Tray(less) Day

The trayless college dining experiment is spreading and so are the media hits. An article in Inside Higher Ed about the practice led to a brief blog post on The Wall Street Journal‘s site.

The Inside Higher Ed piece provided a nice detail to illustrate that some students, notably big eaters, oppose traylessness. Members of the Colby College Woodsmen’s team aren’t pleased with the school’s Trayless Thursdays (and it’s not because Trayless Tuesdays would have a better ring).

In response to the trayless policy, those student-lumberjacks have crafted their own wooden trays, which is kinda neat. Not as neat–laziness so powerful you’ll make a tray to avoid going up to get seconds.

Nobody is limiting the seemingly God-given right for American college students to eat and waste as much food as they like. These schools have just found a way to minimize wasting by making it more difficult. Thanks to our collective inertia, traylessness works. The average waste dips 30 to 50 percent when trays are eliminated.

The next buffet restaurant (high-brow or low) I see with trays will be my first and they manage to stay in business. Oh, the onerous task of lumbering over to get seconds (and thirds)!

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Random prediction: traylessness will become a trendy media topic, a la freeganism. It’s a quirky, counterintuitive practice with a local angle and hits on two popular themes: food and environmentalism. Throw in the college setting and it’s an MTV special in the waiting.

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