The majority of this week was spent on fleshing out our ideas that could help CMU become a leader in sustainability initiatives. The area that I chose to work on was with food at CMU. Since CMU does not have a dining hall, I noticed that the waste that results from the food packaging at these individual restaurants were significant. Especially with the pandemic, all foods at CMU are packaged in paper and plastic containers, not to mention all the plastic utensils that come with it. This is an area of food that can definitely be improved. Another, challenge of having these different food services is that there is no streamlined system for waste recycling. While I was not sure if CMU regulates are these restaurants through a unified system, I believe that it would definitely less streamlined than a campus dining final.
The main problem area I noticed amongst food was the lack of student engagement and understanding on thee issue. Therefore, I wanted to bring a solution that would bring in student awareness on the issue. If successful, student engagement could start as a great starting point for the institution as a whole to pursuing more initiatives. The design/idea I came up with was a farmer’s market:
- Weekly Pop-up Farmer’s Market on campus
- Encourage student engagement and learning on sustainable foods
- Foster stronger relationships with local farmers for potential partnerships
- Pop-up dining stations for popular vendors
- Potential long-term suppliers for CMU’s dining locations
- Get Chartwells involved in this event
Not only would this design allow for more student engagement, it also serves as a starting point for a more healthy relationship between local farmers and CMU.
There are also some areas that I have to think more on based on the feedback of my peers. The biggest point was how to maintain these pop-ups year round. Most farmer’s markets are seasonal, therefore it’d be hard to have them all year round. This is one area in which I have to do more research into.