The dinner rush at Leo’s is a perilous journey. Emotions are running high. One must fight the odds for first-choice food, forks and free tables. However, last Tuesday evening, my journey had a new ending.
As I turned the corner into the dishwashing station, a burst of color caught my eye. Before me, bright green signs said “Scrape your Plate” and brand-new bins brimmed with trash. With pride, I tossed my pizza crust into the bin.
Yes, I was delighted by the overflowing food scraps on lower-level Leo’s. And here’s why.
‘Bout time we took care of our own leftovers.
My mama might have been too easy on me, but at the very least I scraped my scraps after dinner. We only get to see the front of the dishwashing station. But I can imagine what it must be like behind the scenes, trying to dig through the mounds of jumbled food and dishes. When I scrape my plate, I am pleased to support the Leo’s staff, who work wonders every day with little thanks.
‘Bout time we did some simple math.
We all hate the classic Leo’s story. Maybe there’s a plate, but no fork. A spoon, but no bowl. Water (hey, check out the new Brita stations), but no cups. It seems to me we can change this story by taking a second to scrape one plate, instead of sending hundreds around the conveyor to someone else.
‘Bout time students could make changes in Leos.
Heck yes, this initiative was brought to you by students! And watch out, students are pursuing new options for takeout, swipes and dietary restrictions. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m thinking it could be easy to start composting again if we’re scraping waste into handy collection bins. Just a thought.
‘Bout time we stopped throwing so much away!
According to the stats, 40% of food is thrown away each year in the US. Not 10%. Not 20%. Not 30%. 40 freaking %. Meanwhile, 1 of every 8 D.C. households struggles against hunger. So yes, I’m glad our food waste is out in the open. Let’s start talking about the big picture.
“Scrape your Plate” is so much more than just scraping plates. This initiative is about creating new norms of community respect, waste awareness and student input. Let’s pass this down to next year’s freshmen with pride.