Montgoris minimizes wasted meals

Green dining arrives at Montgoris Dining Hall as the University begins to tackle issues of food waste, sustainability, and conservation.

According to Kenneth Waldhof, St. John’s Executive Director of Auxiliary Services, Chartwells has introduced unprecedented ecologically-friendly initiatives which aim to increase students’ awareness of these salient issues.

These sustainability initiatives include the recently-launched “Tray-less Tuesdays” where Dining Hall customers are strongly encouraged to refrain from using trays.

The initiative has been precipitated by alarming studies which have found that gallons of water are required to clean a single tray and students tend to over-pack their trays whenever they are used.

According to a National Public Radio broadcast addressing the tray-less phenomenon which has swept many campuses across the nation, Aramark has found that students take a quarter less food when they do not use trays.

Despite the inconvenience that this initiative might cause students, the bottom-line for Aramark is that less trays produces less food waste. Less waste means less harm done to our environment.

This semester Chartwells will be running a similar waste-reduction program on our campus entitled “Clean Plate” where food service workers will weigh and track the amount of food prepared and disposed of in an effort to challenge customers
to reduce food waste.

In addition to the issues of food waste and conservation, Waldhof cited sustainability as a higher-order issue to be tackled by Chartwells in the upcoming months.

He stated, “The University is in the process of rolling out campus wide sustainability initiatives spear-headed by Thomas Goldsmith’s office.”

So far Chartwells has eliminated the use of Styrofoam products, offers reusable dishware at Montgoris Dining Hall on a daily basis, only uses trans-fat-free cooking oil which is sent to a recycling plant after its use, purchases locally grown produce when available, only serves antibiotic-free chicken and pork and cage-free eggs, and operates the Pura Vida Café which serves only fair-trade and organic coffee by Starbucks fair-trade varieties.

Through practices such as these, Chartwells has demonstrated its commitment to the environment as a socially and ecologically responsible organization.

Waldhof is confident that once students become aware of the issues surrounding food waste, conservation, and sustainability, they will enthusiastically support the endeavors undertaken by Chartwells to ensure the preservation of our environment.

With the collective support of all St. John’s students, all of these initiatives undoubtedly will work towards reducing the size of our university’s ecological footprint, one step at a time.