Dining services The procurement and preparation of food – either in residential halls or as part of the campus' commercial activities – can have significant impacts in terms of energy, water, and waste generation. In addition, there are real environmental impacts associated with certain food choices. There are several ways to introduce sustainability into dining and catering services: • Reduce ‘food miles’ by buying from local producers. • Plan the menu based on what is naturally in season to reduce the energy needed to produce, transport, and store food. • Emphasise quality over quantity in order to reduce overall waste. • Check to be sure vendors are using minimal chemicals. • Collect food waste for compost.
Waste management Universities need to establish an effective process that minimises the amount of waste that goes to landfill. This can be supported by a bin infrastructure that efficiently streams waste that can be recycled or reused. The bin infrastructure should allow easy access by the community members directly involved in disposal; e.g., cleaners, gardeners, kitchen and maintenance employees, and bins should be clearly marked to reduce incidents of crosscontamination. They should be placed in areas both convenient and close to the waste source; e.g., paper-recycling bins under desks and foodrecycling bins in kitchens and common areas. All sustainable waste management programmes should include strategies for re-using materials, including furniture, books, and computer and lab equipment. If equipment can no longer be used on campus but is still functional, there may be opportunities to donate to charitable groups in the community. Garden waste can also be collected and turned into compost to be re-used on campus.
FOOD MILES Food miles describe the distance that food is transported as it travels from producer to consumer. Choosing food that is local and in season means that it does not have to travel so far. Reducing food miles can have a dramatic effect on reducing CO2 emissions.
Published on Oct 9, 2014
Green Guide for Universities – IARU pathways towards sustainability developed by 10 leading international universities and the think-tank Su...