Dining Services participates in the SU sustainability initiative to reduce waste, conserve vital resources and protect the campus environment. Our current practices we use to recycle, reuse, reduce waste and conserve energy include:
Core Sustainable Activities
Salisbury University became the first higher education institution to receive the WMDT/Mountaire Environmental Star Award.
In 2010, SU was one of only 286 campuses nationwide to be featured in The Princeton Review’s inaugural Guide to Green Colleges.
In 2011 Dining Services replaced our antiquated dish machine and pulping system with Meiko Flight-Type energy efficient system.
--Our new dish machine has the lowest water consumption rate in the industry and a CSS (Chemical Savings System) which reduces detergent consumption by 40%.
-- The new Meiko A2P80 Waste Pulper reduces food and mixed waste by up to 85%. Waste is reduced to a dry pulp and is used off-campus for composting. Reducing waste volume also reduces labor costs and costs associated with waste transportation, disposal and pest control.
Our used cooking grease and oil is picked up by Greenlight Biofuels and refined into environmentally-friendly biodiesel fuel.
We utilize local food service provider Sysco Foods of Pocomoke, MD which is within 25 miles of SU. This saves, fuel, transportation and delivery costs.
We encourage students to go trayless in the Commons dining hall which reduces food waste and saves water and energy.
We have eliminated use of Styrofoam containers in all locations.
We have relocated napkins to dining hall tables instead of the serving area resulting in a 50% reduction in usage.
We have replaced table napkins with new Tork Xpress napkin dispensing systems to minimize waste and reduce environmental impact. The dispensers use 100% recycled post-consumer recycled fiber napkins and reduces usage and waste throughout Dining Services.
Lighting in production, storage and office areas have been replaced with low energy consuming compact fluorescent bulbs.
We are the largest cardboard recycling source on campus.
In January 2013, Douwe Egberts Coffee was added to Commons and also began being used in catering operations.
Douwe Egberts: A Brief History of Coffee:
The first coffee house was opened in 1654 in Italy. Soon after, Paris and England followed suit.
In 1690 the Dutch became the first to transport and trade coffee.
The first Espresso machine was invented.
The first filter coffee machine came nearly 100 years later, in 1908, and instant coffee first started being produced a year after that.
Today, coffee provides a living to more than 100 million people and is a worldwide necessity.
Out of 60 different coffee varieties, Arabica and Robusta are the most commonly used today.
A majority of the world's coffee is grown inside the 2,000 mile stretch between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.
Master coffee blenders view roasting as an art in itself and have acquired years of knowledge and experience to understand factors that give coffee its distinct flavors.
Food Preparation and Service
We use utensils that encourage patrons to take appropriate portion sizes and reduce waste.
We offer fountain drinks and filtered water so bottles and cans aren’t wasted.
We encourage students to return for seconds rather than over-serving, which results in food waste.
We conduct weekly or monthly inventories to keep stocks low and avoid spoilage and waste.
We date and rotate stock to ensure that perishable food does not spoil or sit on the shelf past expiration dates.
We conduct meal planning based on tracking of food consumption patterns to reduce purchasing costs and keep waste at a minimum.
We use computerized recipes to make exact numbers of needed portions.
We use bulk condiments and salad dressings in the dining hall to reduce packaging waste.
We recycle oil from fryers and use bulk frying oil to reduce the need for paper and plastic oil containers.
We send pre-consumer food waste to a local food bank whenever it is practical.
We use cook-to-order methods as much as possible. Small batch cooking results in higher food quality and dramatically reduces leftovers and waste.
We reuse leftovers in other areas of our facility which eliminates unnecessary food waste.
We train employees in minimizing waste through using all contents in a container and properly cutting and cleaning produce.
Herb Garden - Rooftop
In May 2013 UDS began cutting back on processed herbs, purchased in bulk large plastic containers, in favor of growing its own.
More than a dozen of the most popular potted herbs are planted in a medal rooftop stand.
SU chefs hand-pick what they need each day for recipes that are being made.
Plato's Plate, one of several dining options in the Commons, emphasizes healthy and vegetarian dishes which will benefit from the fresh Herbs.
The Herb garden will not only eliminate the need for those bulky plastic spice containers, but in the long run, the sustainable venture is expected to result in a cost savings for UDS.
Good Origin Sustainable Coffee:
We now proudly serve Good Origin Sustainable Coffee
UTZ CERTIFIED Coffee Program focuses on the three pillars of sustainability:
Paper Goods and Packaging:
We recycle corrugated cardboard boxes, glass, paper goods, plastic, newspaper, office ink and toner cartridges and office paper.
We use stainless steel pans rather than aluminum foil disposable pans.
We reinforce the use and selection of china, silverware and glassware by customers.
Compostable plates, cups, forks, spoons and knives are available for any catered event.
All Dining Services office workstations have mixed paper recycling bins.
Cleaning and Chemicals
We use green concentrated chemicals, chemical proportioning systems, practice green cleaning methods.
We use cloth towels that can be washed rather than disposable towels.
We utilize customers and student involvement in menu planning and evaluation.
We offer flyers, posters and information to heighten environmental awareness of patrons.
We solicit ideas for change from customers.
Energy and Water Consumption
Dining Services uses advanced exhaust hood technology to reduce heating, cooling and electricity usage with variable control exhaust hoods. Which reduces our energy usage.
We send used cooking oils to a local company who recycles the grease to be blended back into feed and sold back into the local economy.
We use combi ovens instead of gas convection ovens. These ovens are more efficient and also cook more quickly leading to greater energy savings.
Hallways have had the lighting levels reduced by 50%.
We consider the impact that packaging and transportation have on our environmental footprint. We weigh these factors carefully when making purchasing decisions.
We use occupancy sensors that turn off lighting fixtures when spaces are not occupied.
The Commons dining hall was designed with large windows which allow natural light to come in, reducing electrical needs.
We design our new facilities to be energy efficient.
We encourage the use of recycling bins for all recyclable items which are picked up on a regular basis.
We encourage customers to participate in Cool Beans “Reusable Mug Program”. Designed at reducing paper cup usage, the program offers a $.15 discount on beverages when bringing their own clean cup or mug.
Plato, in The Republic, described a vegetarian diet as being best suited for his ideal society. Plant foods were preferred, according to Plato, because they promote health and because they require less land to produce than do animal foods. It is in this spirit that our newest kiosk Plato's Plate was created. Plato's Plate features a variety of vegan and vegetarian entrees and soups along with veggie burger and veggie hot dogs.
Plato's Plate--Just for the Health of It
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." Studies show that vegans and vegetarians have lower-than-average risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Plato's Plate--For the Health of the Planet
Meat is the most resource-intensive food on the table and eating less of it can be the single "greenest" move a person can make. Producing meat requires huge amounts of water, grain, and land, leading to pollution of soil, air, and water.
Harvard nutritionist Jean Mayer has estimated that reducing meat production in the United States by 10% would save enough grain to feed 60 million people.
According to Environmental Working Group "if everyone in the U.S. skipped meat and cheese one day a week it would be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road."
Al Gore's Live Earth Organization reports that, "if everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save: 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months and 70 million gallons of gas, enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare."
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committee citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~~Margaret Mead, American anthropologist