The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

View this profile on Instagram

The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Jojo Siwa
Jojo Siwa’s Bad Karma
Catherine Pascal, Staff Writer • May 3, 2024
Torch Photo / Anya Geiling
Live Show Spotlight: Roger Eno
Anya Geiling, Contributing Writer • April 30, 2024

RecycleMania gears up for more student interactions

Full Service Organics shows students about the role that the University has in food recovery

The ninth annual RecycleMania Tournament kicked off the raffle portion of its efforts to raise student awareness of post-consumer food waste in Montgoris Dining Hall on Monday, March 6.

This means that every week, one lucky student will win a mountain bike, until RecycleMania ends on April 1. One student has already won a bike, according to Thomas Goldsmith, the director of the Environmental and Energy Conservation department in the Office of Sustainability.

Goldsmith and his team see this as an opportunity to engage students and teach them about the University’s Full Service Organics. Their campaign for food waste reduction may even count as Academic Service Hours (ASL) for students by Monday, March 20.

Goldsmith said that students created the Full Service Organics brand to show what St. John’s does in regards to overall food sustainability. It’s now displayed above the conveyer belt in Montgoris.

“We created a storyboard so that we show what Full Service Organics is at St. John’s,” Goldsmith said. “[It’s] awareness, participation, contributing towards fighting global climate change and help feeding hungry people at the same time.”

During the RecycleMania Tournament, a table is set up right next to the conveyer belt in Montgoris at 5-8 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Students have a chance to talk to the student workers of the Office of Sustainability, fill out a survey that asks them why they didn’t finish the food on their plate and sign their names on a board with the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchyanother program that the University’s involved inas a symbol of their awareness.

According to the Office of Sustainability, the students who eat at Montgoris generate approximately 780 pounds of post-consumer food waste per day. This is why one of RecycleMania’s main goals is to reach a campus-wide 50 percent decrease of its post-consumer food waste. So far, Goldsmith said that “early results show post consumer food waste dropped by 2,000 pounds for week one of campaign.”

Joe Costa, one of Goldsmith’s student workers, said that, so far, students are understanding the importance of having this conversation.

“We’re trying to reduce the amount of food taken, because when you leave more in the kitchen, more gets donated to Bread and Life, through Chef Kelly, Campus Ministry and other service organizations on campus,” Costa said.

An important part of the University’s sustainability work is also to pulp and compost the pre and post-consumer food waste.

“The benefits of composting in fighting global climate change is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the soil for growing produce and cleaning up the waterways by using less chemical fertilizer,” Goldsmith said.

According to Costa, through their surveys, they’ve also found that students’ two main reasons for leaving food on their plates are that they either “take too much” or were “disappointed in the taste.”

In response to this, the University’s Regional Executive Chef, Kelly Heefner, who went to see the kickoff, said that initiatives like these help them accommodate the food they serve to the students.

“It’s important that the students know that if something doesn’t taste good, we can change the recipe or take it out of our menu cycle,” Heefner said. “We also are starting to think about how [to] have the students taste the food before they take it.”

Heefner said that they might put up a sign where they remind students that they can ask the workers in Montgoris to give them samples before they fill up their plates, in an effort to reduce the food waste.

In addition to RecycleMania’s sustainability initiatives, the University also participates in Imperfectly Delicious Produce (IDP), which means that they buy and use food that may not look perfect but is perfectly edible, and purchase Fair Trade produce whenever they get the chance, according to Heefner.

Students in the Food Recovery Network SJU chaptera month-old University projectare also working with Heefner to deliver about 250 pounds worth of food that doesn’t get touched to a local food pantry.

“All the food waste that [Goldsmith] is trying to eliminate will help us because if they don’t fill up their plate and eat what they want it helps with everything,” Heefner said. “It helps with our cause, helps with St. John’s cause, helps with everyone’s cause. Everybody hates a waste.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Angelica Acevedo
Angelica Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief
Angelica Acevedo is a senior journalism major with a minor in history. She has been involved with the Torch since her freshman year, and served as News Editor, Social Media Manager, Opinion Editor and Managing Editor in the past three years. As Editor-in-Chief, she hopes to continue to publish impactful, interesting and important stories that the St. John’s community needs to know. Angelica also hopes to grow the newspaper’s staff and contributors by creating an outreach position that will serve to reach out to students that are interested in practicing journalism and organizing workshops to keep them involved. Moreover, she wants readers to understand the work that journalists do and will advocate for more media literacy during her last year at St. John’s University. Have any questions? Email Angelica at [email protected] 
GINA PALERMO, Managing Editor, Photo Editor
Managing Editor, Photo Editor: Gina is a senior Photojournalism major/Environmental Science minor who intends to increase the Torch's readership and open up its market by producing broader coverage of St. John's. As the former Art Director, she also hopes to vastly improve the design of the paper in a way that makes it more engaging, and reader-friendly. [email protected]
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *