In 2015, Moravian University was recognized as one of the greenest colleges in the nation. Our dining team has dedicated 25% of our budget to purchasing local and organic food. We are devoted to sustainability and we know if we all work together, we can make a positive impact right here on campus. In addition to the many initiatives we take on as a company, we have implemented the following programs just for Moravian University.
Cooking Oil Recycling
In the summer of 2019, we installed an automated cooking oil management system that fills, filters and then collects our used cooking oil for recycling into biofuel and animal feed. An oil recycling program like the one we use dramatically reduces packaging and cooking oil from ending up in landfills. A closed-loop oil management system also reduces labor and resources like water needed to clean or drain oil tanks.
Moravian Dining, in partnership with Moravian University, is now composting pre-consumer as well as some post consumer food waste like vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells and tea bags. Moravian University has provided composting buckets, which will be filled by our staff and regularly collected by our Facilities team for composting into mulch used around campus on our landscaping. As of fall semester 2020, we were composting more than 120 gallons a week of food waste.
Here at Moravian University Dining, we work closely with local produce distributors to maximize the amount of fruits and vegetables purchased from local farms. We also purchase from local dairies, and participate in farm to school initiatives. Tracking local purchases helps us to meet our Better Tomorrow Plan commitment of 20% local purchase by 2020. We are proud to feature the following local suppliers: Butter Valley Harvest, Scholl Orchards, Daisy Organics, Flint Hill Farms, Primordia Farms, Valley Milkhouse, and dozens more! All of our fluid milk is purchased from local dairies that do not use rBST. Our dairy supplier, Balford Farms, sources all of their milk from Lehigh Valley Dairies.
Moravian University is a trayless campus. When you don't use a tray, you typically take (and waste) less food. It is also a healthier approach to eating, as we all know that our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. And, by not having to wash trays, we conserve water, detergent and energy.
On campus we recycle the following products: cardboard, glass, aluminum, paper, plastic. You will find recycling bins in many locations on campus.
Xpressnap Dispensers save energy and waste. The napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and the dispenser will encourage customers to take (and waste) fewer napkins. Energy is saved because less power is used to recycle paper products than to create them from virgin material.
The APEX dishwashing system combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results. The APEX management approach uses a tablet PC and wireless technology to communicate with the system’s controller to download, process and analyze data to establish each foodservice operation’s “rack-to-guest ratio.” By monitoring and improving this ratio, the system helps reduce the amount of water and energy used at each facility, and improve total operational efficiency.
We offer china dishes in our dining locations. This reduces waste associated with using disposable containers. Dining in? Be sure to use china. We also use china at our catered functions on site, but at client request, we use 100% biodegradable paper products and utensils.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, we have temporarily discontinued use of reusable mugs at our dining locations. We hope to be able to offer the use of reusable mugs/bottles again soon. Bring your own or purchase a reusable mug for $2 - and not only are you saving paper, you're saving money, too. Bring a reusable cup to purchase coffee or fountain beverages on campus for $1.50 refills in resident dining and retail.
In 2021-2022, we are reintroducing our Green 2 Go Reusable Container program. Students can opt in to the program at The Star or Clewell by purchasing any single reusable container ($6 large, $5 medium or $2 tumbler/mug) or a set of all three sizes (for $12). Containers can be purchased with cash, credit card or Dining Dollars/Hound Bucks. The student will then swipe for the meal for which they are using the container. Fill up your container however you like, and take it home to eat your meal. Rinse the container and bring back to The Star or Clewell and trade it for a clean container, or a redemption card that you keep to present when you are ready for a new container. Students only need to opt into the program once - as long as you keep your redemption cards, we will automatically re-enroll you in the program. However, if you lose your container or redemption card, you will need to repurchase a new container. Containers can be returned to The Star and Clewell during our normal operating hours. *Note that you will always swipe for the meal in your container, i.e. if you are dining in at lunch but then want to take an additional meal to go, you will swipe twice.
To save paper, we use paper with recycled content and we print on both sides whenever possible.
Energy Reduction Efforts
The windows in our dining room allow us to enjoy a tremendous amount of natural light while dining. Natural light not only provides a more comfortable environment, it also reduces our energy usage by allowing us to turn off lights. To save energy, we only turn our equipment on when it is needed and turn it off as soon as we are done using it for the day. ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. When replacing equipment we choose Energy Star rated appliances. We are working with our vendors, our catering staff and our campus facility services staff to make sure all vehicles are turned off while they are parked in our loading dock.