• Middlebury College is the model when it comes to green dining. They buy local, organic food, compost, use biodegradable utensils and reusables (including reusable travel mugs), employ green kitchen practices, convert waste veggie oil to biodiesel fuel, dispense information and create awareness within the dining halls about green dining, have a campus greenhouse for growing winter crops, etc. For more on Middlebury’s green dining practices: www.middlebury.edu/offices/enviro/initiatives/green_dining
Among its notable, green campus projects, Middlebury College’s Food-waste reduction and Coffee campaigns have resulted in the “coffee for waste campaign”. Middlebury purchases fair-trade, organic coffee, thus using its purchasing power to support a sustainable, socially-responsible product, and to support a philosophy of making decisions that are socially and environmentally responsible. Fair-trade coffee is purchased from farmer cooperatives as opposed to large coffee plantations. Farmers are ensured at least $1.26/pound of coffee - a rate at which a farmer can support a family of five with adequate nutrition, health care, and education. Middlebury’s Food-waste reduction campaign has saved thousands of pounds of food waste, and has saved the college a lot of money, which can be used to purchase fair-trade coffee. For more info: www.middlebury.edu/offices/enviro/initiatives, click on “coffee campaign”.
• This may be the best thing ever conceived by the human mind: Chicken Tractor at Slippery Rock University: www.sru.edu/pages/1290.asp
• The Franciscan Center for Social Concern (FCSC) at St. Bonaventure University received a grant to make a connection between the university and Canticle Farm, a local community-supported agriculture project two miles from campus. Because of this, a local food day was sponsored on campus with other various Earth Day events. For more information on this project, go to web.sbu.edu/fcsc, click on “Campus Ecology Efforts”, and “Food and the Environment”.
• To get an idea of how many cups are being used on campus, a group of University at Buffalo undergraduate students conducted a mini-dumpster dive. In a day’s worth of trash at one building, they found 600 paper cups and 252 polystyrene cups! Dumpster diving is a fun and easy way to conduct an informal waste audit (no information about dumpster diving can be found on UB’s website).
• Waste audits are educational and promotional events that generate awareness among students about the environmental issues surrounding waste. University of Oregon has an excellent guide to conducting campus waste audits, which can be found at darkwing.uoregon.edu/~recycle/waste_audit_text.html; click on “food waste audits”.