It’s time to spork over the metal utensils.
Sporks – half spoon, half fork- can now be purchased at The Marketplace and Brennan’s for $1 at the cash register using meal points, Cat$cratch, debit, credit or cash.
Until this semester, sporks were only available for sale at the student life office or when Eco-Reps tabled events like farmers markets and the week of welcome, according to Caylin McKee, former Eco-Rep and current sustainability coordinator at Sodexo.
Easy spork accessibility has been a dream of the Eco-Reps since the program was started by former Eco-Rep Livy Bulger in 2010, McKee said.
It has also been a dream of Marketplace Manager Cathy Barrows.
In a typical semester, thousands of metal utensils are lost, stolen or thrown out, she said.
The idea of selling sporks in on-campus dining locations was again raised by Eco-Reps to the Dining Services Advisory Committee this past September.
After this proposal, McKee, now working for Sodexo, thought that she was in a good position to finally make it happen.
Student Life donated the sporks for the pilot project and 200 have been sold since opening day on Jan. 14. There were even days when they ran out, having to turn students away with instructions to come back at a later time.
Since the project was such a success, the plan for the foreseeable future is to order more sporks and expand sales to the rest of the dining locations on campus.
The continual reuse of sporks by students over plastic utensils significantly cuts down the amount of utensil waste on campus.
The benefits for students are considerable, as Sodexo includes a five-cent utensil charge for every meal you order which requires a utensil.
This initiative will not make the University or Sodexo any money. In fact, the sporks are currently being purchased for more than they are being sold.
The point of the project is not money-it is to address this sustainability issue on campus while benefiting both the students and the environment.
Spork sales in the past few weeks have surpassed sales usually made by Eco-Reps in a whole academic year.
“I think the appeal is that you can now buy them in the right setting, right before eating your meal, when grabbing a utensil is on your mind,” McKee said.
You can Instagram your most creative spork picture with #ReduceReuseRespork to win a titanium spork.