Sustainable Food

Dining Services at UNC has been a campus leader in sustainability efforts for many years. From feeding overripe fruit to research bats and supplying cutlery made of plant starch, to recycling fryer oil into biodiesel, Dining Services makes a conscious effort to incorporate environmental awareness into every decision made about products and practices. Sustainable practices include:

  • Relationships with local growers and food suppliers and the use of herbs and vegetables grown on campus.
  • A local company picks up used fryer oil and recycles it. Currently it's used with feed for livestock, but it will soon be recycled for biodiesel fuels.
  • Holmes Dining Hall donates leftover and over-ripe fruit to the research bats in Ross Hall.
  • Educational programs are offered to inform students about food waste in the dining halls.
  • Dining Services participates in UNC's recycling program.
  • Dining services includes sustainability requirements for their prime vendors.
  • A pilot program for composting at Holmes Dining Hall.
  • The “Bear On The Run” program uses biodegradable to-go containers and cups.
  • The University Center Food Court now uses utensils made of 70 percent renewable resources.
  • The use of Oxo-Biodegradable™ Bags at Gourmet To Go locations. By offering this bag, UNC Dining Services is helping to lessen the impact of waste for a healthier environment. The plastic used in this bag converts to water, carbon dioxide and biomass in the presence of soil, moisture and oxygen.
  • Starbucks® and Taco Bell® Express napkins are made from recycled products.
  • The compactor at Holmes Hall included a solar power control system.
  • A computerized menu management system that monitors consumer eating habits to reduce over-production. The Waste Not Program in Tobey-Kendel utilizes leftovers instead of tossing them.
  • All dining room lights are turned off between meals to help conserve energy.
  • On earth day, dining sponsors a “Lights out lunch.”
  • Replacement equipment is energy star rated when available.