-by Anya Keomurjian and Jessica Monaco- We all know about the club that meets in room 201 every Thursday. Conserve Our World, more commonly known by the acronym “COW,” is a club that works towards implementing more environmentally friendly measures at Winsor, such as the compost bins in the cafeteria. These compost bins alone have reduced the number of garbage bags Winsor students use each day from 6-8 to one. But what else has the club been quietly working on behind the scenes?
COW does plenty to make the school a greener place, so much so that people may not know all that they do. For starters, the members of COW have been collaborating with the kitchen staff to implement several more environmentally friendly measures in the already extremely green Winsor cafeteria. Programs such as “Paperless Tuesday” and the elimination of plastic cups have already taken place. The club has also taken an interest in oil pipelines and within the group often discusses their environmental implications.
The cafeteria takes special measures to ensure that Winsor lunch each day is as eco-friendly as possible and keeps COW informed about what they are doing. The kitchen only uses CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and low-flow cafeteria sinks and hoses for cleaning. Winsor has purchased cage-free eggs for five years and has gradually reduced its amount of non-compostable food waste to only a few items, like potato chip bags and wax paper.
Winsor puts a tremendous emphasis on locally grown food, including meat and produce. The cafeteria staff ensure that all of the food served at Winsor is grown as close to home as possible. Unfortunately, local farms will often have to sell their products to some sort of middle man before the public can buy them, which means that farmers often won’t get the full value of their food. At Winsor, we use an aggregator, or a company that cuts out the middle man. The company we use, called Food X, ensures that the local farms are getting the full value of their products with each sale and thereby helps support locally grown food. We even get all of our fish within 48 hours of its being caught. Along with Noble and Greenough, Winsor is a pioneering member of the Green Restaurant Association. As a member of this organization, the Winsor cafeteria ensures that they provide a locally-grown, eco-friendly meal every day.
What might be in the future for COW? In addition to partnering with Winsor’s cafeteria, members have been working towards getting a new water fountain with a water bottle filling station similar to the one in the Lower School hallway for the cafeteria hallway. They will thereby promote water bottle use in the cafeteria in order to reduce the amount of disposable cups we use and the amount of water used when washing cups. It is a health hazard to fill up water bottles using the drink machines currently in the cafeteria, but the design of this particular machine would allow people to fill reusable water bottles brought from home. In addition, the club is planning a Muddy River pickup, which will give the community a chance to tidy up an ecosystem close to home, as well as a series of visits to a local farm in order to learn about sustainable agriculture. Look forward to more ways that COW will help us become an even greener school!