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Home > Interpreter Magazine > Idea Mart > Sit-down meals save the earth

Sit-down meals save the earth

Imagine being able to positively impact the environment simply by sitting down to dine.

That's precisely what happened to campers and staff during the 2006 summer camps at the Warren W. Willis Youth Camp in Fruitland Park, Fla. -- all with a shift from buffet-style service to family-style dining.

"All the food, the dishes, plates, silverware and cups -- all that stuff was set," camp director Mike Standifer said. "In terms of talking to our kitchen, we had a whole lot less food waste."

Making the change to more permanent dining materials also cut down on waste from using paper cups, plates and napkins, saving loads of garbage each week.

"When you started to add up how many paper goods we were using on a daily basis ... It was a phenomenal amount," Standifer said, adding the total came to about 8,400 cups and napkins per week or "75,000-plus cups (per summer) that we were using once and throwing away."

Now the camp has hard plastic tumblers and coffee cups, dinner and salad plates, bowls and cloth napkins to accompany the silverware used for each meal.

"It cost us a lot up front, but next year we won't have to buy any of that equipment," Standifer said. "In the long run, we are saving money, as well as saving the environment."

--Jenna De Marco, Viera, Fla., is a freelance writer.
This article originally appeared in the
Florida Conference

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