Campus Cooks is committed to the environment as part of our mission to actively enhance the Greek Experience. Environmental Wellness is the recognition of interdependence with nature. The process to achieving Environmental Wellness begins with individuals and their commitment to honoring this interdependence. The best way to give thanks to Mother Earth for all she does is to be more Green!
Despite what people may say, you do not have to go out and buy a trendy $50 water bottle in order to be more sustainable. There are plenty of small, budget-friendly ways to do your part. In fact, being Green can actually save you money! Below are some of Campus Cooks’ favorite tips:
Go Thrift shopping
Instead of purchasing brand new clothing from chain clothing stores, check out your local thrift shops to see what they have. Many of these stores feature extremely unique and fun pieces that many of your friends wish they would have found themselves! Not only does thrifting help boost your style and the Earth’s well-being, it can majorly help your wallet! Buying $6 thrift store jeans over $50 department store jeans sounds like a pretty good alternative to us.
Choose Plant-Based Alternatives
According to The Humane Society of the United States, 18% of human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. This extreme impact on the environment has led many individuals across the globe to begin participating in ‘Meatless Monday’. By choosing to switch out meat for plant-based alternatives, you can save 133 gallons of water with each meal. Reducing your meat consumption can also reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, making plant-based alternatives healthy for the planet and for YOU!
Replace Single-Use with Reusable Items
When you think about it, there are many things that we all use daily that we just throw away right after. To-go coffee cups, makeup wipes, paper towels, takeaway boxes, etc. It all starts to really add up. Think of single-use items that you personally use. Can any of those be switched out with something reusable? Perhaps, getting reusable K-Cup pods or a machine-washable makeup wipes could easily solve that issue. With the emergence of various companies committed to sustainability, there are products to virtually eliminate almost all your single-use products. Surf the web to find them!
Practice Mindfulness and Buying Less
Ever since we were little, we have heard the motto, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. The ‘Reduce’ pillar of that motto often seems to fall to the wayside. Reducing the amount that we buy is the #1 way to make a meaningful impact. In order to do so, practice mindfulness when shopping. Asses your motivations for purchasing that product. Take notice of what kind of packaging it comes in. Bring your old shopping bags with you. All these things may seem small but can really make an impact in the long run!
Every college campus has tons of clubs that students with various interests can get involved in. Check and see if there’s Green organization on your campus. If there isn’t, start one! Another option is to make an environmental wellness committee in your chapter or present initiatives such as composting, micro gardening, etc. Share the wellness!
What We’re Doing
Here at Campus Cooks, we are implementing a variety of green initiatives across the nation with the help of sororities and fraternities, including:
- At Purdue University, all our houses participate a food waste program through a partnership with the Purdue Student Sustainability Council.
- At University of Washington, Alpha Chi Omega’s Chef Ben sources local produce from the vendor, which lowers fuel consumption from farm to kitchen. His kitchen also is equipped with LED bulbs and participates in recycling and composting.
- Many of our chefs put all their vegetable scraps from service into a pot throughout the day instead of the garbage. Once the pot fills up, Chefs will fill it with water and boil the scraps into vegetable stock. They do this with chicken scraps as well!
- At Wabash College, all our houses compost with the help of an Alum Adviser.
- At Butler University, our chefs use a service that recycles used fryer oil. In addition, Alpha Chi Omega and Campus Cooks have partnered together to create a garden at their house. It includes various tomatoes, peppers, and herbs that all are used in Campus Cooks’ meals at the house.
- At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Sigma Phi Epsilon collects food scraps to feed a local pig farm.