It’s March 23, 2023. I wake up at 6am on the dot and am immediately overcome with fear and shock. What the heck!! I’m 31 years old! The feeling is an unsettling one. What have I done with my life so far? Well, here’s the list of highlights: Continue reading
Good morning baby, my wife will say. Already woken up by Iris, our virtual personal assistant, she is shaking me and telling me to get moving as today is my big day. I stretch and hop out of bed to find that she has already picked out my favorite suit along with my favorite shirt and tie (though I believe Iris helped her). I begin to get dressed in the bathroom while watching the morning news and looking at my calendar built into the mirror. I notice that for the first time in what feels like forever, my calendar is clear. I am accepting my award today for my work in founding the most innovative company of the year.
I arrive downstairs and Iris is just finishing printing my breakfast (yes I said printing). The food is completely fresh and warm as I begin to practice my speech by reading it on the projected teleprompter and listening to myself in the recording. My wife sits at the other end of the table making fun of me, as usual… It was only 10 years ago that I graduated Bucknell, and 5 years ago that I started my company. Using the advancements in technology, we found a way to measure all types of inputs and develop models which all types of companies are using to figure out what their customers want and need. We have also managed to use this mass amount of data to find new trends in the markets, and to find ways to offer new opportunities to the developing world.
Proud of myself (I’m allowing myself to have a bit of hubris today), I wait for my mom and dad to arrive at my house. Together, the four of us step into our Google driverless car and sit around the table drinking coffee and talking about the news as the car brings us to our destination. The drive, which in years past would have taken nearly an hour to complete, took a mere fifteen minutes. We pulled up in front of the hall where I would receive my award.
Afterwards, we left to go celebrate 2023 style. Our car lifted off of the ground and we entered the skynet headed from New York to Dubai to take a week of vacation and relax together. Iris was capable of managing the main aspects of the business for the next week and had strict instructions to only interrupt us if there was an emergency. The beauty of the future is that we only need to worry about the important things. The technology will handle the rest.
For those who were wondering about it in class, this was at his talk in Trout earlier this semester.
“Currently, more than 48 million Americans live in households that struggle to get enough to eat, while the amount of food thrown out in the United States every year is enough to fill the Rose Bowl to its brim. Redistributing only 2 percent of food waste would end hunger in the United States.”
American society is currently plagued by the idea that it is necessary to offer oversized portions of food. I first became aware of the alarming issues that coincide with food waste in America during my time as a member of the Bucknell Dining Sustainability Club. As Sustainability Ambassadors, we are tasked with the job of trying to make Bucknell dining more environmentally friendly. We encourage dining services to work with the local food producers and have them offer more organic options to students. We have been responsible for changes such as the switch to a tray-less cafeteria, and recently, this year, have been working with Jonathon Bloom, the author of American Wasteland. Last semester, he gave a speech to the student body about the problems of food waste, and together with our club, we performed a waste audit in the cafeteria. We collected 93 pounds of food waste during a 2-hour collection period, and just last week collected 55 pounds for our second follow-up waste audit. Bloom was there to educate students about these issues and spoke about disturbing statistics such as the estimate that 25% of all the food Americans bring into their homes, goes to waste.
Food waste is a problem for 3 main reasons: ethics, the environment, and economics. The ethical issue is the injustice that so many people in this country are going hungry while such a large proportion of food is going to waste. The environmental dilemma behind this waste concerns all of the natural resources that are intensively used in food production. Large amounts of water and gas are wasted when we have produced large amounts of food that will never be eaten. Finally, economics is the last main reason that we need to be worried about food waste. A significant expense is incurred by agricultural producers, consumers, restaurants, and stores on foods that end up in the landfill.
Now, the next question is what we can do to solve this problem. Personally, as consumers we have a few options to make a lasting impact. We can focus on smart shopping by planning meals and making lists about what we actually need to purchase. We can limit our portion sizes and increase our knowledge of food. We can also volunteer at food recovery programs that redistribute extra food to people in need. In addition, Bloom often challenges the people he meets to buy 25% less food than usual at their next trip to the grocery store. On a larger scale, Bloom suggests that the best way to prevent food waste is to ban organic waste from being accepted at landfills. He says that this would make people think twice about how much food they are buying and would promote better ways of using food purchases. This ban tactic has successfully been implemented in other countries, as well. To save the world we need to put a conscious effort into what we consume. The reduction of food waste can ultimately protect the environment, fight hunger, and save money.
Last week I attended a sustainability workshop discussing the different sustainability courses both at Bucknell and that will be offered in the future at Bucknell. The professors were asked questions about the course ranging from their true functionality and what they aim to achieve by offering the courses to students. They were even able to justify many of the different offerings by showing the changes in corporate culture and the changes happening in the climate which we can see today.
What interested me the most was that it took this long for something of this nature to happen at Bucknell. Sustainability, while it may not always have been called that, has been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. It shows up in discussion where others wonder if an event or something we do can continue to go on. What needs to continue to change, though, is the way in which we think. We have applied sustainable thought to everyday things, such as relationships, jobs, etc, to see whether or not these types of things can be maintained and thrive on their own. That same thought needs to go further and people need to think whether a business process of a daily routine can continue to happen and what the side effects are. It is in the idea of changing thought that I believe a sustainability curriculum can have a positive effect on society. I am glad that Bucknell has taken this initiative.
This week I attended the sustainability seminar that spoke about the new curriculum. I think sustainability is actually a very interesting topic and wish I had attended a different seminar that spoke more about sustainability rather than the curriculum. I mean yeah, I guess it was somewhat interesting to learn about the new curriculum but to be honest I don’t really care about a curriculum that wasn’t offered to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think that sustainability is an extremely important topic but I’m not sure its something that can be taught in the classroom. I really think it is something that you kind of have to go out and learn on your own. Its similar to what we were talking about in class with taking an entrepreneurial class. There is no reason to do this, it’s more of something you just have to go out and learn on your own.
I hate to be so distraught towards I school I love but to be honest I kind of feel like this whole sustainability notion is more of a facade than something that is actually real. I feel like Bucknell is doing it in order to look better in the eyes of a number of different people and so that they can make the claim that Bucknell is a highly “sustainable” campus. Like I saw in some other posts, it is important to highlight that sustainability doesn’t just mean saving the environment. I do support the parts of engineering curriculum that are being changed but I am by no means a huge fan of what is going on in the management school.