The semester is in session and its back to the grinding wheel for most of us. The start of the semester also means a return to our Dining Halls. Here is a round up of things you can do to be sustainable while eating at UMD Dining Halls.
Remember to Use Some Silverware From the Front
Plastic silverware cannot be recycled yet we use forks 2-3 times a day. Multiplied by the thousands of students eating at UMD dining halls the number of disposable utensils adds up. We estimated that about 1,460,000 disposable utensils are used in UMD facilities yearly!
Ditch the Disposables All Together
While some of the disposables dishes are recyclable or compostable it still takes a lot of energy and effort to transport and dispose of them. If you have time consider sitting down with real dishes or…
Get an Reusable Carryout Box
Goodbye wasteful takeout boxes! And as a bonus you don’t have to pay for your take out box ever again! If you are one of those people who will forget to bring your box back consider in investing in 2 so you can have a back up token
Skip the Trays
Do you really need a tray? If you don’t save some water, and energy by leaving the tray in the stand. Pile your dishes onto someone else’s tray at dish return. If you are with friends and you just have one item too much, share a tray and separate your food in the check out line.
Unsure of Your Waste? Send it Down the Conveyor
While sorting your waste is certainly appreciated and helpful, if you are unsure if that waxed paper composted or if it has to be tossed leave it on your plate and a dining service employee will sort it before washing the plate. Throwing non-compostable and recyclables in the wrong bin can cause problems further down the line when it gets to a waste facility. For a brush up on what goes where see here.
You should aim for Stacks of Money, Not Napkins
You can do it! We believe you are not a hot mess! You definitely only need a couple of napkins at most. We know you can go an grab a single napkin as needed instead of a dozen.
Pass on the plastic Bag
Sure you have a box an silverware and napkins but do you really need a plastic bag to carry them? We all know plastic bags are wasteful so skip them.
Bring Your Own Bottle
There is so little reason not to! Bring any cup or bottle and you get a discount. Or use the conveniently already in the Dining Hall glass cups.
Reduce your Meat and Diary
While eating balanced is essential, most Americans eat too much meat. Meat and dairy are energy intensive to produce so try cutting back a bit! One can eat balanced with out meat. Try a Meatless Monday and some of the Dining Hall’s Vegetarian options
image from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/earth-day-2015/