A Friendship Formed Almost a Decade Ago Leads to Reducing Food Waste Through Education

Two Hartwick graduates want to help college students understand the impact of food waste and how their actions make a difference.

To ignite their efforts, they’ve teamed up to form an organization called Albi and have set their sights on launching it at the place where they got their start – the Hartwick campus.

Matt Morrish ’18 and Harry Morton ’18 arrived in Oneonta, N.Y., in 2015 to play soccer and get an education at Hartwick College. During their time on Oyaron Hill, Morrish from England and Morton from New Zealand became great friends – and stayed connected long after they graduated. But it took a documentary – Our Planet II – to turn their friendship into a force for change, which resulted in Albi, a name they got from a species of albatross featured in the film.

Matt Morrish '18 and Harry Morton '18

“Hartwick is a really special place for both of us and we owe a huge amount to the professors and coaches who gave us so much during our time in Oneonta. When we decided that we wanted to start our education efforts on college campuses, it felt only right that we start at Hartwick.”

Matt Morrish '18

Albi, Co-Founder

For Morton, Albi has become a tool to empower people to make a positive impact.

“Albi is built around the idea that, fundamentally, people want to do good,” said Morton ’18.
“We genuinely believe that if people know more about food waste, they’ll see just how easy it is to have a positive impact on the planet. By helping people understand the impacts that their own actions have, we think we’ll see a real reduction in how much waste we’re producing.”

John Tompkins, Hartwick’s dining services director, met with Morrish and Morton to brainstorm solutions for food waste on campus.

“We all agreed there was an opportunity to increase student awareness to help minimize the food waste ending up in the trash bin after their meals,” said Tompkins. “If we can measure a reduced amount of post-consumer waste, the entire College community can feel much better about the environmental impact reduction.”

For Kay Zuill, vice president for finance and operations, Albi is a perfect match for the College’s efforts to emphasize responsible resource use.

“Albi is a good fit for Hartwick because we want our students to be good stewards of the earth’s resources,” she said. “Learning how to prevent food waste is something they will take with them when they leave Oyaron Hill. Thoughtful food selection also fits with our focus on wellness. The fact that two alumni approached us about this opportunity represents a successful Hartwick liberal arts education at work and I am grateful that they chose to work with their alma mater for this initiative.”

Students will return from break Monday and see Albi visualizations displayed around campus and in regular email communication. Morrish ‘18 reminds the Hartwick community, “About 40% of all the food produced in the U.S. currently goes to waste. The ultimate goal with Albi is to reduce that number. It’s really as simple as that.”

March 21, 2024
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