Sustainability

Food the Right Way

From what we serve to how we clean up after a meal, we are committed to reducing our impact on our natural resources.

Sustainability Initiatives

Local Foods & Farmers

Our mission is to support local businesses and farms whenever possible.   In the past we have worked with Eastern Carolina Organics, Foster Caviness, Neese’s Country Sausage, Homeland Creamery, Hopkins Poultry and Flora Ridge Hydroponic Lettuces to name a few! We are always looking to develop more local farm and provider relationships so we increase our local purchases.  If you have contacts or ideas, let us know!

Partnership with Guilford Farm

We are fortunate to partner with the Guilford College Farm for a variety of produce selections throughout the year.  These items are featured each week on the salad bar and in various side and main dishes during the growing seasons.  The Guilford Farm provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about sustainable farming while attending college.

Composting

Guilford has 2  Earth Tubs.  These are an amazing way to help divert waste from the landfill by composting up to 100 pounds per day!  Here’s how it works:

  1. Food waste is combined with a balance of wood chips, leaves, and sawdust inside the Earth Tubs and then they are mixed with a giant auger (mixing occurs twice a week).

  2. By being a closed environment (no rain and wind), the material reaches temperature which helps break down pathogens.

  3. After a few days at 140 degrees, bad pathogens have been eliminated and, after two to three weeks usable compost product is removed.  At Guilford, after curing in windrows (see that topic below), this usable product is sent to the Guilford Farm to help fortify the soil so we achieve a “closed-loop cycle!”

composting_slide_2

Food Pulper

Just like it sounds, our “Food Pulper” turns unwanted leftovers and paper products into pulp that gets added to our composting Earth Tubs and mixed with other material which reduce the odor produced from decomposition.

Windrows

The idea of a windrow is to take healthy and hot compost from our Earthtubs, then put the material into an environment that continues to allow the compost to thrive while also helping to decompose other carbon products like leaves. A windrow consists of a row of leaves holding actively composting material in the middle, which is then covered with an additional layer of leaves. Over a period of 6-8 months the compost within the windows will be ready for use on Guilford Farm.

Giving Left-overs an Encore & Food Donations

That’s right! Last night’s baked chicken will be tomorrow’s delicious chicken salad sandwich this way we reduce waste and use what we have on hand, sometimes making it even tastier as it evolves.  Food that is perfectly edible but that we have too much of or is not appealing as a leftover gets donated to two organizations in Greensboro:  The Greensboro Urban Ministry and Church Under the Bridge.

“Weigh the Waste” Campaigns

Periodically we have “Weigh the Waste” Campaigns to help students, faculty and staff know how much waste is generated from any leftover food on their plates.  It is our goal that this promotes greater awareness that in turn creates more mindfulness as we make selections and consider portions so we take and eat what we need.

Trayless Dining

Studies show trayless cuts food waste by 32% (we don’t fill the tray up when we’re hungry only to find we can’t eat it all) and dish machine use by 27% (we don’t have to wash something we simply put our plate on!).  By filling a plate at a time, we are more likely to make choices at a pace our minds and stomachs can process!

Recycling

We recycle the following items:

  • #10 Aluminum Cans

  • #1-6 Plastics

  • Cardboard

  • Glass

Reusable Wares, Less Disposables, Less Paper Waste

By using reusable silverware, cups, plates, etc., we reduce the amount of garbage created by disposables.  The X-press Napkin Dispensers found everywhere in dining, allow for one napkin to be dispensed at a time so we reduce the waste that occurs when we grab a handful.

Fryer Oil to Biofuel

Much of the fryer oil that we produce is donated to Piedmont Bio-Fuels located in Pittsboro, NC. From there, it’s converted into bio-fuel.