Seniors Julie Schneider and Krista Georgalas, environmental studies majors, were featured in the Summer 2018 issue of The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions Report (ANJEC) for their environmental capstone project. The article highlighted their sustainability efforts on Seton Hall's campus and with the South Orange Environmental Commission.
ANJEC is a statewide nonprofit organization providing leadership, education and support for environmental commissions and other environmental advocates. It works to achieve responsible and sustainable use of the state’s natural resources and protect environmental health.
Jennifer M. Coffey, ANJEC Executive Director said, "Many people don't realize that wasted food has huge environmental impacts. Seton Hall students did a great job of educating their collegiate community about the massive amount of wasted energy, depletion of freshwater resources and methane emissions that result from surplus food production in our country. ANJEC encourages local action like theirs to change food wasting behaviors."
"This feature of our project shows us that the time and effort we put in to make a difference was noticed and it feels great knowing that others will now read, realize and maybe take part too," Schneider said. "It is amazing to see how much of a difference someone can make with guidance from supportive professors and a strong team effort."
The students' sustainability project included conducting a waste audit of the Seton Hall dining hall, as well as creating an awareness campaign and working on source reduction to eliminate food waste. Lorraine Graves, a South Orange resident and expert on food waste reduction for the EPA, provided guidance throughout the project.
The article reported the student's suggestions on opportunities for source reduction including:
- When grocery shopping, buy only what you need
- Avoid over serving food by dishing out smaller meal portions
- Properly store food to prevent spoilage and maximize food lifespan
- Donate your excess food to your local food bank or charity
- Start composting food waste
Judith Stark, professor emerita of philosophy and the environment, directed the capstone project along with Wanda Knapik, environmental studies professor and Marian Glenn, professor emerita of biological sciences. Stark stated, "Krista and Julie took on the project with verve and focus and they did a great service to the entire Seton Hall community by educating all of us about this huge environmental problem."
Schneider and Georgalas also created a blog to record their efforts throughout their semester long capstone project. To view their blog, click here.
For more information Schneider and Georgalas’ project, as well as other student capstones, click here.