Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going green in the lunchroom

Recently I observed a "green" dilemma in the lunch room at my middle school. The students, many of whom receive free or reduced lunch go through the lunch line and receive their food on disposable Styrofoam trays.

I thought about how those students use those trays for just the twenty-thirty minutes that they are in the lunch room before they simply throw them away and fill several large garbage cans.

Of course, the frugal wanna-be green person in my wants to cut down on this waste. I thought that a possible solution would be to have plastic trays that would be washed after each shift.

Then I thought about all of the power and water that would be needed to wash those plates. I remember reading somewhere that sometimes washing the dishes uses more energy than would be saved with paper/plastic.

I haven't decided where I stand on the issue or on any possible solution.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Eric said...

Interesting dilemma

It has been years since I worked in a school, but back then, it was plastic trays and dishwashers. I'm sure the change was motivated by the bottom line and not environmental health. It would be an interesting study to see the environmental impact of the energy usage for dish washing compared to the environmental impact of increasing landfill size and "eternal" trash(styrafoam).