On Monday, Jan. 28, after six years of work, the Loras College Café started to compost: saving over 1000lbs of food waste a week from going to the landfill. Loras College Dining is using an organization called GreenRU that will come once a week to pick up the compost material produced by students in the Café as well as food that was not able to be salvaged from the line. Loras now joins both Clarke University and the University of Dubuque in using GreenRU to compost food scraps. Using GreenRU was an important decision as it will lessen emissions due to transportation since GreenRU is already coming to Dubuque. While previously behind other schools in sustainable efforts, Loras is turning into an emergent leader in compost within the Dubuque area. This change also reflects the Catholic values of Loras College: specifically, in light of Catholic Social Teachings. Through the cooperation of Loras Campus Dining, Aramark, and the Sustainability Office of Loras this change was made possible. One of the leaders of this change is junior Jake Jansen. He explains the process of making composting possible.
“For me personally I have spent a year and a half working toward this. I know students have worked on it for years in the past, it has taken all of us.” He went on to explain that this process took learning from other colleges, a lot of conversations, meetings, a petition, and food audits. Jansen also wants students to know that they can truly make a difference on campus, and he is feeling more motivated than ever to make more change on Loras campus.
“It’s a wonderful thing. I worked in the Café freshman year and saw all of the food going to waste. Shout out to LEAF for making it possible to save that food from the landfill,” commented senior Jonny Carlson.
While, an exciting change, there are still many more ways Loras students can be sustainable. Junior Xavier Sanchez commented on what he thinks is the next step.
“Let’s be more aware of what we are taking so that there is less of a need to compost food waste.” Let’s all celebrate this wonderful step towards sustainability, but remember the Café is all you can eat, not all you can waste.