Eco-Tainers Produce a Variety of Student Responses

The introduction of Eco-tainers—or, as they are affectionately known, Clamshells—at the dining halls this year has caused a variety of reactions from both students and staff. Some people view the containers as a hassle, others believe they are environmentally beneficial and some see them as harmful to the environment. Each college has implemented a slightly different Eco-tainer policy, and all are now charging for disposable take-out containers. Each Scripps student was lucky to receive a free container, but faculty and staff, as well as students from other colleges, had to pay for theirs. voice wanted to hear your input. Is it a good system? Do you feel like they have a positive environmental impact? Here are some responses from

“It was a creative attempt to solve a problem, but I think a lot of times I’m caught in the dining hall without it and end up having to pay the 50 cents for a throw-away container anyway. A lot of those [throw-away containers] get wasted anyway because you have to know ahead of time. The washing thing is problematic in that you have to wash it yourself—wasting more water—because you don’t know how long it will be until you use it again. But then you bring it in and they wash it again because it’s unsanitary if only we do. The washing thing wastes water. Having different containers between the different dining halls is poor planning. I’m beginning to question whether switching to the Eco-tainers is an environmental thing or a money-saving thing for the powers-that-be. Because it is definitely not saving money for students.” - Olivia Lopes '12

“I’m apathetic…A lot of people think it’s a hassle because they have to go back to their room to get it, but it hasn’t inconvenienced me. So far I think it’s fine.” - Kim Anderson '12

“I like the to-go containers, but I wish that it were a 5C system...so that we could use the containers at any dining hall. I also don’t like that I would have to carry it around if I want to go from class to the dining hall...” - Paulina Sanchez '11

“I’m not fond of it. With only two meals a week, it gets stinky in our office so we have to bring it back after our meal. Also, there’s no good place to rinse them before we turn them in <because food is not meant to go down the bathroom drains>. And what about Fridays? Am I just supposed to let it stink in my office over the weekend?” - Alane Caldwell (staff)

“I liked the throw-away ability of the old ones, to finish and just toss it. I hang out with my wife at lunch, so now I have to bring the gross thing with me and then return it when I get back to Scripps because I don’t want to leave it dirty in my office. Staff is allowed lunch so rarely that I exchange it for a clean one at the end of the meal. It’s not too bad of a problem, though.” - Weslee Hatfield (staff)

“I really appreciate Scripps paying for environment-friendly-to-go containers for all Scripps students and the fact that they are such a substantial size. The one thing though is that I am sad I can’t use them at the other colleges’ dining halls.” - Anonymous Student

“I think that they are a great step in making the Scripps community more aware of our impact on the environment. The containers do require water to be washed, but I think the fact that we are creating less waste in the end saves more.” - Adrienne Beitcher (member of the Scripps Environmental Club) '12

“I like the system. At first I wasn’t sure about it, because I was a little grossed out about how we don’t clean them, and they can go unwashed for weeks if we don’t use them again...I don’t understand why we have to return them and they wash it for us. I don’t mind washing it myself. My friend’s got infested with ants, it was gross.” - Hope Marquardt '12