Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The feel-good profit 

I love the grandiose title:
SCSU goes trayless in dining hall to save Earth, trim costs
SAVE EARTH! Glorioski, how'd they do it?! Here's the story:
The Garvey Commons experimented with trayless food service earlier this year and then asked students about making the change permanent. Garvey will be largely trayless for the rest of the year and all of next year, and another evaluation will be done to see if the change will continue.

Going trayless saves 650-740 pounds of food waste a day, 400-500 gallons of water a day and allows Garvey to use about 10 percent less soap, rinsing solution and other chemicals. It also forces students to make better choices of how much food they eat; they won�t add food to a tray just because they have the room.
I envision a whole new diet plan, to be heard soon on Oprah: Throw away the dinner plates. Have your family eat off small plates and they'll eat less.

Let me explain: Sodexho, our food service operator, is going to "save 650-740 pounds of food waste a day". Cui bono? Why, Sodexho! It serves less food and saves on detergent. Is any of the savings to be shared with students? No, because they are SAVING EARTH!
According to the survey (done after the trial), 66 percent of students said the benefits to the environment outweighed any inconvenience of going without trays. And 69 percent said the benefits of possibly saving money on their meal plan outweighed any inconvenience of going without trays.
Don't hold your breath on getting that cash, Sarah Student. And the newspaper blithely joins in, on page one, with that headline, helping to perpetrate the fraud. Students accept inconvenience in return for feeling good, and nobody is going to correct their errors.

UPDATE: It's a fad in many places.

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