Elon’s Dining Services has taken on a number of sustainability initiatives.
Dining Services purchases local produce when available with preference for food grown in the area, state, and then region, in that order. They also purchase many third-party verified products, such as fair trade coffee and humanely raised poultry and beef.
Biodegradable waste from dining halls and select retail locations is composted at an off campus facility. The project started in the fall 2008.
Front of the house composting is available in the Winter Garden Cafe, Fountain Market and Daniel Commons. Both of these retail locations offer compost bins with clear signage to help patrons know what is and what is not compostable.
Elon Dining Services promotes the use of reusable water bottles. Bottled water is not a meal plan option in retail locations and filtered water stations are available. Students who want water with their meal can use the filtered water stations to fill a reusable bottle or a compostable cup available at retail locations. This program has decreased the use of plastic water bottles.
Plant Forward Dining
Green World is part of the “all access” dining options at Elon. Located in the Clohan Hall, Green World serves vegan and vegetarian meals and uses pots and pans that are exclusively used for vegan and vegetarian meals.
Elon’s dining halls went trayless in fall 2007 reducing water and energy usage as well as food waste. Prior to the change, in April of 2007, one-day studies were conducted to determine whether removing trays would indeed reduce food waste as expected. Elon’s results did show a reduction in food waste. ARAMARK, Elon’s Dining Services provider, conducted a study of 186,000 meals at 25 colleges and universities, of which Elon was one, and found a 25 to 30% reduction in food waste per person on trayless days.
Dining Services uses many compostable products, such the Coke cups, lids and straws at Winter Garden and Fountain Market and the to-go containers at Lakeside, McEwen and Clohan. Even the green serviceware found throughout campus is compostable! *(Sometimes the white and black serviceware is compostable as well. Check for the word “compostable”.)