Cut Waste and Loneliness By Cooking Together: King’s Sustainability’s New Initative

360 tons of waste was generated last year by four King’s residences. Last July recyclable waste hit a peak of 55%, a huge improvement from only 12% a year earlier. However, King’s Sustainability is calling on us to do more in order to live cleaner and greener. Along with the Don’t Be Trashy initiative, encouraging students and staff to cut down on plastic and food waste, they are encouraging us, those in halls especially, to cook together.

This initiative comes at the same time as a recent study by KCL published in Psychological Medicine that has placed young people amongst the most lonely of thousands surveyed. This mirrored an ONS survey that suggested the loneliest demographic was 16-24 year olds. According the KCL study’s findings, the symptoms of this loneliness manifest often in obesity and compulsive use of technology.

Ordering in for yourself, from your computer in your bedroom further contributes to excessive waste, technology dependence, loneliness and obesity (restaurant food being almost exclusively more oily and sugary than home cooked). However, cooking together would reduce waste, provide healthier nutrition and encourage the kind of collaborative socialization that can really combat feelings of loneliness. On the King’s Sustainability website, many recipes for cheap, tasty and healthy meals can be found as well as many life hacks that reduce our environmental impact. The role of the individual in adjusting their own habits for the sake of the planet is at the centre of the Don’t Be Trashy campaign. But results would be maximized by group involvement – they encourage us to try breaking (their homemade recipe) bread together and spread practices promoting green and social living.

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