Harvesting a Sustainable Future by Rebecca Shern
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Harvesting a Sustainable Future by Rebecca Shern

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Presented during the workshop Green College Food Service Operations by Rebecca Shearn, R.D. of the University of Montana

Presented during the workshop Green College Food Service Operations by Rebecca Shearn, R.D. of the University of Montana

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  • There are number of reasons to embrace sustainable business practices on your campus, for our campus, it is simply the right thing to do ! Our students are the driving force for change as they challenge us to be leaders in the local foods movement as well as confront climate change and environmental stewardship issues. There are many ways to implement sustainable business practices and each campus plan is unique. We started our Sustainable Future Initiatives with the UM Farm to College Program in 2003. Today, I will share with you our journeys in hopes that you will be inspired to become a sustainable business practices leader on your campus.

Harvesting a Sustainable Future by Rebecca Shern Harvesting a Sustainable Future by Rebecca Shern Presentation Transcript

  • Harvesting a Sustainable Future Rebecca Shern rebecca . shern @ mso . umt . edu Registered Dietitian University of Montana Dining Services
  • UM Farm to College Program:
    • University Dining Services initiated UM’s Farm to College Program in the spring of 2003 with the help of four graduate students from the
    • Environmental Studies Program.
  • UM Farm to College Mission:
    • The UM Farm to College Program supports agriculture and economic development statewide by purchasing Montana food products to serve in our dining venues. We educate the campus community and others about Montana food and agriculture, thereby strengthening connections between the urban and rural areas of our state. We seek to reduce our environmental impacts by shortening the physical distance that our food travels.
    View slide
  • Farm to College Vendors in Montana: View slide
  • Low Hanging Fruit:
    • Key Montana products
      • Wheat
      • Oil
      • Beef
    • Determine commodities in closest proximity
    • Take advantage of seasonality
  • Building Community and Relationships: Farmers, ranchers, bakers, chefs, families, professors and students working together.
  • UDS Definition of Sustainability:
    • Sustainability implies that the critical activities of University Dining Services are ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable, and that they will continue to be so for future generations.
  • UDS Sustainable Futures Initiative:
    • Guiding Principles
    • University Dining Services commits to a gradual but substantial increase in sustainable purchasing and business practices. We recognize that these measures may include one-time start up costs but understand that utilizing energy-saving and ecologically friendly products will save money in the long term, while providing clear environmental benefits. We will engage the entire campus community in dialogue and education relating to food security, LEED certification, health, local and regional agricultural economic development, and other aspects of a sustainable food system.
  • UDS Sustainable Futures Initiative & The Think Tank:
    • University Dining Services is in the design phase of a restaurant that is devoted entirely to sustainable business practices.
    • The Think Tank Project will be the first LEED certified interior renovation completed on campus.
  • Trayless:
    • An effort to reduce food and water waste by eliminating trays in the Food Zoo.
    • The Trayless Project waste savings:
      • Pre –trayless weekly waste 3148 Lbs
      • Spring 2009 weekly waste 1209 Lbs
      • 62% reduction in post-consumer waste!
  • Green Cleaning Products:
    •  UDS has been experimenting with “Green Cleaning” Products since 2003.
      • As of May 2009, all cleaning products used by UDS will be Green Seal Certified.
      • UDS and two students from ASUM put together a “Green Cleaning Product” conference for all UM custodial staff.
  • Hobart WastePro 1200 Pulper:
      • Compacts solid waste into a semi-dry pulp, reducing waste volume by up to 88%, addressing pressing environmental and ecological concerns while dramatically reducing waste costs.
  • Recycling:
    • UDS recycles tin, cardboard, plastic and paper as part of a campus-wide initiative
  • Biodegradable plastic bags:
    • UDS has replaced conventional plastic t-shirt bags with a 100% degradable oxo-biodegradable t-shirt bag.
    • Plastic quickly degrades when discarded reducing landfill space
    Eco to-go Products:
    • UDS is using compostable coffee cups, cold cups, soup bowls, take-out containers and napkins.
    • Products are made from renewable resources
  • Reusable Shopping Bags:
    • UDS initiated a reusable bag project sold around campus at cost($2.75)
    • Fall 2009 – May provide all incoming freshmen with a reusable bag.
  • Bring your own coffee mug discount
  • Missoula City Food Circle:
    • UDS donates over produced and leftover food to the Missoula Food Bank.
  • Vegan and Vegetarian Dining Options:
    • UDS offers sustainable eating options for the conscientious eater.
    • Plant based diets offer both health and environmental benefits.
  • Recycled Cooking Oil:
    • Used cooking oil (Montola Safflower Oil) is picked up and recycled
      • UDS is meeting with the “BioFuel Collective” to discuss donating our oil
      • for fuel.
  • Equipment:
    • Part of the first phase of the University’s energy conservation measures, all equipment purchased must be Energy Star compliant or the most efficient possible.
  • Earth Tubs & Composting:
    • At the PEAS Farm (Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society); donated food scraps go to feeding pigs & composting.
    • Earth Tubs:
    • UDS purchased Earth Tubs to compost food from the dining venues
    • Composting is currently on hold due to smell concerns
  • University Center Gardens:
    • UDS Catering collaborates with UC Gardener and a UM Student Organization Students for Real Food , to grow herbs and vegetables for our Catering Department.
    • University Dining Services offers two discussion groups using the books Menu for the Future and Choices for Sustainable Living to engage Dining Services staff and University of Montana students in dialogue on the subjects of food and sustainability.
    • Books produced by Northwest Earth Institute
  • Food Literacy Project: Cultivating an understanding of food from the field to fork.     
    • Informed consumers making choices to sustain their personal health and the health of the environment and the community.
  • Development of the UM Teaching Kitchen Project:
    • Curriculum will cover utilization of farmers markets and grocers carrying local foods.
    • Tentative plans include an herb garden on the roof of the Think Tank (LEED certified structure).
    • Teaching community members how to cook, with an emphasis on local foods and sustainable lifestyles.
  • Green Griz:
    • ASUM Sustainability Coordinator worked with the UM Farm to College Program and UDS Concessions for a “Green” Griz Basketball game on February 21st.
    • The game utilized all eco-friendly products and focused on local foods.
  • Greening the “Welcome Feast” of 2008:
    • EVST students worked with UDS for a “Green” Welcome Feast event this year.
    • All local foods
    • Eco-friendly products
    • No bottled water (coolers and bring your own cups)
  • Sustainable Campus Committee (SCC)
    • Talloires Declaration
    • Presidents Climate Commitment
  • Benefits of a Commitment to Sustainability: