Compost benefit outweighs cost

By Ali Qazi

The four dining halls remind students not to waste food, but this is not enough. The dining halls should promote composting becuase saving the environment is important. Even though there isn’t enough return in revenue from saving the environment, it definitely beats the alternative.

The Green Team is helping NIU evolve into a more sustainable campus. They are a diverse team of faculty, staff and students who work together and contribute to many on-campus improvements, according to The Green Team website.

The Green Team declined to comment.

There are multiple ways to help the environment. For example, recycle by skipping plastic bags and using reusable bags, or compost leftover or expired food that would normally get thrown away.

Composting is a natural process which turns organic material into rich substances for soil. Once inserted into the soil, the nutrients from the compost will help plants grow better. In other words, composting helps to make gardens grow in a much healthier way.

“Composting is a great thing for the environment, but the cost associated with composting currently at NIU and [in] the DeKalb area creates a challenging cost-benefit analysis,” Director of Campus Dining Dan Koenen said. “Campus dining would be more than willing to continue to look into options that would make composting economically feasible and productive, but right now we think that costs outweigh the benefit.”

While this is a valid argument, with all the pollution that is going on in the world, the university needs to be the one to initiate the change. In hopes of helping promote a positive message across the neighborhood, the university should try to help reduce its carbon footprint for the well-being of our planet.

“Wasting food isn’t good; we should do something productive with it,” Ibrahim Ziden, junior rehabilitation and disability services major, said.

There are some signs in the dining halls which encourage students to eat as much as they like, but to make sure they finish all they took on their plate in hopes to fight food waste.

The planet is our home, which means we are the caretakers. If we are wasting a lot of food on campus, then composting should be the solution.

Students who wish to work together on campus to help reduce NIU’s carbon footprint should join the Green Team.