PASADENA, CA — In a based and green-pilled display of social responsibility, the California Institute of Technology reported its first year of carbon neutrality since 1898, according to a press release issued by the CalTech Sustainability Council on Monday.
“It wasn’t an easy transition. We all had to acknowledge our privilege and make sacrifices,” said Simone Delgado, the transient who lives in the spare closet in Arms Laboratory. “But as much as I miss devouring the copious amounts of leftover treats from those weekly Dining Services-catered department socials, I know this was the right thing to do.”
Indeed, CalTech Dining Services have been the ringleaders of the push for neutrality. Once a fossil-guzzling fountain of plastic waste, the beloved on-campus dining establishments now exclusively serve orders on reusable crockery. According to the signage, patrons are not even required to return the wares after eating.
“It’s the theory of trickle-down sustainability,” explained a twitchy, unkempt undergraduate who identified themself simply as Red Door Frosh. “Sure, giving away all those plates and mugs means they’re operating at a loss, but think of it as an investment in the community. In a hundred years, the trees and turtles are going to be really grateful we did this.”
Despite this, opponents of the reusable crockery movement are quick to call attention to the increase in water waste which will certainly offset the lauded savings at the landfill. During a meeting of the CalTech Sustainability Council in May, Karl Selkin, out on the edge of town, flamed the proposal as “nothing more than virtue signaling,” pointing out that the extra water needed to wash the dishes made it “completely incompatible with the Council’s stated values.”
In response to this, CalTech Dining Services decided to “feed two birds with one scone,” according to Red Door Frosh, who claims to be a member of “FoodComm”. Instead of setting aside used dishes for CDS staff to wash later, which also does nothing to promote individual responsibility, cafeteria patrons will now be required to lick their plates clean before leaving the premises. (”What? Oh, come on. Saliva is 98% water. And the rest is just beneficial electrolytes.”) For those lacking sufficiently long or moist tongues, silicon spatulae will be available upon request.
As an added benefit, this so-called ‘dish-licking’ policy also implicitly requires patrons to eat everything they ordered first, cutting off unnecessary food waste. Evidently, this requirement will be strictly — and, if necessary, physically — enforced by staff with a magnifying glass and random checks, in addition to their signature menacing glares.
“It’s baffling to me that we have to play ‘here comes the control Lyapunov function/quadratic program based bipedal robot! open wide!’ with grown-ass adults to get them to finish their lunch,” Red Door Frosh opined, “but if this is what it takes to eliminate food waste, then I guess it’s worth it.”