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The  Campus Sustainability Plan commits the campus to reducing its environmental impact through every bite taken on campus, whether it is choosing the food we serve, conserving the water and energy needed to cook and clean, or reducing wastes. Students drive sustainable dining through the UW Oshkosh Food Committee. By becoming part of the Food Committee, students voice their opinions about food being served on campus. The Committee not only consists of students, but faculty and staff also are involved.

Our definitions of sustainable foods include...

  • Locally-grown
  • Organic
  • Humanely-raised
  • Fair trade

What have we done?

  • Batch cooking to minimize food waste
  • Solid waste is reduced by decreasing food waste and recycling
  • Use of a pulper in Blackhawk Commons to squeeze water from compostable solid waste, making transports lighter
  • Using campus biodigesters to convert waste to methane gas and generate energy
  • Dish washing machines and refuse systems to lower water and energy consumption
  • Serving only fair trade coffee in Blackhawk Commons and catering operations
  • Signing a dining services contract that includes policies reflecting dimensions of sustainable food
  • Purchasing green materials in all dining facilities
  • UW Oshkosh students have voted to serve only free-range chicken eggs at dining services across campus
  • In 2010, students petitioned to veto a decision to bring a KFC restaurant to Reeve Union Marketplace because of animal rights issues.
  • Students urged the University to buy smaller trays to cut down on food waste at all campus locations. The tray switch helped decrease food consumption, creating less waste and shrinking our carbon footprint.
  • Today, Blackhawk Commons is trayless! The fiscal year 08-09 accounted for 468,658 meals sold, so nearly half a million trays had to be washed. By current figures, going trayless saves around 123,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Some vending machines now are sensor active so the machine will not be lit until it detects a customer or they presses a button, cutting down on energy consumption.

Learn more about our goals for sustainable dining services at UWO in the Campus Sustainability Plan and University Dining Services.


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