Montgoris goes fully trayless to further St. John’s green initiative

The sight of students juggling numerous plates of food in Montgoris Dining Hall is a common one.

This experience has become familiar to most resident students ever since St. John’s implemented its new tray-free agenda prior to the fall 2009 semester. According to Chartwells staff, the policy was initiated by University officials who decided that abolishing the use of trays would perpetually economize food
wastage and water consumption.

Chartwells, the primary catering company of St. John’s University, addresses their environmental concern regarding food reduction through their mission statement entitled “Chartwells’ Sustainability Commitment” on their WebSite. The company claims they have taken a very pragmatic approach to food reduction, making a point that “our programs will include the necessary information to encourage informed choices on both the foods we consume, and the ways we interact with the natural environment.”

After last year’s attempt towards creating a greener Montgoris by limiting tray usage to a few days a week, school officials decided that completely removing trays would be most appropriate for the upcoming semester.

Considering the economic and environmental damages that tray usage ultimately leads to, this trayless initiative is an extremely positive move for Chartwells and St. John’s. Although trays do provide some convenience, they do so at the expense of wasted resources – something we should scrupulously cling to in our current state of economic distress. Instead of stock-piling trays with plates of food that we know we won’t eat, shouldn’t we move towards consuming in utmost frugality by eating plate-by-plate so that we can avoid the cleaning of unnecessary dishes?

Many students around campus seem to share Chartwell’s concern for environmental issues regarding the use of trays. One general feeling is that dealing with the minor inconvenience of not having trays is worth it in order to help conserve water, food, and ultimately protect the environment. With no trays at their disposal, students are less likely to pile on the food a mile high which often leads to overeating and wasted food.

Although the University has initiated an admirable economic decision in eliminating tray usage at Montgoris, a re-evaluation of meal plan prices to reflect the change in service would be prudent.
If University officials decide to sustain this dining policy, the cost of meal-plans should be lessened considering the fact that the University is saving a substantial amount of money on water usage and wasted food.

In order to fully serve students, the University should be focused on helping their students save as much money as possible and reflect the positive outcome of the tray-less initiative in students’ food-plan bills.

Heading into the start of another school year, it’s good to see St. John’s green initiative perpetually evolving on campus. Eliminating the usage of trays at Montgoris serves as a positive role in reducing the school’s environmental footprint and reminding every student that making little changes can have a constructive affect on the world around us.

By adjusting our lifestyles to the changing world, we do our part in the green movement and help preserve the environment around us.