The Commons should follow UB’s environmental approach

styfrofoam-boxes
The Spectrum

UB has become more eco-friendly over the years. 

Campus Dining and Shops introduced recyclable and reusable plastic cups last year, UB continues to promote UBReUse at the end of every school year so students can recycle their goods and UB isn’t building on the 200 acres of land east of the Millersport Highway to preserve the area. 

UB even came in at number 22 on College Consensus’ Top Green Colleges list.

But that doesn’t mean the entire campus is eco-friendly. 

In today’s issue of The Spectrum, we printed a story about the UB Professional Staff Senate’s unsuccessful attempt to fully “green” The Commons mini mall. In 2015, the Professional Staff Senate passed “Resolution to Green the Commons.” They planned on going around and asking Commons business owners to stop using styrofoam containers for food with pamphlets, petitions and even brought samples of more sustainable options to the vendors.

UB can’t dictate what the businesses package their food in, as the mini mall is managed by UB Commons Inc. and isn’t a part of Campus Dining and Shops. CDS itself has made an effort to become eco-friendly, but has no control over The Commons’ use of styrofoam containers.

But business owners don’t want to switch to more sustainable options due to cost effectiveness.

The Commons is in a central hub of UB’s North Campus and undermines the ideology behind going green campus-wide.

We also wouldn’t mind paying –– at most –– 25 cents more for a slice of pizza if it means saving the planet, as this is what the new containers would cost. LaRosa’s, a pizza shop in The Commons, charges at least $3 for a slice of pizza. The accessibility of the food already has it set at higher prices than other pizza shops in Buffalo, so a few cents more wouldn’t break the bank for customers like the restaurant manager thinks. 

The Commons is partway invested in helping the environment. Dancing Chopsticks has one recycling bin that helps the situation. 

But adding more in other shops and pushing toward eco-friendly containers would go a long way. 

Each Commons establishment has garnered a healthy following and steady business every day. Prices for eco-friendly materials may not be cost effective momentarily, but each business is more than capable of offsetting the costs by raising prices just a bit.

The Commons is on UB campus so businesses should follow the precedent set by UB. 

This is our campus and, more importantly, this is our planet.

The editorial board can be reached at opinion@ubspectrum.com