Local and Organic Foods
Over 20 percent of the food served in the dining centers is organic or locally grown and/or supplied. Local products include milk, eggs and dairy products, breads, meat, sauces, pasta, and seasonal produce when available. Organic items include soy milk, tofu, and several varieties of vegetables and fruits. Dining Services purchases millet from Golden Prairie, Inc., a local farm, to provide a grain alternative for people with gluten allergies. Dining Services also opened an in-house gluten-free bakery this year.
Dining Services is proud to provide options for customers with special dietary needs and provides vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices at each meal. For further details on nutritional information, please visit www.housing.colostate.edu/dining/menus.htm.
Green To-Go Containers
Dining Services has eliminated Styrofoam from all dining centers, switching to compostable to-go containers. This move eliminates 353,600 Styrofoam containers from the landfill per year. Students also have the choice to select reusable to-go containers that can be used and returned for washing to further eliminate waste. To reduce disposable cup waste, all students with a meal plan are given a reusable water bottle at the beginning of the year that can be used in the dining centers.
Braiden, Ram's Horn, and Durrell Dining Centers have implemented pulpers to collect food and paper waste from the dining centers. Collected material, up to 3,000 pounds a day, is taken to the City waste water treatment plant as part of a food-waste-to-clean-energy pilot program. Corbett, Parmelee, and the Bake Shop have pre-consumer composting programs. The pre-consumer material, up to 1,000 pounds a day, is composted in an in-vessel system located on the Foothills Campus. For more information on composting, please visit www.housing.colostate.edu/green/composting.htm.
Donations to Larimer County Food Bank
Leftover, unserved food from the dining centers is donated to the Larimer County Food Bank. In 2012, more than 40,000 pounds of food was donated by the dining centers and Pingree Park Mountain Campus donated just over 900 pounds. Non-perishable food donations are also collected from students as part of the Leave It Behind program at the end of the academic year.
Recycled Cooking Oil
Used cooking oil from all of the dining centers is collected and recycled to make biodiesel. Residential Dining Services partners with a local company to collect approximately 27,000 pounds of cooking oil each year for recycling.
Education and Outreach
Dining Services actively engages students in sustainability initiatives through special events in the dining centers, student employment opportunities, and student leadership groups like DSAC (Dining Services Advisory Group) and Eco Leaders.
Each semester Housing & Dining Services hires a Sustainability Intern (open to students in any major) as well as a Soil and Crop Sciences student to serve as a compost intern. These internships provide undergraduate students with a hands-on experiential learning opportunity and valuable professional skill development.
Each dining center has a staff representative who serves on the Green Guard, a staff peer education group aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of Dining Services.