AMHERST, Mass. – At the Sylvan Snack Bar in the basement of McNamara Hall at the University of Massachusetts, those who can bring reusable containers can walk out with a reward.
A reward that happens to come with chocolate chips.
The student-run co-operative offers a free cookie to customers who come in with their own reusable containers for their orders.
The practice, which was initially launched during the Fall 2015 semester by co-manager Emily Hartmann, has been one of the main steps taken by the student-run co-op to cut down on waste. They decided the trade off for a cookie was a good way to attract customers while doing so.
“Cookies are very low cost to us and relatively, our compostable to go boxes are on the more expensive side,” said Hartmann. “It doesn't cost us much to give out a free cookie rather than a to-go box and it encourages people to reuse.”
“Whatever the cost of the cookies, I think it’s worth it for us,” said co-manager Zack Peterson.
Hartmann, a senior Natural Resource Conservation major, has lead the efforts for sustainable practices at the Sylvan Snack Bar since first joining in the Fall 2015 semester, which she considers “very important” to her and has encouraged fellow co-managers to see the importance of it as well.
“I have a lot of admiration for the effort put into sustainability,” said Peterson, who believes individuals and businesses alike should make the efforts themselves to become more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.