Current green initiatives
In the US, it is estimated that as much as 30% of food gets wasted. That's about $48.2 billion worth of food. The statistics say that approximately 1/3 of food in America (A staggering 96+ billion pounds) ends up in the landfill each year. 700 million hungry human beings in different parts of the world would have gladly accepted this food.
What we’re doing – Reducing wasted food
Dulany Dining Hall recently weighed the amount of food wasted during one lunch period, with eye-opening results:
- 284 meals were served
- 70 pounds, or 13 gallons of food, wasted
- 25 lbs/30 gal. paper wasted
- Approximately 100 meals could have been served out of this wasted food.
Dulany is experimenting with tray-less days for a very simple reason: hands can't carry as much, and thus waste as much, as a tray. There's also substantial energy and water saved in not washing the hundreds of trays the cafeteria uses daily.
How is it working out?
Since switching to trayless meals, the staff of Dulany have observed a decrease in the cost of food as a result of reduced food waste – approximately a 1% decrease in the cost of food. They have also switched to new dishwashing equipment that recycles more water than the previous unit, reducing the utility costs even more. Labor costs are down, as well; approximately 4 hours have been shaved off per day.
In addition to trayless meals, Dulany also switched from styrofoam carry-out containers to reusable plastic containers. In the near future, Dulany hopes to make the reusable containers a campus-wide requirement.