As an organization we believe we have an ethical duty to positively impact our current community and future generations. We are actively engaged in making food available to all community members and taking measures to conserve and protect future resources.
ReUse Carry-out Container Pilot Program Successful
In August 2023 IU Dining introduced a sustainability program at the Collins Eatery to lessen resource consumption and reduce the number of single use carry-out containers sent to landfills.
Students dining at Collins can register for the program at no charge and receive a reusable carry-out container from the host upon entering the eatery. The student then returns the used container to a collection bin at Collins. The containers are washed and returned to the host to be used again.
To date, 635 students have enrolled in the program and achieved a fantastic container return rate of 97.5%. The weekly average of the number of containers used by participants is 3.95.
Take Less - Waste Less Program
The Take Less – Waste Less Program is a dining initiative to focus attention on food waste within the AYCTE dining locations. By initially taking less food and then coming back for more if you are still hungry, we can dramatically reduce food waste. It is a simple concept with dramatic results. Be sure to do your part and make Take Less – Waste Less the Hoosier way.
The benefits of reducing waste include:
- Help sustain the environment for future generations.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
- Reduce the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators.
- Save energy.
We believe that our decisions and actions today will have an impact on future generations. To do our part to support and meet the needs of our students today without compromising future Hoosiers, we’ve made some changes to our operations.
- We use carry out materials that are compostable.
- We have removed trays to reduce our consumption of chemicals, electricity, and water.
- We are using china and silverware to reduce refuse in our landfills.
- We are opening “all-you-care-to-eat” locations that are proven to produce less food waste.
- We are using sustainable food sources.
Support for local businesses
We have opened “The Globe,” a micro-restaurant where small local restaurateurs can sell items from their menu on campus. Additionally, we schedule local food trucks to operate on campus at locations experiencing limited or no food service availability.
It may seem like a small change, but trayless dining is a proven sustainable practice on multiple fronts.
- Encourages people to take less food
- Reduces food waste by as much as 25- 30%
- Reduces dish use by up to 27%
- Saves one-third to one-half gallon of water used to wash a single tray
Fossil Fuel Consumption
- Eliminates use of energy needed to heat water and operate a dishwasher
- Eliminates the use of energy needed to produce and transport trays
- Reduces trips to a landfill to dispose of waste
- Reduces the use of chemicals, detergents and drying agents typically needed to clean trays and dishes
- Reduces discharge into landfills, incinerators, and wastewater treatment facilities
Food insecurity occurs when a person doesn’t have money to buy enough food to live an active, healthy life. It is a measurement of the number of people who cannot afford food.
According to a 2020 report from The Hope Center, 38% of college students at four-your institutions experience some level of food insecurity. A student may be faced with deciding to either pay for tuition or food and housing.
Food insecurity and hunger are closely related. Hunger decreases an individual’s ability to focus and retain information. The American Psychological Association also found college students with hunger experience higher rates of depression and loneliness.
How our meal plans address food insecurity
Inside a dining hall, students have access to a wide variety of cuisines, allergen free foods, and foods for vegan, vegetarian, and halal dietary preferences. Servings are unlimited and foods are available from open to close.
Students who do not have a meal plan may purchase a meal scan at any dining hall with CrimsonCash or a major credit card.
How we support the university’s efforts to end food insecurity
We believe that when we support others, everyone benefits.
As a member of the campus and local community, we are actively engaged in the following activities and programs:
- Campus Kitchens
We provide kitchen space, food, and training to volunteers.
- Crimson Cupboard Food Pantry
We donate food items to the pantry and provide meals to students in need.
- Emergency Meal Project
We partner with the other campus organizations to provide free meal kits during the summer term for individuals dealing with food insecurity.