The slogan “Broncs Go Green” that Rider has created to represent its fresh eco-friendly mindset is one that seems to ring with pride throughout campus. It is a concept that was accepted for its eco-grasp, positive vibe and affordable options. For many people, institutions and organizations going green has become a way of life, and a more sustainable one at that.
Rider University and its team of Eco-Representatives are dedicated to developing simple, sustainable solutions to replace ways of life around campus that may not be so “green.” Although convenient and affordable fixes seem to be the aim, it’s not necessarily the case. Certain green options aren’t available campus-wide and some of the available innovations come with drawbacks.
For example, in an effort to use less plastic and create less waste, Rider installed filtered water dispensers called Quench stations at various locations around campus. You can find Quench stations in every academic building and most major buildings around campus, such as the Student Recreation Center (SRC) and the library. Yet, one heavily populated area of Rider where these stations aren’t available are the residential halls, with the exceptions of West Village and Switlik, where they are likely to be put to the most use. It’s such a simple and small step toward becoming more environmentally attentive which isn’t even available in the most convenient and obvious places for students. If Quench stations were installed in each residential hall, they would be utilized often and would make being eco-friendly that much easier.
Another issue that has become evident at Rider is that our dining facilities around campus have been collecting a surprising amount of waste. A big portion of the garbage each day seems to be the cardboard containers at Cranberry’s and the Bronc Diner. All of the food ordered at the diner automatically comes in one of those to-go containers, but in Cranberry’s there is the choice of a carry out box or an open, to-stay container that is smaller in size. Though an option is present, many students automatically go with the carry out box, contributing to the mountain of daily waste.
A solution Rider, in collaboration with Aramark, has come up with is reusable take-out food trays. This is a program that will be up and running at Dalys and Cranberry’s in the near future. Having these trays available to students will allow less waste in Cranberry’s and the possibility of taking food from Dalys. It seems like a great fix for both issues, but it isn’t the simplest procedure and it isn’t offered in the Bronc Diner, where your only food container option is a cardboard box.
In order to obtain and use the reusable trays in Dalys, you need to first sign a contract and give your student ID to the front desk. You are then given a tray, keychain and a 15-minute timespan to put together a plate of food for yourself. You must return the tray after use, at which point you will get your keychain back in order to use the tray again.
The process, though potentially “greener” than the use of cardboard take-out boxes, seems quite constricting. Such a lengthy process may be one that college students won’t want to bother with during their busy days. With the price Rider students pay for meal plans and the ever pressing want and need to become eco-friendly, reusable take-out trays should be given to students who want one as their own personal tray. If this is the green route Rider is trying to go down, it should involve all dining locations across campus.
Being aware of the environment and trying to live sustainably can seem like an unrealistic, but with the resources that Rider possesses there should be easier ways for students and faculty to actively participate in a green lifestyle.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Kristy Grinere.