In a recent Collegiate Times article, Virginia Tech student Neetu Deo discussed the ways his school was making changes, particularly in their dining halls. For example Virginia Tech has eliminated trays from most dining locations, decreased water use, and minimized food waste. In 2009, the school began its “Farm and Fields” initiative that supplies the school with organic, locally grown food. VA Tech also maintains a garden at a local farm, supplying students with fresh produce and herbs.
Deo details the ways other university dining halls can become sustainable with little effort:
1. Eliminate trays. Students will pick up less food without trays and therefore, waste less. Schools will also save money on the water previously used to wash trays.
2. Limit Condiment and Napkin Use. Provide only what students need. Encourage them to pay close attention to how much they use to reduce waste.
3. Promote Locally Grown Food. Locally grown food is eco-friendly, healthy, and supports local businesses.
4. Opt for real silverware, cups, and plates (or biodegradable products). Styrofoam products can spend thousands of years in a landfill, use products that can be re-used or break down easily.
As a company devoted to providing environmentally friendly services, The Refinishing Touch applauds the efforts of colleges and universities looking to reduce their carbon footprints and provide students with more sustainable services and choices.