Sustainable Initiatives to Fight Food Waste on Campus | Waste Wise Products

Sustainable Initiatives to Fight Food Waste on Campus

Sustainable Initiatives to Fight Food Waste on Campus

Education Dive reports that 22 million pounds of food are wasted on college campuses every year.

College campuses are highly populated areas with students and faculty alike taking part in the dining facilities during all parts of the day. As a result, campuses are responsible for providing a variety of options for dining to meet the students’ needs. Like any company or facility that’s responsible for serving food, the issue of food waste is as prevalent as ever, especially concerning universities that serve tens of thousands of students, many of which who live on campus and rely on the food services there, every day.

Fighting Food Waste with Campus Kitchens

Organizations like Campus Kitchens are working to fight food waste across universities and high schools by redistributing unused food to the campus’s community. Campus Kitchens repackage unused food and distribute the food to those in the community who experience food insecurity. Because these “kitchens” are student-run, students on campus can experience valuable leadership and volunteer opportunities by making a difference in their communities. Programs like Campus Kitchens cut down on food waste on their campus and feed those in need and allow students to be involved in meaningful sustainability efforts.

University of Michigan food waste initiatives

The University of Michigan also made the decision to use smaller plate sizes in their cafeterias, which also began offering smaller portions of food. Education Dive reported this eliminated approximately 29.6% of the campus’s food waste, over halfway to their goal of eliminating 40% of all food waste on campus. The university also implemented over 300 “zero-waste events” throughout the year, in which different events hosted by organizations and clubs on campus pledged to not generate any food or trash waste during their events that would contribute to the university’s overall food and garbage waste.

Overall, awareness is key for universities. If resource managers on campus can provide training and leadership opportunities for students and faculty to become advocates for eliminating food waste, campuses will become more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective over time.

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