|Dining Centers go trayless for Earth Day|
To recognize Earth Day, all residential dining centers will be going trayless for all meals Tuesday, April 22.
In an effort to raise awareness of food consumption and reduce food waste, UND Dining Services will remove trays from the three dining centers for one day. Students will be asked to carry their plate, utensils, glassware and food directly to tables, without the use of a tray. The hope is to make students more conscious of the amount of food taken while going through the serving line and reduce the amount of uneaten food that ends up in the landfill.
The goal of removing trays for a day is to reduce waste, but also bring to the forefront Dining Services’ commitment to educating students that their actions can make a positive impact on the environment. In an all-you-care-to-eat dining setting, there is a greater tendency to fill a tray with more food than can actually be eaten. As students become more aware of the environmental footprint they are leaving on the earth, dining centers are perfect settings to raise awareness and allow students to make a difference.
To measure whether or not a reduction in waste occurs, Dining Services employees will measure all edible plate waste generated on the trayless day, April 22, and compare this waste to a dining day where trays were used. Edible plate waste was previously measured on March 18, and due to a cyclical menu, the same food items will be served April 22. Having this benchmark from March should create a very accurate comparison of waste which will be compiled and shared with students.
Schools across the country are exploring, and even implementing, the trayless concept. While there are no plans to eliminate trays on a permanent basis here at UND, the Dining Services staff plan to study the results carefully.
-- Orlynn Rosaasen, Director, Dining Services, email@example.com, 777-3823