common disbelief that anything was truly being recycled.
What is Recyclemania? Why is it important for Xavier University to be part of it? Recyclemania is a competition that serves as a benchmarking tool for university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities for their campuses. Over a 10-week period, participating institutions report their waste and recycling data, which are then compiled and ranked. The goal is to foster friendly competition and increase recycling participation by students and staff.
My decision to become a ?locavore? ?one who commits to eating food grown or produced locally?dates back to April 19, 2005. That evening, Vandana Shiva was a speaker for the Ethics/Religion and Society lecture series. After her excellent lecture on the environment from a global perspective, I had the opportunity to talk with Vandana as we walked back to the Brueggeman Center. I asked what I might do to help with environmental issues. She said, ?Buy locally; eat locally. Raise as much of your own food as you can in your circumstances.?