ARAMARK, our food service provider, leads the way in reducing the environmental impact of the food that we eat. Below are some of the initiatives that are already in place around the University.
- 100 percent of our fry oil is recycled and either burned for fuel or converted into biodiesel.
- All napkins are made with 100 percent post-consumer content.
- Cafeteria trays have been eliminated. This action saves energy to reduce our carbon footprint plus 500 gallons of water per year since the trays no longer need to be washed. It also reduces food waste.
- Where food is available for take away, the outlets use biodegradable and compostable plates and take-out containers. The Gray Conference Center uses corn-based disposable coffee cups.
- Local vendors supply as much of the food as possible, including New England Coffee, Edo Sushi, Big Sky snack distributors, DNR Provisions, The Grease Guys, Carla's Pasta, and Garelick Farms. Seasonal and organic produce are also obtained from local sources whenever possible.
- The Backstage Café sells Pura Vida coffee, which is fair trade, organically shade-grown.
- Coca-Cola converted our soda refrigerators in Gengras Student Union to "green coolers," which turn on the cooling system only when it is needed.
- The Commons, Gengras Café, and the Backstage Café exclusively use non-caustic chemicals packaged with 95 percent less material, thus reducing transportation costs.
- Dishes are washed with an Apex washing system, which monitors water and soil use in a dishwasher to use only what is needed.
- ARAMARK also led a number of Earth Day events in 2010 to educate the University community about food waste and the benefits of reusable cups and mugs.