Brookhaven National Lab: an incredible place for incredible people

 

All students here probably know that Stony Brook University has a partnership with Brookhaven National Lab, but we’re not quite sure what it is or what is its purpose.
I recently went on a field trip with one of my classes and I was surprised to learn so much about this institution.

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Stony Brook Welcomes a New Campus Dining Provider

Coming back to campus this semester, it was evident that there was something different about the food. Returning students found new concepts, including a salad bar, in the Union, vegan options in Kelly Quad and updates to the SAC cafeteria, too.

The changes are due to the new campus food provider, Lackmann Culinary Services. Lackmann is the replacement for Chartwells, the company that had provided campus food for years. Lackmann’s goals are to provide cheap, delicious and healthy food to the campus body.

After an extensive search, including investigating the options at a large buffet-style dining hall, Lackmann was chosen due to its local ties and affordability for students according to the campus dining bid committee.

The new campus dining provider has also spearheaded the “china first” program in H-quad, a green initiative where students use real utensils while they eat. The company plans to extend this idea to other parts of the campus and to continue using biodegradable containers and utensils.

Though it is too early to tell what students think of the food, it is clear that changes involving campus dining were needed on campus due to student complaints. According to the campus dining bid committee, students had many concerns about Chartwells including prices, hospitality and the quality of the food.

stonybrookeating

The Student Activity Center during lunch time

Poland Spring Water Bottle Caps Shrinking

Poland Spring is going hard on green initiatives. You may have already noticed on the Poland Spring poland springwater bottle labels that they are using less plastic and urge people to recycle. Also, they changed the bottle shape some time ago making it more environmentally friendly. Well guess what? They shrunk the plastic caps too! The other day I was about to twist off the cap of the bottle and noticed that the cap was half the size. I couldn’t believe how tiny the cap was. It’s like twisting a quarter on the top of the bottle after you finishing taking a sip.

The message on the new and improved bottle and cap says: “Smaller Cap=Less Plastic Did you notice this bottle has a shorter cap? This is part of our ongoing effort to reduce our impact on the environment. This bottle and cap contain an average of 20% less plastic than our original 0.5 L Eco-Shape bottle and cap.”

I probably should stop drinking from plastic bottles and be more eco-friendly. I think Poland Spring is trying to give their consumers the hint to use metal canteens and reusable containers. It seems like many students and even faculty members on campus are becoming more environmentally conscious. I see tons of metal canteens in all colors, sizes and even ones with funky patterns all around campus. It seems to be a new trend.

Food and the Healthcare Debate

Last night I was on  treehugger.com , looking for tips on  how to properly dispose of houselhold items, and noticed an article on food and the healthcare debate.  

In the article “6 Reasons Food is Essential to the Healthcare Debate” David Defranza says that we should focus on health and not healthcare. He believes the debate should shift from “access and cost,”  to food, namelywhat and how we eat it.

He maintains that the cost of treating preventable chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease is astronomical. Indeed, according to the federal Center for Disease Control, diseases of the heart is the leading cause of death in the United States at 652,00o people in 2005. Many disesases of the heart have been linked to diet.

Defranza contends, that eating healthier, more locally grown foods would not only keep America healthier it would also save money on healthcare and help save the earth.

What do you think?

Waste of Energy

see also: The Big Red Going Hard on Going Green

I don’t know how much people know about the stereotypes other cultures have about them. Well, Europeans have a lot of them about Americans. Americans are said to be fat, arrogant, superficial and waste a lot of energy. One of the reasons why I am here for one semester is to find out what is the truth about that. After nearly four weeks, I can say that most people in New York and on campus have a normal weight and are quite friendly! But what can I say about this other thing?

I’m sorry to say it, but YES Americans waste a LOT of energy! It starts with an air conditioner in every room on campus, it goes on with twenty plastic bags you get in the supermarket and it ends with plastic cutlery in the food court. As you are used to it you might not see it, but for me it is so different than at home. We don’t have so many air conditioners. We just wear t-shirts and short pants when it’s hot. When we go to the supermarket we bring our own bags or box to put the food in. When we eat in the food court, we use steel cutlery and the staff washes them after use.

Maybe it is part of the “cultural shock” I experience here, but it makes me kind of angry to see that people are proud on “going green” when they just don’t do it. (And please don’t tell me it saves water if you don’t wash the cutlery and plates, I know it does, but this is nothing in comparison.)

im-with-stupid

Saving Up Cash While Going Green!

WONDER HOW THESE BAGS COULD HELP YOU SAVE BIG ON CAMPUS?

Last week I had commented on my previous blog post about how to save some cash while going green on campus.  Well here it is!  If you are resident on campus this may only apply to you…  so sorry commuters. Starting this semester, all residents who have meal plans are able to save two cents per purchase if they buy a Stony Brook tote available at most dinning facilities on campus for only a dollar.  So every time you go food shopping, remember to bring your bag along in order to save up!  The bags come in great colors. So go and purchase your tote today and save money while you save the planet. Go green!

The Big Red Going Hard on Going Green

Photo: bunrab.com

Lately, you may have noticed the exceptional remodeling of various dining halls and a few more food choices on campus, but if you take a closer look at the utensils, you may notice that there is also change in them too! Yes, they are biodegradable! How can you tell? Well, it says biodegradable on the handle!

This semester Stony Brook has become more serious on its efforts on going green. You may have remembered Stony Brook in previous years, when it first started its ‘going green mission,’ with  green biodegradable bags in previous semesters made with plastic that quickly degrades when it’s thrown out, reducing landfill space. Now Stony Brook continues to find new ways to help the enviornment by using  more biodegradable materials, found in almost every dining facility.

GO GREEN!

Next week find out how you can save money by going green on campus. While you help SBU save the planet… SBU will help you save some cash!