This week the two actions or habits I have noticed the most are my overuse of napkins at mealtimes…I could probably try harder at being less messy when I eat, but instead I simply use 10 napkins every meal time… These would generally go into the trash can and consequently into a landfill, but luckily I eat most of my meals in the CMU cafeteria and they can instead go into the compost bin available in the cafeteria. I am so so happy that Central Michigan has a compost program and through that actively participates in not only reducing the waste in our earth’s landfills, but also indirectly exposing students to an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Even though the compost factor makes my messy habit seem a little better, I realize that it is not and the only true way to eliminate this part of my ecological footprint is to not use so many in the first place. At this point I think I will lower myself to two napkins per meal time, with the goal of eventually only using one (or dream big, not even one) napkin per mealtime!
The second major factor of my ecological footprint that I’ve noticed lately, of course, stems from my whole napkin addiction. It’s simply the fact that I have to eat in the university cafeteria for the majority of my meals, but while this issue is simple to declare, it is anything but simple to fix. Although I have not done any sound research into this particular issue, I am going to go out on a limb and say that I am almost certain that all of the meat, dairy, and other farm products served in the Central Michigan, Robinson Residential Restaurant Cafeteria come from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFO’s. I say this with confidence because I realize that it would be far too financially cumbersome for the university to purchase the amount of food they need to feed so many students from local or organic farms.