|Dining centers go trayless for Earth Day|
To recognize Earth Day, all Dining Services residential dining centers will go trayless for all meals Wednesday, April 22.
In an effort to raise awareness of food consumption and reduce food waste, Dining Services will remove trays from the three dining centers for one day. Students will be asked to carry their plate, utensils and glassware 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.
“Schools that have gone trayless have seen up to a 30 percent reduction in food waste,” says Orlynn Rosaasen, Director of Dining Services. Going trayless also saves up to a half gallon of water per tray, leading to an overall reduction in hot water and energy consumption. Rosaasen emphasizes, “We are using the trayless day as an educational tool, and there are no plans to eliminate trays on a permanent basis at UND, however, we will study the results carefully.”
Based on the plate waste study done in 2008, and the number of board meals served, 204,500 pounds of food were wasted in the residential dining centers last year. An advertising campaign is currently under way in the dining centers to raise awareness of food waste, and promote the benefits of trayless dining. 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. Dining Services has asked students to e-mail ideas and feedback on reducing waste to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dining Services’ employees have been measuring all edible plate waste for several weeks already, and will also measure the waste generated on trayless day. Plate waste data will be compared and shared with students after Earth Day.
-- Orlynn Rosaasen, Director, Dining Services, email@example.com, 7-3823