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-   -   Soda Machines in Theo (https://community.drew.edu//showthread.php?t=1547)

09-04-2008 02:35 PM

Soda Machines in Theo
In light of Dr. Kearns' address in chapel today about our stewardship of the Earth - particularly her point about the number of soda and water bottles we use and then throw away - I wonder if we might consider removing the soda machine in the lower level of the Theological School?

At the very least, we could take it upon ourselves as a discipline to simply abstain from using the machine. A sustained decrease in revenue will lead the owner to move it to a more profitable location.

I admire the grand examples highlighted in her presentation (solar churches, geothermal seminary buildings, etc), but as Dr. Kearns points out, it's the daily commitments we make that will have the greatest impact on reducing our total level of pollution.



Maureen Tauriello 09-04-2008 04:22 PM

Don't get rid of the soda machine unless the cafe wants to have cold beverages available for sale....sometimes between classes I just want some cold refreshment....sorry if it's not PC.

Natalie E. Finch-Howard 09-04-2008 04:40 PM

hmmm...daily commitments like thinking twice before throwing the bottle away in the trash, but seeking out the recycling bin. I started becoming a trash/recycling picker like Dr. Kearns last semester, because I was getting so frustrated at people NOT paying attention to the proper bins!!! granted sometimes I know the top doesn't match the words on the bin, but I once I cleaned out trash for the plastic recycling, and I literally turned away from it, and someone had stuck their bag lunch in the recycling!!! HOW FRUSTRATING!!! Sometimes I get soooo angry and I can't figure out how to help those who are a little dense with the bins.
But Anil, you bring up an excellent debate. Especially since Coke as a company has such a bad track record. I think taking away the coke machine might be a bold step, and would make people angry. But if we can sell alternative beverages like juice or a vending machine that sells something else...

Maureen Tauriello 09-04-2008 05:16 PM

maybe I'm missing something but how would a juice machine which dispenses drinks in plastic bottles or cans be any different than soda machine?

I would hope that the larger population would be able to have input as to whether we should/should not provide the option of cold beverages. I think it is unfair to let a few vocal people speak for all of us.

Natalie E. Finch-Howard 09-04-2008 06:39 PM

sorry Maureen, I didn't mean to imply that another vending machine would cut down on the plastic bottle thing. You are completely right about that. But maybe a juice vending machine would be a good alternative to the soda. Since we are in a constant discussion of clergy health, bringing healthier choices to the vending machines that both TSA and other groups have talked about. I meant in response to people who might want another beverage option outside of the Coke company. I think the cutting down on plastic bottles will be a continuing question that needs thought for good alternatives.
And of course, those kinds of decisions would be for TSA, I think Anil was just trying to get some discussion generated around the topic, as I was just trying to brainstorm some ideas.

Todd R. Lattig 09-05-2008 11:11 AM

I am an avid user of the vending machine...but in light of Dr. Kearn's message yesterday, I must say, Anil, that you do bring up a good point. If the production of plastic, in particular plastic bottles, is detrimental to the environment (only 10% get recycled), is over-consuming the earth's natural resources (heavy use of oil to produce them), and we as a community believe that something ought to be done to stop destroying this planet, then it seems only logical that the community should no longer support the vending machine. Also, if Drew as a community (beyond the Theo school) is concerned about the environment, perhaps it should be suggested to President Bob and others who hold power at the school that Drew should not be supporting the plastic industry at all. The vending machines, and plastic bottles, are convenient...but shouldn't we do what's right over what's convenient?

Of course we need to start somewhere and the Theo building is where we should probably start...but then again, if we get rid of the vending machines in the Theo building and the campus itself doesn't follow suit then we've gotten rid of a convenient source of refreshment while doing little to nothing in regards to the stopping the support of the plastic bottle industry. So we need to set the example, but really push for the example to be followed. Just some thoughts

Saul Saul 09-05-2008 03:29 PM

I know I'm not a Theo Student
And I didn't get the benefit of Dr. Kearns's speach... but I just would like to point out as a person who fully supports the environmental movement (Have yet to be arrested, but got close once. *grin*) that plastic is not automatically evil.

There are several amazing and life-saving techniques that are possible in the medical community only because of the advent of plastics. The research into those applications of plastics sadly draws at least a portion of its impetus from the commercial sale of plastics as well. So, given the positive applications of plastic, I think it would be irresponsible for the University to no longer support the plastics industry at all.

Now with that said, I agree that a stronger ideal of reduce,reuse, recycle is something that we should all work on as both individuals and as a community.

Todd R. Lattig 09-05-2008 09:49 PM

John, let me clarify myself. The discussion, as posted by Anil, is about the usage of Plastic Bottles. I recognize that NOT ALL plastics are bad, and I am not saying that Drew should boycott the entire plastics industry. I am simply speaking of the the plastic bottle industry. The problem, as was mentioned in one of the posts above, is that people will often throw garbage out in the recycling bin (rendering the whole bin of recyclables useless as they can't be recycled with garbage and food all over them...they simply won't be collected as recyclables that way). They also often throw recyclables in the garbage. No matter what program you have to educate people with on recycling, the majority of people (if the 10% stat is true...and I assume it is) don't recycle a whole lot. This is a huge environmental issue.

Now I must say, Drew could do more to encourage people to recycle. For instance, they could place clearly marked recycle bins next to every garbage can on campus. So, when I am at the Methodist Library, I don't have to walk all the way over to Sem. Hall to recycle my soda bottle. If there is a recycle bin there, it is not in a conspicuous place. I, personally, do hold on to my bottles and make sure that I walk them over to the recycling containers at Sem Hall; however, I am sure not everyone does.

But even with that in place, there are still going to be people who refuse to recycle...people who care more for convenience (walking one step in stead of two) than they do about the environment. So, what do we do? Yes, we do still advocate recycling, perhaps in stronger and more effective ways. But can we stop there? If we are serious about creating a climate of change when it comes to our planet we need to say "no" to convenience and say "yes" to what is right. And from the sound of it, you seem to be in line with that. So that is where I am coming from. I realize that I did only use the term "plastic" and so I do apologize for the confusion. I am not advocating a ban on all plastics, just the reduction of a certain kind of plastic...namely the plastic "beverage" bottle.

09-05-2008 10:19 PM

Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Soda & water dispensers in the Cyber cafe - these can serve hundreds of gallons of soda, lemonade, iced tea etc. into our own glasses, mugs and reusable bottles.

Pitchers of iced tea, coffee, lemonade and water kept in a refrigerator and sold by the serving by the folks in Cyber cafe.

I'm sure there are other alternatives to the soda machines we can think of. The point here is that as aspiring religious leaders who may have an eye on exhorting future congregations to greater degrees of Earth Stewardship, we might want to consider putting into faithful action those words that were so enthusiastically received in chapel.

Thanks for all your comments!

Diana L. Wilcox 09-13-2008 03:33 PM

Well, I want to be a good citizen of the Earth, and at first practically had a panic about not having diet coke available. However, so long as I can get my fizzy injection of no cal caffeine via some type of soda fountain, I am good with it. But, I am pleading (okay, really begging) that the machine is not removed until this is in place (me without my diet coke is an ugly thing :-O )

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