Kitchen Cabinet Meeting Minutes March 2020

Posted on March 19th, 2020 by

Kitchen Cabinet

March 9th, 2020

James Dontje, Karen Yess, Collin Carlson, Aviva Meyerhoff, Danielle Burger, Jen Donkin, Jeri Miller, Chuck Niederriter, Molly Yunkers, Steve Kjellgren, Tim Sisk, Peter Maiers, Paul Matzke, Mark Hansen, Bri Jol, Kevin Birr, JJ Akin

Sustainability Aviva Meyerhoff and Collin Carlson– They are doing work on improvements to the website & hope to work with admissions moving forward to get the word out to future Gusties on sustainability efforts happening on campus. Marketing and Communications is also working on doing updates to the Gustavus website for different departments.

They are hoping to do more signage in the cafeteria regarding educating students on items that are compostable.  They are also planning to do an educational campaign on waste management with posters, meetings and other.  They are also working with building services.  They plan to have a competition next fall between residence buildings related to energy savings.

There are also programs set up on college campuses such as recycle mania that could be utilized for programming.

JJ Akin – COVID -19 – 2 cases confirmed in MN.  He will be meeting with Heather Dale this morning & the infectious disease committee will be meeting twice weekly to explore different action options depending on how we are affected by the virus.   There are conversations going on regarding continuing operations such as food service if students were encouraged to go home for a period of time.   They will look at 4 or 5 case scenarios and will work out a plan for each.  Gustavus has only 40 students studying abroad this semester.  One student was in Japan & has altered their plan accordingly.

Food insecurity survey – Steve, Kevin, Karen, Jen, Jody met with 4 students who will be putting this survey today.  We discussed what does food insecurity look like on campus & how is it affecting students.  A standardized survey was shared with the students that could be utilized.  The goal is to get usable data to find if there is a group of our population that we are not serving.

PESC –  Jim Dontje – Solar project and energy conservation projects are running into a slow down with financing and the city has not been responding to questions they had regarding fees and the solar project.  The question needs to be asked to the president whether these projects are a priority in fundraising.  The project is expected to cost 3 million and could have a 9% reduction in energy use, with a long range goal of 25%.   Jim also anticipates there could be a 10% reduction with changes in behavior – turning more lights off, etc.     Physical Plant can see where more lights could be turned off when they are done cleaning, don’t turn lights on until a room is needed and they continue to replace light bulbs with LED’s.   The harder area is with heating.  With the proposed plan there would be a more central control system.    Not every building is connected to the central steam plant.  The newer generation of stand alone boilers are much more efficient than our steam plan, but we can switch fuel oils in the buildings.   The new Nobel Construction and the remodel are both on the steam plant with some upgrades.   They have found our steam plant is less efficient than they had been thinking.

 

Taste of The MarketPlace – Paul – Next is Tomorrow with Pete Haugen & Jeri Miller and then Paul and Kurt.  Seems to be going well and students are having fun with it.  Students are learning they can ask for a sample if they are wondering what a food tastes like.  Steve suggested tasting other items than the vegetarian items that students may not have tried, such as the cordon bleau.

Plastic Update – Molly – So far they have collected 581 pounds of plastic.  The most problem areas are from outside the campus that are brought in such as bags from grapes, ziplocs, granola bar wrappers, and dog food bags that can’t be collected.    They have earned their 4 foot bench and can only earn one every 6 months. At this point they don’t offer the Adirondack chair.  The area outside the Nobel café is in need of furniture.

Challenges – Two points in fines arts, Beck, Nobel, Marketing & 2 spots in campus center.  They are filling up once a week or every 2 weeks.  Dining Service is collecting over 100 lb per week.  Family Fresh is at capacity of what they can take from us on a weekly basis.  Molly is looking at if there is a place on campus we can collect the bags and partner with another company in town that we would have enough plastic where the haulers would come pick it up.

Fair Labor Commitment – Molly – Webinar a few weeks ago on forced labor in China.  Some is related to the criminal justice system, some is demand, some is genocide.   They are also building factories with daycares to get more women working and pulling people from farming communities.  It is targeting ethnic groups and impacting human rights.   This is the worst genocide since WW2.  This affects electronics, clothing/fabric, toys, furniture.  There are a couple of groups we can join to be part of an oversight group.

Forest Stewardship Council – Karen, Jim, Steve –  Took to PESC last month & feeling from that meeting was it is important to utilize this logo on items that go out from the campus, but this adds another layer of approval process for documents that are sent out from the college.

Composting on Campus – Tim, Peter, Rachel – There are some changes coming.  The goal is to open up composting to the entire campus, but will take some changes on their end to help be more efficient.   They meet with Rachel today to keep working on this.  They have taken tours of St. Olaf to see how their system works and will be a good model for our program.

April Environmental Fair – April 25 Discover the Outdoors is in the planning process.  Solar smores requested from Kitchen Cabinet.   Other events coming up – STEM SNL this weekend, Campus clean up as the snow melts.  Suggestion to have Campus Clean up during the work day to involve employees on campus.

It was mentioned there should be more on social media regarding the sustainability projects going on at campus.  There will be more conversation in the future with JJ Akin.

Next Meeting – April 13, 2020

 

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