Community Recipe

A university partnership with Food Connection fills cups and plates on campus and in the community.

What if the key to a healthier environment and community was just a collection of small steps and individual actions that add up? For the past school year, UNC Asheville has been turning this hypothetical into a reality, one cup and one plate at a time.

In the fall of 2015, The Student Environmental Center (SEC) launched its “AsheFILL it Up” program, featuring reusable plastic Cupanion cups with a barcode that offers 15 percent off of any drink purchase, plus 15 cents donated to Food Connection, a local nonprofit.

These are just some steps that represent a movement toward being more environmentally conscious, says SEC member Matthew “Lee” Fussell. “Being environmental is getting every little succulent drop out of whatever you’re using so that you’re not wasting it,” the 20-year-old environmental science major says. “That’s just it, it’s waste.” And Fussell doesn’t waste much. While previously living off-campus, he says he would buy his groceries in bulk in order to prepare every meal for the week. He says he uses as little air conditioning and central heating as possible and often showers with the lights off. Having a reusable cup, like the Cupanion that UNC Asheville implemented, certainly helps with limiting what he wastes.

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