The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

USC launches Meatless Wednesdays to reduce carbon emissions

Lani Ngonethong
SUSTAINING SPA. After implementing Meatless Wednesday, the Upper School Council (USC) moves towards planning Earth Week. USC members raise their hands to volunteer to run various stations and activities throughout the week.

The sustainability proposal, drafted by the Upper School Council’s (USC) senior representatives Leo Benson, Henry Hilton and McKinley Garner, was passed in the fall. One of the sections of the proposal was implemented the following week after spring break: Meatless Wednesday.

The purpose of Meatless Wednesday is to lower SPA’s lunch carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is a measurement of how much carbon dioxide someone or something emits. High carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have contributed to climate change and global warming. “Food plays into the carbon footprint pretty drastically…It has a big impact,” Hilton said.

An Oxford University study showed that a heavy-meat diet amounts to about 10.24 kg of greenhouse gasses each day compared to a low-meat diet, which produces 5.37 kg per day. Additionally, vegan diets produce 2.47 kg a day.

The Food and Agricultural Organization reported that livestock supply chains are responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. About two-thirds of that comes from cattle.

“[Meatless Wednesday would] thus be moving away, for one day, from those foods,” Hilton said. “But more important than that, the day can serve as a way for people to be exposed to new types of vegetarian recipes that they could…recreate outside of SPA.”

Another aspect of the sustainability proposal that goes hand in hand with Meatless Wednesday is getting SPA to publish its emissions data, which includes food waste. This would show how many carbon emissions SPA releases into the atmosphere and provide ideas for a more sustainable SPA. Benson, Hilton, Garner and the school administration are still working on getting the data.

Food plays into the carbon footprint pretty drastically…It has a big impact.

— Henry Hilton

Meatless Wednesday was initially supposed to be Meatless Monday. However, with this addition to the lunch schedule happening halfway through the second semester, Wednesday was the best day because pasta dishes are usually served. Meat, such as chicken or sausage, is served separately, making it much easier to remove from the lunch plan and requiring fewer changes in the lunch schedule.

However, Meatless Monday (in addition to Meatless Wednesday) remains the aim. “A future goal with the [USC underclassmen representatives is to] try and push the administration and Chef Tom to have more variety of vegetarian meals,” Garner said.

Having the meatless day on another day will mean that the administration and lunch staff will have to work harder to create a vegetarian menu compared to serving pasta, an already vegetarian dish, without meat every Wednesday.

Benson, Hilton and Garner graduate this year, and they plan to leave the sustainability proposal in the hands of their USC underclassmen and future USC members.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lani Ngonethong
Lani Ngonethong, News Editor
My name is Lani Ngonethong, she/her. I am a News Editor for the Rubicon Online, and this is my second year on staff. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball and badminton with friends and family. I am also learning how to speak Hmong and Lao. I love to play with cats even though I am very allergic to them. I can be reached at [email protected].

Comments (0)

Comments are welcomed on most stories at The Rubicon online. The Rubicon hopes this promotes thoughtful and meaningful discussion. We do not permit or publish libel or defamatory statements; comments that advertise or try to sell to the community; any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others; the use of profanity. Comments will be moderated, but not edited, and will post after they are approved by the Director of RubicOnline.  It is at the discretion of the staff to close the comments option on stories.
All The Rubicon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.