User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

A Greener College Cafeteria

With colleges going green all around the world, it makes pefect sense for college cafeterias to go green.  From the food they sell to the waste and clean-up, there are plenty of opportunities to make college cafeterias more sustainable. 

Many colleges have stopped using trays to save energy and water.  Some have strong composting programs.  Lots of colleges are offering locally grown food!  

Here are some examples of some college cafeterias making substainial efforts at going green:

  • Vermont's Middlebury College is one of the greenest colleges in the country and their cafeteria has been green for years.   They offer local foods, eliminated the use of trays so there is less to wash, and one of their dining halls even has a green roof with grass and vegetation!
  • Oberlin College in Ohio is particularly impressive.  45% of annual food purchases made Oberlin are local and students even have a chance to meet local farmers. Oberlin's two main dining halls compost ALL of their raw food kitchen scrap.  Back in 2007, they composted over 20,000 pounds of kitchen scrap!  Their packaging is also biodegradable and they have programs to encourage reusable cups, bottles, and bags.  Wow! 
  • UC Berkeley is known for being progressive, so it's no surprise that they have the country's first certified organic college dining hall.   Berkeley's Crossroads cafeteria also has food free of pesticides, hormones, and GMO food.  Not only that, but it's chock full of green features such as energy-efficient light fixtures and low-flow water faucets.  They also compost.
  • Bar Harbor, Maine's College of the Atlantic is often considered America's greenest college.  It's been carbon neutral for 4 years now!   Their cafeteria is no newbie to the green scene.  Since the school opened in 1972, the cafeteria has offered healthy, local, and organic food.  Scraps are composted, extra food is sold on the cheap, they are trayless, and the kitchen recovers extra heat so they use less energy

That's just what a few American colleges are doing to make their campus dining halls more eco-friendly.  We'd love to hear about what other schools are doing.