As I mentioned in class Tuesday, the abstract for my final project begins with introspection. I realize I generate a lot of waste. My trash fills mostly with takeout containers from West Union. The bulky, soggy containers fill much of my tiny dorm room trash can, pushing me to empty my trash often. However, the takeout containers seem a necessity. I want to eat all of the food I buy. Above all else, I want to eat regular meals, and I must portion my food points wisely to do so. These factors compound, resulting in a shameful amount of paper waste.
I propose a student-friendly solution to wasteful and flimsy paper containers. I seek to design an alternative take on the “Blue Box” granted to all incoming Duke freshmen for free. A Blue Box contains general college necessities like first aid supplies, tea, an eye mask, and more. The box itself, however, is made of thin cardboard, leading to rapid deterioration and disposal. If these investments to student health were to double as durable, reusable takeout containers, students may reduce their waste. I plan to research the myriad of similar programs at other universities and reach out to Rebecca Hoeffler to learn more about Duke’s attempts to promote student sustainability. In the end, I hope I can reduce my own waste, at the very least.