University Food Service (UFS) is currently pursuing various routes of sustainability in waste reduction, natural resource conservation and food service options to sustainable solutions.
- UFS is working hard with our office to divert the waste they create back to the ground, and to recycling centers. We are doing a composting trial, to see how effective it is and assess the costs. Right now, only Miller Dining is composting, but we hope to extend this program to all of the halls if the research suggests positive findings.
- In addition, there is recycling in every dining hall and in residence hall lobbies in order to help increase the amount of waste that can be reused.
- UFS also has sustainable policies, such as trayless serving. Serving food without trays conserves energy, reduces water and chemical waste, and encourages more healthy eating habits.
Mug Refill Incentive
- In addition, UFS promotes reusing mugs and cups, so when you bring your refillable mug or water bottle instead of using a disposable cup, you get $.20 off of your order total.
Take Back the Tap
- With this, UFS also supports the "Take Back the Tap" initiative. Take Back the Tap is a pledge that individuals, organizations and business can take to not drink bottled water. It is a promotion of refillable water bottles to reduce the waste plastic water bottles produced as well as the wasted energy to manufacture and transport the bottled water.
- They also work closely with students; for example, UFS worked with the student environmental club NECO in order to eliminate a majority of the use of Styrofoam products.
Montana Made Program
- In regards to the food, UFS works closely with the Montana Made Program coordinator in order to bring fresh and local ingredients to campus meals. The Montana Made program aims to cultivate and support the development of Montana’s local food system. In line with the mission of the University, the Montana Made Program is dedicated to developing our local economy, upholding the stewardship of our great state, engaging with our community, and promoting the health of our patrons. During events such as Earth Month, the Montana Made Program will bring in specific foods and local produce to serve all week to promote sustainable food options.
Towne’s Harvest Garden
- Our office also works with Towne’s Harvest Garden, which is a 3-acre diversified vegetable plot located at the MSU Horticulture Farm. Towne's Harvest Garden has recently earned national recognition from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, APLU, as one of only ten exemplary outreach programs in the nation. They have also received Certified Organic status by Montana Dept. of Agriculture, and certification by the Western Sustainability Exchange.
If you have any suggestions for additional sustainable efforts UFS could implement, please visit their website.