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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Put your half-eaten food to good use

Kendrick Baker, a sophomore studying political science and economics, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

I’m used to other students rolling their eyes at me when I harp on about being eco-friendly. I came to GW after living in the liberal San Francisco Bay area, where it’s normal to be conscious of our footprint on the world.

My friends still sometimes leave the shower running or keep the lights on, but now I have a new sustainable solution to bug them about: A new compost system was recently installed at the student-run community GroW Garden on H street between 23rd and 24th streets.

The new system is an opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with the compost process before the University implements a larger-scale compost system, part of its 10-year sustainability strategic plan. It’s also a chance for students to show officials that these are the types of campus improvements they care about, and will keep officials committed to their long-term sustainability goals.

Composting is an important step toward reaching the University’s long-term goal of becoming a “zero-waste” campus, something many schools are looking to achieve as sustainability becomes increasingly popular.

Of course, the new system is just a small step, but we should still applaud the efforts of the Food Justice Alliance, the student group that manages the GroW Garden. Composting won’t solve everything, but it will help the community garden thrive while reducing the amount of food that goes to the landfill.

While many students have largely ignored past initiatives like the eco-challenge, students should treat the compost program expansion differently.

By composting, students can make a political statement and remind University officials that campus-wide composting should be a priority. If students use the system heavily, it’s entirely possible that GW will prioritize expanding the compost system, speeding up campus-wide adoption. Students have already showed that composting is something they care about. Last winter, two students started a small-scale composting effort on the Mount Vernon campus.

It’s not often we have such a clear-cut opportunity to prove to the University that we care about an issue. But if we stand up for sustainability, it’s likely that administrators will notice — since eco-friendly practices are already on their radar.

For students, it may seem like a pain to trek across campus with their half-eaten food when it would be much easier just to dump it in the trash. But we can’t lose sight of how important this small composting effort might be for GW’s long-term sustainability plans.

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