Local and Organic Foods
Over 20 percent of the food served in the dining centers is organic or locally grown and/or supplied. Local products include milk, eggs and dairy products, breads, meat, sauces, pasta, and seasonal produce when available. Organic items include soy milk, tofu, and several varieties of vegetables and fruits. Dining Services purchases millet from Golden Prairie, Inc., a local farm, to provide a grain alternative for people with gluten allergies. Dining Services also opened an in-house gluten-free bakery this year.
Dining Services is proud to provide options for customers with special dietary needs and provides vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices at each meal. For further details on nutritional information, please view the dining menus.
Trayless dining was implemented in 2008. It is estimated that plate waste has been reduced by 40 percent through this program. On average students produce less than half a cup of food waste per meal. Food waste production per student has been determined by the plate waste audits which are conducted each semester as a way to educate students on plate waste and provide benchmark data.
Donations to Larimer County Food Bank
Leftover, unserved food from the dining centers is donated to the Larimer County Food Bank. In 2013, more than 65,375 pounds of food was donated by the dining centers and Mountain Campus. Non-perishable food donations are also collected from students as part of the Leave it Behind program at the end of the academic year to be donated to the food bank.
Green Dining Center
Durrell Dining Center is housed in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) commercial interior gold level certified building. The dining center features natural day lighting, energy star appliances, sustainable materials featured in displays and seating, and green practices in building construction.
Green To-Go Containers
Dining Services has eliminated Styrofoam from all dining centers, switching to compostable to-go containers. This move eliminates 353,600 Styrofoam containers from the landfill per year. Access to compostable collection sites can be found in Ram’s Horn Express and Durrell Express. Students also have the choice to select reusable to-go containers that can be used and returned for washing to further eliminate waste. To reduce disposable cup waste, all students with a meal plan are given a reusable water bottle at the beginning of the year that can be used in the dining centers.
Braiden, Ram's Horn, and Durrell Dining Centers have implemented pulpers to collect food and paper waste from the dining centers. Collected material, up to 3,000 pounds a day, is taken to the City waste water treatment plant as part of a food-waste-to-clean-energy pilot program. Corbett, Parmelee, and the Bake Shop have pre-consumer composting programs. The pre-consumer material, up to 1,000 pounds a day, is composted in an in-vessel system located on the Foothills Campus. For more information on composting, please visit www.housing.colostate.edu/composting.
Recycled Cooking Oil
Used cooking oil from all of the dining centers is collected and recycled to make biodiesel. Dining Services partners with a local company that collected 27,000 pounds of cooking oil in 2014.
Education and Outreach
Dining Services actively engages students in sustainability initiatives through special events in the dining centers, student employment opportunities, and student leadership groups like DIG (Dining Insight Group) and Eco Leaders.
Each semester Housing & Dining Services hires a Sustainability Intern (open to students in any major) as well as a Soil and Crop Sciences student to serve as a compost intern. These internships provide undergraduate students with a hands-on experiential learning opportunity and valuable professional skill development.
Each dining center has a staff representative who serves on the Green Guard, a staff peer education group aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of Dining Services. The green guard helps promote the staff Sustainability Pledge, which is designed to encourage staff to take on sustainable behavior choices in their daily work. The Green Guard has been on site visits to Waste Management’s central receiving center in Denver and on campus green sites such as the solar plant, biomass boiler, and composter to help them be more educated leaders for dining services.