College of William and Mary Expands Sustainable Dining

The College of William and Mary (VA) has expanded its sustainable dining initiatives. Three sustainability interns have been hired to focus on recycling, composting and forming a connection with local food producers. In partnership with ARAMARK, the college's sustainability team is offering a 10-cent incentive for every reusable to-go box used. The sustainability team is also working on improving local food procurement including a partnership with the Williamsburg Winery, who will plant produce at their facility that will be used in the dining halls. The program has space for 400 more volunteers with 100 students signed up so far.

U Missouri Serves Local Prawns

The University of Missouri's dining services department has begun serving locally harvested prawns at campus dining halls. The shellfish are grown and raised at the Bradford Research and Extension Center, part of the university-owned Agriculture Experiment Stations. The initiative is part of department's goal to increase the amount of local food served on campus which is currently at 11 percent including dairy and meat.

Arizona State U Market Offers Local and Fair Trade Options

To meet the demand of students looking for fresh, healthy and quick dining options, Arizona State University's Sun Devil Dining has announced the opening of its convenience store concept, Provisions on Demand Market. Designed to engage students with the foods they eat, the market offers information about the food's place of origin and nutritional value. Product cues clearly identify food items as vegan, organic, kosher, locally-grown, gluten-free and fair trade.

John Carroll U Revamps Dining Options with Fair Trade

John Carroll University (OH) has revamped its Dining Services with more environmentally friendly options. In addition to providing local produce options to students, the Student Center Barista now offers fair trade products. The college hopes to expand fair trade products to the other dining areas around campus.

Rio Salado College Opens Sustainable Cafe

Rio Salado College (AZ) has opened the doors of Cafe @ Rio, a sustainable campus cafe featuring energy-efficient appliances, trayless dining, and compostable and recyclable food and beverage containers. Featuring food harvested from farms in the community, the cafe will also serve as a sustainable teaching kitchen for students in the Sustainable Food Systems program. The students will study the real food movement and how food is produced and purchased. Vegetables grown as part of the program's Organic Gardening class will be served in the cafe.

American U Converts Waste Vegetable Oil with 'Vegawatt'

American University (DC) has implemented a Vegawatt, a machine that converts waste vegetable oil into electricity and hot water. Using 90 gallons of oil from the university's Terrace Dining Room per week, the Vegawatt will produce enough electricity to avoid 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to the amount produced by 33 American homes in one year.

Truman State U Cafeteria Goes Local

Truman State University's (MO) Ryle Hall cafeteria has begun purchasing local produce grown at a nearby orchard. The initiative has kicked off with apples but the university hopes to expand the program to a larger variety of local food. Dining Services is also advocating for students to grow their own food on the campus farm.

Washington U St. Louis Opens Green Dining Services

Washington University, St. Louis (MO) has opened a new dining facility. Sustainable initiatives include sensor lighting, reusable food boxes and a compost system. Excess food will be donated to a local food bank and the waste oil will be converted to biofuel for dining services vehicles. The university will also place a priority on the use of local food.

Bluffton U Dining Services Goes Green

Bluffton University's (OH) Dining Services has announced plans to become more sustainable. In an effort to reduce food waste and water usage, the department will no longer use trays, and will switch to fair trade coffee and tea. The university will also use paper products and stir sticks made from recycled materials.

Willamette U Student Farm Supplies Dining Services with Produce

Willamette University’s (OR) student farm has begun supplying the campus’ food-service provider, Bon Appétit, with sustainably-grown produce. A group of students interested in farming and sustainable agriculture created the garden a year ago, which now produces lettuce, garlic, arugula, beans, potatoes and peas. Organizers hope the farm will become a community resource by providing a place to conduct sustainable agriculture research and host food-related classes for students and residents.

U Calgary Dining Services Goes Green

In response to campus community input, the University of Calgary’s (AB) Dining Services has begun implementing sustainable initiatives. The university has eliminated Styrofoam containers and will use biodegradable and compostable coffee cups and chlorine-free napkins. Dining Services will also serve fair trade coffee and sustainable seafood.

U Kansas Launches Farm to Cart Program

The University of Kansas’ Dining Services recently debuted the Farm to Cart program, where students and faculty can buy fresh fruits, vegetables and other products from local farms. Students and faculty can check out the Dining Services website, www.union.ku.edu/dining, to see the list of available and upcoming items.

Fairfield U Plants Vegetable and Herb Garden

Fairfield University (CT) has started planting the campus’ first vegetable and herb garden. The garden’s harvest will be used for student dining this fall and stock the shelves of area food pantries this summer. Root vegetables, perennial herbs, hot and sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes and pumpkins are among the vegetables that will be planted in 18 raised beds. Faculty, students, staff and alumni will tend the garden.

U Mass Medical Implements Cooking Oil to Biodiesel Program

The University of Massachusetts Medical School has announced a 35 percent reduction in cooking oil use with the implementation of a new oil filtration process that extends the life of the oil. The filter is able to screen out food particles 100 times smaller than the previous system, extending the oil's usable life. When the oil can no longer be used for cooking, it is collected by Baker Commodities, a firm that processes the oil for use as biodiesel.

Ithaca College Reduces Dining Carbon Footprint by 26%

Dining Services at Ithaca College (NY) has reduced its energy bills by 30 percent and carbon footprint by 26 percent through several recent upgrades. Hoods that automatically control fan levels based on kitchen temperature were installed in campus dining halls and the food court, along with walk-in cooler and freezer air curtains and low-flow spray nozzles. Ithaca Dining Services plans to purchase an updated bakery oven that will save $19,500 annually, making the return on investment in 1.8 years.

West Virginia U Dining Services Goes Green

West Virginia University's Dining Services will experiment with various waste reduction techniques this summer before students arrive in the fall. Among the solutions are eliminated trays from most dine-in campus locations and the installation of new light and cooling systems to reduce energy use.

U California San Diego Implements Fair Trade Policy

The University of California, San Diego has announced the implementation of a Fair Trade University Policy. The policy promotes both sustainable business and humane farming practices that food and beverage suppliers will be asked to support whenever possible. In cooperation with fair trade authority TransFair, the university will work toward a Fair Trade University designation.

U Waterloo to Debut Fair Trade Eatery

The University of Waterloo (ON) has announced plans to open a new cafe that will offer fair trade and local comestibles. The Waterloo Coffee Company will supply fair trade organic coffee to the still-unnamed eatery. In response to student demand, the cafe will feature a reverse osmosis water station where patrons can fill up their bottles for free. The cafe is set to open in August 2010.

U Massachusetts Amherst Food Service Increases Local Purchases

University of Massachusetts Amherst Dining Services has increased the amount of local foods offered in campus dining halls. 25 percent of its food items were purchased from local farms in 2009, up from eight percent in 2002. The institution has also begun offering twice as much fruit and has cut meat portions by 3 ounces at lunch and 4 ounces at dinner. In addition, UMass has noticed a 20 percent food waste decrease. The University hopes to increase local food purchases by 27 percent in 2010.

Tufts U to Go Trayless this Fall

Tufts University (MA) has announced plans to stop offering trays in two dining centers starting this fall. The initiative is the result of the success of a pilot program that ran this past spring. The pilot recorded an 11.4 percent decrease in electricity use and a 29 percent decrease in food waste.

Kenyon College Announces Food Co-Op

Kenyon College (OH) has announced that, beginning next year, students will be able to participate in a Food Co-Op. The local food cooperative will serve as a sustainable living center, which has room for six student residents, and provide an alternative to the student dining hall. The Co-Op plans to provide a meal made of local ingredients once a week. There are plans to incorporate farming, composting, and hosting guest speakers at the cooperative.

U Nebraska Omaha Switches to Compostable Diningware

The University of Nebraska, Omaha Food Services staff has announced "Go Green - Fall 2010," an initiative to switch containers and serving receptacles (including all flatware and paper goods) the department uses to compostable and bio-degradable PLA (polylactic acid), cornstarch-based, and recycled paper materials starting in August. The change will take place in the campus food court and in all other campus Food Service operations.

Northeastern U Unveils Green Dining Facility

Northeastern University (MA) has unveiled International Village, a 20,000-square-foot, LEED Gold-certified dining facility. The dining hall and retail space are both 3-Star Certified Green Restaurants. The all day breakfast station uses cage-free eggs, milk without artificial growth hormones, and Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea. The dedicated vegetarian and vegan platform uses locally purchased produce, and pork and poultry produced without the use of routine antibiotics is prepared in a variety of dishes. Furthermore, all seafood is purchased in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines for sustainability to protect our oceans and their inhabitants. Integrated green building solutions include high performance, energy-efficient foodservice equipment from HVAC to exhaust hoods, to water consumption and automated lighting controls. Low VOC paints, eco-friendly carpeting, and the integration of recycled content were used throughout the entire facility. In addition, 90 percent of the build-out waste was diverted from landfills and an air quality monitoring system was implemented during construction.

State U New York Fredonia Selects Local Food Supplier

The State University of New York at Fredonia has selected Maplevale Farms, a nearby family-owned corporation, as its primary food-service supplier. Whenever possible, Maplevale Farms purchases products from manufacturers within its 150-mile service area that encompasses Western New York, Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Dining Services is working with the company to expand their list of local suppliers to provide food and products to the campus.

U California Santa Barbara Switches to Cage-Free Eggs

The University of California, Santa Barbara Dining Services has begun serving eggs from cage-free chickens instead of regularly industry eggs. The switch is being funded by the money saved from going tray-less last quarter.

U Texas Austin Introduces Reusable To-Go Containers

The University of Texas at Austin has introduced reusable to-go containers in campus dining facilities. The initiative, called "eco2go," allows customers to join the program by paying a one-time membership fee of $5. The customer receives a wooden token at one of the eco2go stations. Members then show that token to the line server who will know to serve their meal into the eco‐to‐go container, they then return the rinsed container, to be commercially cleaned and sanitized, at their earliest convenience. When members return the container, they will obtain a token to start the process again. Each time eco2go members use their container, they will receive a five percent discount on their meal.

Santa Barbara City College Offers Fair Trade, Organic Coffee

Santa Barbara City College (CA) students now have a more sustainable option for their caffeine needs. Campus dining halls now offer Green Star Coffee, which is both fair trade and organic. The coffee beans are also roasted by a local coffee company.

U Houston Switches to Reusable To-Go Containers

The University of Houston (TX) Dining Services will no longer offer Styrofoam containers. Instead, customers purchasing a to-go meal will receive a reusable to-go box. The microwavable, plastic containers can be returned, after use, for a voucher to receive a clean container for future visits.

U Maryland Installs Solar Trash Compactor on Campus

University of Maryland Dining Services has installed a trial solar-powered trash compactor outside a late night campus dining facility. The dining hall was notorious for having trash overflow that would not be collected until the early morning hours. The new trash compactor, which the University currently has as a free trial, can compact what eight trash cans would normally hold.

Austin College Introduces Reusable To-Go Containers

Austin College (TX) has partnered with Aramark dining services to replace disposable polystyrene to-go boxes with reusable containers. Beginning February 1, diners will be able to purchase a reusable to-go container for $3. The containers are the same size as the foam boxes they are replacing, and are dishwasher safe. The used container can be rinsed, returned to the dining hall, and exchanged for a clean container. The returned containers will be washed, sanitized, and then made available for reuse. As long as a diner brings in a used container, there is no additional cost to the diner for the next box. Disposable boxes no longer will be available.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Opens Local Foods Dining Option

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has opened a new eatery in one of its dining halls that serves local food. The new dining option, 1.5.0, gets its name from its commitment to only serve food from within 150 miles. Dining services hoped the new eatery would break even in sales, but so far it has exceeded those expectations. Students have been excited to try the new option with items such as sweet potato fries with local honey. The restaurant features a chalkboard menu that will change weekly according to produce and meat availability.

Western Washington U Commits to Local Food

Western Washington University has joined the Real Food Challenge, a group that encourages universities to increase the amount of ethically produced food on campus, and has made a commitment to increase the amount of Northwest-grown, fair-trade, organic, and humanely produced food on campus by 20 percent. To help meet this goal, Dining Services is working with Growing Washington to dedicate land to specifically grow food for the University. Dining Services also plans to freeze or preserve summer produce to be used during the winter months.

Duke U Introduces Reusable To-Go Containers

Duke University (NC) has introduced the "Eco-Clamshell," a reusable to-go container which is now available to students, faculty, and staff. The clamshells are like current to-go containers used on campus, except they are made of environmentally-friendly polypropylene, a type of hard plastic. Students and employees who want to participate pay $5 for each reusable container. After the initial $5, no other fees are paid. After using a clamshell, employees and students are asked to rinse it out and return it to a drop station by the cash register at a campus dining facility, where it will be cleaned and sanitized. When an owner turns the to-go container in, he or she receives a keychain token that can be turned in for a replacement clamshell. Campus Dining gave away the first 200 to-go containers as part of the program's launch.

Austin College Introduces Reusable To-Go Containers

Austin College (TX) has partnered with Aramark dining services to replace disposable polystyrene to-go boxes with reusable containers. Beginning February 1, diners will be able to purchase a reusable to-go container for $3. The containers are the same size as the foam boxes they are replacing, and are dishwasher safe. The used container can be rinsed, returned to the dining hall, and exchanged for a clean container. The returned containers will be washed, sanitized, and then made available for reuse. As long as a diner brings in a used container, there is no additional cost to the diner for the next box. Disposable boxes no longer will be available

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Opens Local Foods Dining Option

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has opened a new eatery in one of its dining halls that serves local food. The new dining option, 1.5.0, gets its name from its commitment to only serve food from within 150 miles. Dining services hoped the new eatery would break even in sales, but so far it has exceeded those expectations. Students have been excited to try the new option with items such as sweet potato fries with local honey. The restaurant features a chalkboard menu that will change weekly according to produce and meat availability.

Western Washington U Commits to Local Food

Western Washington University has joined the Real Food Challenge, a group that encourages universities to increase the amount of ethically produced food on campus, and has made a commitment to increase the amount of Northwest-grown, fair-trade, organic, and humanely produced food on campus by 20 percent. To help meet this goal, Dining Services is working with Growing Washington to dedicate land to specifically grow food for the University. Dining Services also plans to freeze or preserve summer produce to be used during the winter months.

Emory U Designated First Green Certified Campus by GFA

Emory University (GA) has been designated as the first certified college campus in the U.S. under the Green Certification Program by the Green Foodservice Alliance (GFA). Emory was noted for: recycling materials like aluminum and steel, glass, cardboard, glass, paper and plastics; repurposing used grease for the local production of biodiesel; and not using any polystyrene (Styrofoam) in its dining facilities (if Emory uses polystyrene, a recyclable or compostable alternative is made available to users). The Green Certification Program focuses on reducing waste on college campuses, in restaurants, and from other large venues like convention centers and business districts.

Texas Christian U Dining Services Reduces Waste

Texas Christian University’s Dining Services has announced plans to begin offering its used coffee grounds to students, faculty, and staff for use as a fertilizer. The program to reuse coffee grounds was replicated from a Starbucks initiative that has been in place since 1995. The University’s Dining Services hopes to reduce waste through the new program.

Arkansas State U Goes Trayless

Arkansas State University’s dining services has decided to stop using trays in an effort to reduce food waste and the use of water, electricity, and chemicals. The University reduced food waste by approximately 400 pounds in one of three trial runs last semester.

U Washington Implements Compostable Lid

The University of Washington, in partnership with International Paper and Coca-Cola, has become the first university to begin use of a compostable fountain-drink lid for the compostable Coca-Cola ecotainer cup. The new plant-based 100 percent-compostable lid augments the compostable cups and straws already in use on UW's Seattle campus. In March 2010, the UW expects to introduce a compostable lid for hot foods—such as soups—to campus. Once in place, campus dining facilities believes it will be almost entirely solid-waste free.

Wilfrid Laurier U Introduces Reusable Plastic Food Container

Wilfrid Laurier University's (ON) Food Services has introduced a new, reusable plastic food container to reduce the amount of waste produced from cardboard takeout containers. The reusable “eco-takeout” containers cost $5. Regular, disposable takeout containers will still be available for a cost of 25 ¢, an “eco-tax” that will fully recover the cost of the disposable container. To ensure the reusable containers remain hygienic, students are able to drop off their eco-takeout container at any Food Services outlet on campus to be washed. In exchange they will receive a properly washed eco-takeout container or a card that will allow them to take an eco-takeout container the next time they need one.

Emory U, Acadia U Implement Trayless Dining

Emory University (GA) and Acadia University (NS) have implemented trayless dining initiatives on campus. Emory has decided to go tray-free in its Oxford College dining hall starting this fall after a successful spring pilot program resulted in a 14,587-pound reduction in food waste compared to the same semester one year earlier. The Oxford pilot project also decreased overall food consumption, which resulted in savings of approximately $800 per month for overall food purchases at Oxford’s dining facility. Savings from the program are being reinvested into menu options that feature more locally grown fruits and vegetables, part of Emory’s sustainability goal to purchase 75 percent local or sustainably grown food by 2015. Acadia's new program has removed trays from Wheelock Dining Hall in an effort to reduce food waste, water use, and energy consumption. The program's official launch will be held when returning students arrive for the academic year. A President’s Lunch is planned in Wheelock Dining Hall to introduce trayless dining to new and returning students and to celebrate Acadia’s other sustainable food service initiatives.

Several Campuses Switch to Reusable To-Go Containers

Several campus dining halls throughout North America will begin using the "Green Thread," a reusable, to-go food container introduced by ARAMARK Higher Education. The containers, which are dishwasher-safe and go through the same cleaning process as the dinnerware used in campus dining halls, will be offered to students at participating campuses starting this year. The eco-friendly option is expected to divert more than 2 million disposables from landfills during the 2009-2010 school year. The new program is a result of successful pilots at Baylor University (TX), University of Florida, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Peace College (NC), and Salem College (NC).

Edgewood College Restaurant Certified Green

Edgewood College's (WI) Phil's has been named a Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association. Officials believe that Phil's is the first college or university dining service operation in Wisconsin to receive the honor. The dining facility uses zero trans-fat cooking oils that are filtered daily to extend life, recycles cooking oils for use in the creation of biofuel, and uses compostable disposables.

Georgia Tech Begins Waste Reduction Initiative

Georgia Tech has begun a waste reduction initiative on campus. Brittain Dining Hall has been stocked with only biodegradable and reusable items. The facility will also collect organic waste for composting, which, once fully decomposed, will be used as a soil conditioner in campus landscaping. Georgia Tech plans to expand the new waste reduction program to other dining facilities in the coming months. Additionally, in the fall, students will receive a discount for using a reusable cups at all dining halls on campus.

Christian Science Monitor Covers Growing Number of Green Dining Halls

The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on the growing number of dining halls, both K-12 and college-level, that are implementing local and organic food, tray-free, and environmentally friendly dinnerware, and Fair Trade initiatives. The article mentions initiatives at the following higher education institutions: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Green Mountain College (VT), Baldwin-Wallace College (OH), and the University of California, San Diego.

U Wisconsin Oshkosh Cancels Plans to Bring KFC to Campus

The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh has cancelled its plans to sign a six-year contract with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) after a group of faculty, students, and staff expressed concerns related to animal welfare and argued that the contract would go against the University's commitment to sustainability. After researching the issue further, students collected over 450 signatures on a petition calling for the University to drop KFC and the University decided to consider other options.

Campuses Participate in Bon Appétit's Low Carbon Diet Day

Several campuses recently participated in Low Carbon Diet Day, an event when all Bon Appétit Company cafés offer a low carbon meal cooked by Bon Appétit chefs. Meals included turkey burgers (made with local turkey) topped with local avocados, cheese-less pizza, and burritos with quinoa, black beans, and local, sustainability farm-raised tilapia.

Campus Food Provider Establishes Fair Labor Requirements

Bon Appétit Management Company, a food service company operating 400 university and corporate cafés in 29 states, has established fair labor requirements that integrate minimum fair wage, worker empowerment stipulations, worker safety, third party-monitoring, and incentives to growers who exceed minimum requirements of the agreement. In an effort to address unfair treatment of Florida's farm-workers, Bon Appétit partnered with The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farm-workers organization that fights for more humane farm labor standards in Florida, to forgo a new agreement that frames acceptable working conditions and enforces those conditions with a strict code of conduct.

Moravian College to Expand Trayless Dining

Due to the success of its "Trayless Tuesdays" pilot program, Moravian College (PA) has announced plans to expand the initiative to every day of the week. The College realized a 20-25 percent reduction in food waste a result of the pilot project. Moravian's Trayless Tuesdays initiative has also been successful in raising student awareness. The administration estimates that 25 percent of students now voluntarily eat without the use of a tray on other days of the week.