WVU Dining Services is committed to striking the balance between sustainable, healthy, and value based campus dining. To that end, here is a growing list of steps we've taken to shrink our negative environmental footprint and model sustainable corporate dining:
What We're Doing
- Reusable Dining To-Go Box Program: Instead of using the standard single-use boxes, students and employees with a WVU dining plan can sign up to receive a sectioned, microwave-friendly polypropylene box for to-go meals from dining halls. After each use, you can return your dirty to-go box to a dining hall, place it on the dish return conveyor to be washed for later use and receive a clean one. Learn more about the program.
- Tray-less Dining: The benefits of tray-less dining have been proven multiple times over. After experimenting with tray-less dining in 2013-14, all five of WVU's Dining Halls have removed trays from their main serving lines. The result has been an estimated one-third reduction in food waste, cleaning chemicals, and water use.
- Recycled Packaging: All our to-go operations use recycled packaging whenever possible, giving students the opportunity to recycle and reduce landfill waste. Dining Center napkins are also made from 100% reusable material.
- Recycled Waste: All cardboard and metal waste is diverted from landfill disposal through the campus's single-stream recycling program.
- Downtown Campus Farmers Market: WVU Dining partners with other campus groups to host a weekly Farmer's Market on WVU's downtown campus during the fall semester.
- Local Connection: Whenever possible, we use produce from local farms, which can provide us with a lot of in-season fruit such as apples and peaches. We seek to incorporate local produce to our dishes when possible.
- Plant-based Foods: Many menu items are plant-based/vegan/vegetarian. The Bite app allows diners to see menu options, and sort options based on what they’re looking for (ie all vegan options).
- Food Recovery: Partnerships with local food pantries allow WVU Dining to divert thousands of pounds of uneaten cooked food away from landfills to local hungry families.
- Cooking Oil Recovery: Used cooking oil is recycled and converted to environmentally responsible biodiesel fuel, which can power any diesel motor.
- Energy Star Equipment: Most kitchen equipment purchased by WVU Dining is certified for energy efficiency.
- WVU Fair Trade 2.0 Partnership: A partnership with WVU student organization Fairtrade 2.0 allows WVU Dining to source ingredients through a growing network of direct trade partners. WVU's own Firsthand Coffee brand is a product of this partnership, bringing to campus a direct-trade, shade grown, contract based coffee to campus coffee shop guests.
- No-Styrofoam Policy: WVU Dining Services is seeking to eliminate polystyrene foam service ware; most locations have already eliminated use of all Styrofoam products.