PSC Meeting Highlights: October 15, 2014

Posted on October 27, 2014

General Announcements:

  • Chef Jerry gave an overview of the menu inspired by Chef Barton Seaver, who was on campus Oct 15-16 to meet with Campus Dining and gave a talk to the Princeton Community on Oct 15.
  • Keurig K-cup recycling program –
  • New PSC Co-chair Forrest Meggers, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
  • New PSC Graduate Student Representatives and GSG Liaisons: Laura Zachary WWS and Simon Fuchs NES
  • New USG Representative: Chris Shin ‘17

Preparing for Sustainability Plan 2.0: Today’s Topic – Food:

University Progress and Global Perspective: Shana Weber, Office of Sustainability

  • University Progress to date:

- Current Campus Dining Goal: Increase sustainable food purchases to 75% by 2015 and raise awareness about green dining
- How do we define sustainable food? Local, Organic, Socially just, Humane, Sustainable seafood
- Progress: 60% of food purchased last year was sustainable, with 44% from within 250 miles (data now includes contracted dining operations)

  • Global food issues – health and the environment:

- There is too little food, too much food, and too much food is wasted
- Agricultural environmental impacts: Agriculture uses 70% of global fresh water and is associated with 24% of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions globally
- Production practices matter: Sustainable agricultural practices promote long term fertility and productivity of soil
Understanding global and local patterns can inform campus priorities

Local Perspective: Jess Niederer, Chickadee Creek Farm

  • Started in 2010, 8 acre certified organic farm located in Pennington, NJ
  • Many new farms fail after the first 3-5 years
  • About 52% of farmers have different primary occupation and 80% have off-farm jobs
  • Organic agricultural requirements include improving soil measurably and taking precautions to prevent diseases
  • Retail vs Wholesale: It is expensive and difficult for small farms to sell wholesale
  • Challenges include climate, workforce, markets

Departmental luncheon waste reduction proposal: Graduate students Laura Zachary and Maria-Magdalena Fuchs

  • Suggestions to improve sustainability at department events: ban distribution of disposable water bottles, ban individually boxed lunches. Dramatically reduce and eventually ban disposable plates and cutlery.
  • Suggestions to improve sustainability at graduate housing: Improve information campaigns about waste management systems in place to make them more effective.

Sustainability Plan 2.0: What’s Next?

  • Watch for inconsistencies
  • Brainstorm solutions
  • Next topic TBD

Next Meeting: November 12, 2014

Download the full powerpoint presentation (.pdf) from the meeting.