Whitney Center is UW-L’s largest dining hall and over the last few years has been committing itself to sustainable initiatives.
LED Light Bulbs
In 2011 Whitney replaced all of their fixtures with LED bulbs. This project financed by the green fund, will have paid for itself and produce savings in under 5 years, due to the increased energy efficiency of LEDs. This lighting renovation is one action that has helped cut down on energy waste and increased sustainable capital in the Whitney Center.
Local Food Suppliers
Whitney Center is currently catered by Chartwells, which has devoted itself to many sustainable initiatives. One of these initiatives is that Chartwells is committed to purchasing locally grown and organic produce whenever possible in support of local communities. This action has lead to a decrease of transportation of food supplies resulting in a smaller carbon footprint and a boosted the local economy.
Chartwells is proud to use cage free eggs, antibiotic free chicken and pork products, as well as partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch program to assure that all seafood served complies with strict sustainability requirements. When possible they use these products at UW-L.
Another initiative of UW-L’s dining center is that they have reduced the use of food “to go” disposables. They have done this by implementing a program that offers reusable bags and eco clam shells for purchase to students with a meal plan. These clam shells are made up of a corn plastic that can actually be composted.
EasyNap Napkin Dispensers
UW-L dining services have cut down on waste by using “EasyNap’ napkin dispensers that cut down on waste by 30% and uses 100% recycled paper. These initiatives coupled with investments in water and energy saving equipment has lead to a more local and sustainable dining experience in the Whitney Center.
Vermicomposting: The UW-L vermicomposting program began in collaboration with Hillview Urban Agriculture Center (HUAC) as an innovative means of reducing the amount of food waste produced on-campus. HUAC, a local non-profit organization focused on sustainability, maintains the vermicomposting system and provides logistical support. Examples of foods that have been composted would include vegetables, non-citrus fruits, eggshells and coffee rinds. Food scraps from the kitchen are collected daily and transported to the off-campus vermicomposting site.