A couple months ago, a friend of my mom’s sent all of us soon-to-be graduates an e-mail with the top 10 things you must do in Madison before you graduate. One of them: Go sledding on trays down the hill by Liz Waters.
I can’t say I ever did this — not for any particular reason — but I kind of wish I did. It’s a Madison tradition, and the idea of removing trays from university cafeterias would end that very tradition that brings so much joy and stress relief to many University of Wisconsin students.
What next, Sam? Stop all evening football games to save the energy it takes for all the lights to remain lit? Get rid of those cardboard sleeves that surround the cup of tea you bring into work every day so you can save trees but burn your hands?
Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for going green. Energy-efficient light bulbs sound great. And a week or two ago, I bought one of those green mugs at the Union in an effort to use fewer plastic cups — and save a little money in the process. There are lots of little things we can do on a daily basis to help keep this planet a better, greener place.
But you can’t jeopardize feasibility in the process. In his usual overly-dramatic snarky fashion, Sam equates the problem of carrying all your food that you put on a tray to the Nazis in Germany during World War II. (Really!?!) But come on, get real. You pick up your sandwich, your fries or bag of chips, your soft drink and if you’re feeling really adventurous, one of those delicious cupcakes. You need a place to put them. You put them on a tray.
Game. Set. Match.
Trays are recyclable. You put it on top of the trash can when you’re done eating, it gets wiped off, it gets used again. Seems pretty efficient to me.
And if Sam had — for once — done any research before spewing out garbage while on his high-and-mighty mountaintop, he would have read today’s news article by Taylor Cox.
“It’s been discussed certainly, but in our situation where we operate a la carte as opposed to a meal plan or all you can eat situation, we have not considered going that route at least as of now,” UW Food Service Manager Brian Burke said.
So, in other words, it’s not happening.
Trays made of recyclable products were apparently attempted at Liz Waters, but some people whined about it. Without trays, wouldn’t more people drop their food and thus create more headaches for cleaning staff?
But anything that can be done to help reduce waste while at the same time allowing people to carry their food in an efficient manner sounds fine and dandy. Maybe smaller trays would work better in the future?
At any rate, I don’t want letters saying I hate the environment. I love it. It’s great. Let’s save it. But let’s keep the whole tray situation the way it is.
Tom Schalmo ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism.