Well you should be!
Because I hate leaving comments on other people’s blogs (except for Andrew, but then you only email him, so it’s not the same as actually leaving a comment).
From a friend’s blog:
I was browsing Facebook recently and I came across a group that was against the removal of trays at a college dining hall. I got reminded of the fact that trays were removed from my school this year in all of the dining halls. The claim is that they are reducing their carbon footprint and saving the environment by not using trays. Here are some claims related to tray removal and what I think of them.
People are dissuaded to eat more food. Without trays, people cannot carry as much to their tables. Students would have to get up and wait in line again to pick up more food; some students may not want to do this. A trayless dining hall convinces me to eat less, and I like the lack of trays in that respect. This only covers me, however. Some people prefer to eat more food at one sitting than others (and all the power to them if they do), and for them, this move by the dining halls is an extreme nuisance.
Hot plates will be impossible to hold. Two friends of mine has mentioned this point, with one also saying it would be impossible to get soup now that trays are gone. I remember getting a standard size plate under a small, hot plate to keep my hands from burning. It worked out, but that just ends up switching out trays and using plates, which still calls for washing that which was used to carry something else.
Tables will get dirtier. I saw this point in the Facebook group. Let’s face it: I’m not exactly a perfect eater and I don’t think anyone is. We sometimes accidentally knock things out of our plates and something might slip off. Back in the tray days, those pieces of food or drink would fall on the tray. Now, these things will fall on the table. This will lead to more table cleaning than usual, but that may not be as big a deal as the group makes it out to be. The staff has to (or at least should) wipe down every table anyway.
It’s inconvenient. Inconvenience stands as the biggest issue in my book. Not being able to carry as much and not being able to carry it as easily is a nasty price to pay for saving the environment. That sounds anti-environmentalist in and of itself, but I would have to know how much the environment is getting saved by the dining halls not using trays. Soap and water are saved in the cleaning process and workers no longer have to stack trays. Less water and employees having more time for other things. The big question is whether those two things add up to a worthy cause for tray removal.
I am overall inclined to believe that the removal of trays cause an inconvenience too big to replace by its benefits. There are so many other ways to save the environment that will have more beneficial results than the removal of trays in a dining hall. In a world where prices are going up all the time and we have to pay more for college tuition, room, and board, I don’t believe that services should be cut. Trays are no exception.
And my response:
Wait. Hold the phone. Are you really trying to say that just because something is inconvenient (not having trays in the dining hall), even though it would have a positive impact on something else (saving the environment), we shouldn’t do it? Not everything is convenient and just because something is inconvenient doesn’t mean that it still should be done.
It’s inconvenient for me to recycle because I don’t want to walk to the recycling place two blocks away. But it’s bad for the environment if I throw all of my bottles and paper in the trash, especially because these are the exact things that are the easiest to recycle. The action may be inconvenient for me because it adds 3 minutes to my walk to class one day a week, but in the end, it will help the world by creating less waste.
It’s inconvenient for me to do homework. I don’t like doing it. It takes up too much time and sometimes it’s just not necessary to do so. However it’s good to do homework because it means I will get good grades. Doing homework is inconvenient because it takes up most of my afternoons and evenings, but in the end, if I want to get good grades, I have to do my homework.
It’s inconvenient for society to vote in elections because people have to run around before and after work trying to get at the polls. People have to wait in line at the polls. The county or town needs to have staff at the polls. Candidates need to run expensive campaigns in order to get their names and messages out. But it’s good to have elections because our nation is a participatory democracy. Voting and elections may be inconvenient, but we all want our voices heard to a certain extent.
It’s inconvenient for society to provide a police force to arrest criminals. It means that we have to charge people taxes, hire cops, investigate crimes, put people in jail, and pay for jail. But it’s good to have a police force to take criminals off the street and make society safer. Paying taxes for the police force may be an annoyance but I don’t want someone robbing me in the middle of the night, every night.
There are differences between inconveniences that have no bearing on society or a person as a whole and inconveniences that can have a positive impact on society or a person. The inconvenience of not having trays in the dining hall is nothing compared to the amount of water and wasted food that is going to be saved.
Why should BU waste food when people in the world are starving? If you want to be charged less for board here it is, less food taken = less food the dining halls have to make = less food the dining halls buy = less money spent on food as a whole = less charged for board.
And if a simple thing such as removing the trays saves 1.5 million gallons of water a year, why not do it? The world’s resources are not going to be around forever. The world has provided us with so much and we have already ruined much of what we have been given. If all we have to do is go without trays, it’s not such an inconvenience if you consider that you are helping to save the environment in the process. It might be a little step, but lots of little steps put together become a large one.
If you seriously think that the benefits to the environment are not large enough for you to justify going without a tray in the dining hall, then go up to some dining hall staff and ask them for a tray. And while you’re at it, make sure you leave the lights on in your room, take a long shower, and throw out our newspapers and plastic bottles with the rest of your trash. Oh and make sure you vote for Palin for VP, because god knows (and He does) that she doesn’t care to much for saving the environment either.