NEWS — January 28, 2010 12:00 am

‘Making a difference, one cup at a time’

A sustainability program has officially been implemented in the Centennial Student Union. Students, faculty and staff should begin to notice eco-friendly changes in the CSU’s retail operations.

Last October, Bill Harvey and Phil Novak of Sodexo, the university’s food provider, met with the Student Union Board to discuss sustainability options for retail operations in the CSU in attempt to go green. After board deliberation and positive student feedback from an online survey, the retail switch was approved and the program is formally in place.

“The cost increases for eco-friendly packaging are not substantial,” said Novak. “During winter break, we took the time to really break down what costs are affected by new, compostable products and what was not. Compostable products are not extremely popular at companies yet, so we will have to cover the cost of increase until discounted items are available.”

Although the increase in price will be added to individual meal cost, it is only added if the new packaging affects the product. Although some sustainable items cost 20 cents more a piece, some had no cost change at all. For example, there is a 10-cent increase in price for fountain soda, due to the compostable cup, lid and straw. However, an entire combo meal at Stacks will also increase just 10 cents.

Not all of the changes have been made, as the CSU retail operations will wait until the current inventory runs dry before using the new eco-friendly items.

“The process of going green is not a quick switch,” Novak said. “In order to be cost effective, all existing inventory must run out before making all changes.”

Within the next few weeks, the university will also notice green product marketing throughout campus since the approval of the marketing strategies earlier this month. Other signage will be seen throughout the CSU in order for students to understand the green efforts and how it is affecting their costs. Although a small cost increase is involved it is only on select items that are compostable products.

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