It was an interesting time doing a waste audit for Foodoo - our food provider at school. My friend Jaehyeong first listed all items that were sold by the Foodoo in the dining area and looked at waste produced.
The things that we liked were well-organised recycling bins for paper and plastic. We also liked that single used items were mostly made of paper (paper plates) and they were not offered automatically, which was a result of last year eco-committee intervention. Tissues used were made from recycled paper.
We were not happy to see that there was still a lot of waste generated and a lot of it was plastic as salads and drinks are sold in plastic containers/bottles.
We have discussed the outcomes of our audit with the eco-committee members and proposed changes to the Foodoo manager and the school manager. We suggested to either serve salad in glass bowls or at least replace them with biodegradable plastic ones. We proposed to stop selling drinks in plastic bottles and instead sell drinks in the students' own bottles or glasses.
The Foodoo manager accepted our proposals and promised to stop using plastic foil which they use for school snacks by the end of May 2018. It was nice to hear because we did not even ask for it. The manager was also open to replace plastic containers with biodegradable ones and to look at a possibility ordering the machine for serving drinks into bottles from August 2018.
Our initiative was greatly supported by the school management and Year 9 students who in their life skills lessons made a CHANGE PROJECT linked to the environmental issues.
It was an interesting time for me looking at the waste production at the place which I didn't care about much in the past. I had made some promises to myself. The first thing is that I will save materials and resources(energy). I learnt that the number of resources are limited and that if we don't save resources our children and the people after us will suffer from lack of materials. Therefore, I will use materials which I only need and don't use more than that. Another thing is that I will try not to put wrong things in the wrong bin. I learnt that my actions matter.
Chan Koo, Year 9