Students look at a pile of 7,000 Styrofoam boxes in the Fresh Food Company that will be replaced by reusable to-go boxes.
Reusable to-go containers, a car-sharing program and a new solar bus help the campus community tread more lightly on the earth
Last year, Wake Forest students used nearly a quarter of a million polystyrene, clamshell containers for carry-out food from campus dining rooms — about 7,000 containers per week. Containers made from polystyrene foam, more commonly known as Styrofoam, aren't recyclable in the Winston-Salem area.
To help solve the problem, reusable to-go boxes are now available for free at the Fresh Food Company (the Pit), the Magnolia Room and in the Benson University Center, part of Dining Services' "Erase the Waste" campaign. When used containers are returned, they're washed and sanitized, and ready to use again.
The University has also launched a car-sharing program, Zipcar. Two cars are available — a hybrid Honda Insight and a Honda Civic — for use on an hourly or daily basis by students, faculty and staff. It's estimated that each Zipcar on a college campus eliminates 15 to 20 student-owned vehicles, reducing traffic congestion and the need for parking. Students must register in advance to drive a Zipcar and then can reserve one online.
Earlier this semester, the University began using a solar-electric hybrid shuttle to take students, faculty and staff around the Reynolda Campus. The 14-passenger vehicle converts direct sunlight into electricity; a series of solar cells on the roof helps generate the electrical energy needed to charge the shuttle's 16 maintenance-free batteries. At night, an automatic charger is plugged into the vehicle to completely recharge the batteries using electricity.