University of Florida
Krishna lunches have always been karma-neutral. Soon, they will be almost carbon-neutral.
Beginning the Monday after Spring Break, the Krishna House, which has been serving vegetarian meals at UF since 1971, will begin to turn all waste from the utensils used for the lunches into compost.
Since 2008, the program has used biodegradable utensils made of sugarcane and corn husks. Until now, they have been disposed and taken to area landfills.
The new program will create both ecological and spiritual benefits, said Carl Woodham, director of the Krishna Lunch program.
“Eating vegetarian is the No. 1 thing to help the earth,” he said. “This program is just an extension of that.”
The Krishna House pays $500 each month to UF in waste disposal fees from lunch-related garbage, he said.
“If [the program] is successful, then we will ask UF if they will remove the fee,” Woodham said. “They are enthusiastic about green initiatives, so I think they will do it.”
To make the program work, students must discard their plates, cups and forks into green bins that will be set around the southwest corner of the Plaza of the Americas, said Hanan Schwefel, who has been serving Krishna lunches for the past eight years.
The waste will be collected from around the Plaza of the Americas, where it will be put on top of a van and driven up to a compost site in north Alachua County, Woodham said.
The owner of the compost machine, Harry Windle, will then sell the compost to farmers and gardeners, he said.