BUDS Celebrates Earth Day
May 12, 2022
Written by Elaina Bonora, BUDS Editorial Intern
Earth Day is a time for us all to think about what we can do to support our environment and share the different ways that we can better our environmental impact and practice sustainability. This Earth Day, on April 22, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) joined in on University festivities and held exciting activities of our own!
The celebration included an informational tabling by VINES (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments) next to Farmer’s Field in The MarketPlace. VINES is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to improving Binghamton neighborhoods through urban gardening. Students, faculty, and staff were able to chat with representatives from the organization after grabbing a customized salad or the Earth Day exclusive Green Goddess Salad, featuring a fresh blend of crisp cabbage, cucumbers, scallions, and a savory lemon dressing. Out on the Spine, Incogmeato vegan tender samples were offered by BUDS along with information on vegan and vegetarian dining on campus.
Over at Hinman Dining Hall, students had the opportunity to stop by the BUDS Marketing Intern table to learn more about current sustainability initiatives on campus like the Fill it Forward program, OZZI reusable containers, and vegan and vegetarian dining options. Students could enter the “Go Green With BUDS” reusable water bottle giveaway, spin a wheel for prizes, and even receive a discount on their meal if they brought their OZZI reusable takeout container.
Retail Manager Chris Harasta is a leader in BUDS’ natural-resource preservation efforts and describes sustainability as “living in such a way that we meet our own needs without compromising the needs of future generations.” To assist in BUDS’ own sustainability efforts, this semester, the role of Student Sustainability Coordinator was introduced. Harasta spoke of the exciting new addition saying:
“We first thought of this position when we were assessing our current Food Recovery program. The purpose of food recovery is to prevent food from being thrown away and we believed that it would be beneficial to have a dedicated person directly overseeing this, ensuring that we captured as much food waste as possible. She is primarily focused on food recovery; she starts her shift as The MarketPlace is closing down for the day and goes to each station, collecting food for donations. She then weighs the food, records the weights, and safely packages the food for pick up the next day, which is then donated to local food banks.”
BUDS is committed to practicing sustainability and food recovery and plans to continue our efforts for years to come. In discussing future plans for sustainability on the Binghamton University campus, Harasta explained:
“Plant-based dining options are currently in high demand, and for good reason. So, a focus for the coming years is to encourage students to eat more plant-based foods by offering more and better plant-based options.”
BUDS is always looking for new ways to incorporate sustainability in our day-to-day operations and continues to remain proactive in addressing environmental issues.