Take the W&M Dining Services Procurement Survey

We’re taking a big step forward in sustainable food procurement here at W&M this month. Partnering with Aramark and W&M Dining Services, the Committee on Sustainability’s Food Services working group has created a food purchasing survey that seeks to compile the College’s opinions on local, organic, seasonal, fair trade, and humanely treated food, and the priorities that College community members set on these characteristics. The survey will be used to create a Sustainable Procurement Guide for Dining Services at the College, and will help Aramark prioritize their food purchasing to meet the desires of the College community.

So whether you’re faculty, staff, or a student, please, take the survey and tell us what you think! It will close this Friday at 10:00PM. We’re hoping to have the Procurement Guide done by the end of the semester.

February 15th, 2010

Aramark & Dining Services celebrate National Campus Sustainability Day

Dining Services at W&M has been one of the most forward-thinking and proactive units on campus in terms of embracing and improving sustainability, partly because of the new environmentally-friendly mindset of our dining vendor, Aramark. In particular, Larry Smith and Matt Moss, the directors of Dining Services here at the College (and Aramark employees), have been extremely helpful in working alongside of COS and various student groups to improve sustainable practices in the dining halls.

Just this year, Larry secured Aramark funding for three student interns, one in each of the main dining halls, to improve recycling, composting, and sustainable food purchasing at the College. Beginning in August, three undergrads (Ian Fuller ’11, Christy Ottinger ’10, and Sarah Will ’10) have been working 10-15 hours per week, creating and implementing their own sustaianability projects. One in particular they’ve been putting together is for National Campus Sustainability Day, which is next week on Wednesday, October 21.

I’ve asked Sarah, the sustainability intern at the Commons Cafeteria, to summarize the events of that day, and to give an overview of what they’ve been doing for the past two months:

October 21st is National Campus Sustainability Day. Special menus will be featured at each dining hall that implement local and sustainable ingredients and meals. At the Marketplace, each HomeZone dish will be centered on a different local food item, and the Commons and the Sadler Center will both feature a “Green, Greener, Greenest” menu.

In addition to providing “green” meals on National Campus Sustainability Day, Ian, Christy, and Sarah have been implementing sustainable initiatives in dining facilities across campus. They have expanded recycling programs in the kitchens at Miller, the Sadler Center, and the Commons. The Commons now has centralized condiment dispensers to reduce the amount of plastic waste from individual condiment containers. There are new recycling containers in the Campus Center lobby to promote recycling after meals at the Marketplace. The Sadler Center and EcoHouse participated in a pilot program for reusable take-out containers, funded by the Committee on Sustainability, that will be expanded in the Spring semester. Reusable mugs and to-go mugs can now be found side-by-side in both the Sadler Center and the Commons.
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Look out for the interns on Wednesday in each of the dining halls, and feel free to give them any ideas of your own!

October 16th, 2009

The week in summary

My apologies for the radio silence over the past few days — the requisite early-fall illness creeping across campus hit me early in the week. No flu, though, thankfully!

What’s been happening this week? Well, we had our first Steering Committee meeting for the Committee on Sustainability, and we welcomed our two new student representatives to Steering: Caroline Cress ’10 will be representing undergraduates and co-chairing the Programs and Education Subcommittee, and Dan Conant of the School of Education will be representing graduate students and co-chairing the Operations Subcommittee. Among the numerous topics of the Steering meeting were a reorganization (we’ve eliminated the Finance working group, split Physical Plant into Energy and Waste/Recycling, and added a Procurement group into STAC), the large outpouring of student volunteers for COS (over 40 applications!), and the numerous projects coming down the pipes (releasing a sustainability academic audit, launching the Eco Ambassador Program, etc.).

Last week also saw the first official days of work for the Sustainability Interns hired by Dining Services & Aramark! Christy Ottinger ’10, Sarah Will ’10, and Ian Fuller ’11 will be working in the numerous dining facilities across campus to improve recycling practices in both dining and preparation areas, create a composting program, support increased purchasing of local, seasonal, organic, fair trade, and cage-free foods, and promote awareness of food sustainability issues on campus. Students, keep an eye out for them in your dining halls! I’ll be working with them mostly in regards to the creation of a composting program for Dining Services. Hopefully, with the help of the College and Aramark, we can get a large-scale composting program going by the end of the year!

The College also saw the release of the state’s budget expectations for next year — with poor news for anyone involved. As the year continues, you’ll see some information from me and COS about how much money our recent sustainability efforts have saved the College; preliminary estimates have us breaking $100,000 in savings each year, with more surely to come!

September 12th, 2009


About:

Welcome to Hark Upon the Green! This blog is a shared space for members of the sustainability community at William & Mary to write about sustainability topics on and beyond. If you would like to contribute to the blog, contact Madeleine Boel, Committee on Sustainability Web Assistant, at mgboel@email.wm.edu.
Make sure to visit Sustainability at W&M for all of W&M's progress on sustainability efforts. Catch up with William & Mary Sustainability on Twitter at WM_GreenisGold
To learn what William & Mary's Environmental Law Society is up to, visit their blog at http://envirols.blogs.wm.edu/.

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