Cabot Reduces Deserted Grill Items

Maria Y. Xia

Jose E. Barerra Mira, while manning the grill, often strikes up conversations with students.

In an effort to encourage Harvard students to emulate the upstanding young men and women pictured on the school's brochures, the Cabot dining hall has created a poster to remind people to stop leaving their grill orders unattended.

The "Stop the Grill Orders Left Behind" initiative, part of the Resource Efficiency Program's (REP) Food Waste Audit Week, posts the total number of grill items left behind each day. The wall was put up last week and on its first day reduced the number of abandoned orders from several to just one—a lonely, unclaimed dish of scrambled eggs.

"The Resource Efficiency Program is here to make these little daily actions easier for students, and if we can create a 'pause' moment that leads to reduced food waste, I would consider it a great success," said Cabot Eco-Rep Isabella A. Wechsler '13.

"I think we often read the news about what's going on with environmental changes at large, and resource depletion can seem like an impossibly big and overwhelming issue. REP really tries to be imaginative about this and to empower students to realize how much control they have over their own resource use."

CORRECTION: Oct. 18, 2012

The Oct. 17 post "Cabot Introduces "Wall of Shame'" incorrectly referred to the initiative as the "Wall of Shame" and suggested that people's names are posted when they leave grill items behind. The initiative is actually called "Stop the Grill Orders Left Behind." As well, no names are posted. At the end of the day, only the number of grill items left behind is displayed.

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