Meeting Minutes – November 3, 2008

Posted on November 3rd, 2008 by

Present: Deborah Downs-Miers, Marilla MacGregor, Steve Kjellgren, Joe Lencioni, Jim Dontje, Kayla Tacke, Cindy Johnson Groh, Lisa Heldke

Report from the Dining Service Director (Steve Kjellgren)

Steve reported that last year to date, we’d used 19,200 to-go boxes. This year, we’ve used 8300. This has indeed cut our use in half, which was our initial goal. At 40 cents per box, this represents a savings in cardboard costs of $4360. However, the initial investment in Gustieware was $14,000, which means we need several more months of this kind of reduction before we make up the cost of the plastic. Furthermore, he’ll be purchasing 500 more of each size, which means an additional investment.

  • Kitchen Cabinet intern Angela Yahnka will make some graphics that illustrate the savings in cardboard and in dollars. (Lisa was thinking “thermometer,” but now she’s thinking “tree.”)

At any given point, there are only 25 to 100 containers available in the Dining Service; it’s not clear where the remainder (2900?) are; presumably, most of them are languishing in people’s rooms and have not entered the waste stream.

  • Dining Service is (or will be) doing a pickup program at the library; all other return programs are on a voluntary basis. Custodians are not, for the most part, adding this to their regular duties. Return programs need to be coordinated by volunteers.

Report from the Gustieware Subcommittee (Jim Dontje)

Jim proposed that this group focus its attention on finding out where the containers are, in the interests of figuring out appropriate measures for returning them to circulation.

  • Angela will do a “woman on the street” poll of users, to gather some informal data (which she can use for advertising, and also to give some anecdotal answers to the question “where are they?”)
  • Jim will contact the Public Discourse student who is interested in conducting a survey about the Gustieware, to coordinate efforts with him/her.

FTS activist project preliminary inquiry

Members of Cindy Johnson-Groh’s FTS came to discuss their preliminary explorations regarding reducing or eliminating the use of (prefilled) plastic water bottles. Among the projects they are considering are: a “Pepsi Challenge” style water tasting; an art project made of discarded water bottles; a campaign to increase the sale and use of reusable bottles; additional water dispensers. The Cabinet, and Steve, expressed enthusiasm for the effort, and outlined some of the obstacles and opportunities the group might encounter.

Report from the meet-with-the-president group (Deborah Downs-Miers, Jim Dontje)

Deborah has received word that it will be possible to have a meeting with the president. The group discussed the shape that the meeting should take, both in terms of representation and in terms of message. The net:

  • The message this group wishes to bring is that sustainability is a part of the academic and community life of Gustavus, not only part of its physical plant. Sustainability should be part of the brief carried by each Commission 150 task force. (While there is a strong internally-focused sustainability campaign, this needs to be carried outwards.)
  • The group will include people who represent more than one constituency; it’s important to show that there is broad support for this agenda.
  • It would be helpful for Barb Larson Taylor to be at the table, given her role in Commission 150.
  • Cindy will draft a one-page white paper to be distributed to the president in advance of the meeting, and will send it out for review.
  • Deborah will convene a meeting with Jim and with John Mattson, to assemble the group to meet with the president.

Report from the Kitchen Cabinet Intern (Lisa Heldke, for Angela Yahnke)


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