Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fighting Hunger


The second of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is “Zero Hunger” and it is of particular interest to us. In this land of plenty, it would seem that everyone gets enough to eat but, that isn’t so. Even here in the Ithaca Bubble, that ten square miles surrounded by reality, there are people without enough to eat:

5 facts about hunger in Tompkins County*
1) 13,280 people do not have regular access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
2) 3,040 of those without regular access to enough food are children.
3) 28 % of K-12 students are eligible for the free lunch program
4) ~6000 residents have both low income and low access to a grocery store.
5) The Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes about 1 million pounds of food in Tompkins County.

We work with students in SWIFT (Stop Wasting Ithaca’s Food Today) and the Friendship Donation Network (FDN) to donate food to the Ithaca Rescue Mission. Last year over 7,000 pounds of leftovers fed hungry people in Ithaca. You can volunteer with FDN, they can use your help in picking up food by joining one of their teams that pick up surplus, edible food every day and make sure it goes to someone who is hungry.

 Another way to fight hunger is to donate money to programs that help people have enough to eat. Ithaca Dining Services kicks off our annual campaign to raise money for the Food Bank of the Sothern Tier’s BackPack program. Many children who receive free and reduced priced school meals go without the nutrition they need on weekends and holiday breaks when school is not in session. Donating $3 will provide one of these children who are at risk of hunger with a bag of nutritious food each Friday throughout the school year.

*http://hotpotatopress.org/2015/05/12/5-facts-about-hunger-in-tompkins-county/

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Are Still Committed to Sustainability.

To say that Sustainability has evolved is an understatement. The Decade of Sustainability in Higher Education began in 2005 bringing the term, idea, concept of Sustainability to Ithaca College through the efforts of Administration, Faculty, Staff and Students. Sodexo has been a willing partner in this evolution and has taken that experience and knowledge gained and connected it to its mission of enhancing the Quality of Life and contributing to the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities that we serve. The Better Tomorrow 2025 Plan reflects the up-to-date needs of our clients, customers, employees and the world around us. Better Tomorrow 2025 was developed in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by the United Nations in 2015. Our efforts are aligned with those of the 193 countries that signed on to those goals.
The SDGs set global goals in 17 areas that governments, businesses and society at large need to act on to achieve a more sustainable, fair and equal world by 2030.

We are particularly interested in fighting hunger, reducing waste and gender equality.
Ithaca Dining Services continues its commitment to Sustainability by being responsible users of our resources so that others in the future can enjoy the same quality of life we do. We continue to do the work, every day that needs to be done to make the lasting and meaningful incremental changes that will have an impact on our planet, our people, our health and wellness and our communities. The simple actions we do routinely to efficiently and effectively prepare and serve delicious, healthy meals is an indicator of our commitment to Sustainability.
The choices we make as individual members of the community also have an impact such as; choosing a reusable coffee mug or water bottle, taking the bus to work instead of driving alone, making sure to recycle and compost are all ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. When we make these choices for ourselves, we are also setting an example for those around us.

We are fortunate that the foundation of Sodexo’s commitment to Sustainability is our people, people with rich backgrounds and diverse perspectives. We must continue to make every effort to make decisions that mindfully balance the needs of people, the community and the planet today and for future generations. What we do today means a better tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Recycling

We recycle. Dining services was an early adopter of recycling bottles, cans, paper, plastic and cardboard in the dining halls and retail operations on campus beginning in 1991 and to this day. That’s twenty-six years of diverting waste from the land fill to recycling, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases. We estimate we have diverted 1,000,000 pounds of bottles, cans; paper, plastic and cardboard from landfill through Dining Services efforts over the years.
 
Since recycling began, we have seen a change in how food for the dining halls is packaged. Lightweight plastics containers have replaced an increasing amount of glass containers and steel. This shift has had a profound impact on GHGE by reducing the impacts of transportation. Reducing the weight of the packaging allows more of what is in the container to be transported. That means fewer truck-trips are required to bring more food to campus.
 
Plastic is also “easier” to recycle than glass or steel, requiring less energy to be used to transform the old plastic into a different plastic product. Around 4 per cent of world oil and gas production, a non-renewable resource, is used as feedstock for plastics and a further 3–4% is expended to provide energy for their manufacture. Using recycled plastic to make a plastic bottle that would otherwise have been made from new (virgin) polymer directly reduces oil usage and emissions of greenhouse gases associated with the production of the virgin polymer even when emissions from collection and transportation are taken into account. 
 
All the packages your food come in also come in a cardboard box. The terms used in the recycling industry for cardboard are “boxboard” and “Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC)”. OCC is a wavy layer of paper between to flat layers (Image). Boxboard is the single layer cardboard common to cereal boxes. OCC is a high value-recycling commodity, currently selling at an average of $95/ton. OCC collected on-campus, compressed into bales weighing about 1000 pounds apiece, trucked to a recycling plant, and made into new corrugated boxes and boxboard. There is such a recycling plant located in Solvay, NY near Syracuse that makes all kinds of cardboard boxes.
 
Recycling is the simplest action you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Reduce, reuse and then recycle it’s as simple as that, Do it.
 
Keep calm and recycle on.