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.
Look out for the interns on Wednesday in each of the dining halls, and feel free to give them any ideas of your own!