University of Vermont

Sporks

Eco-Ware Program

Eco-WareIn an effort to reduce the use of take-out packaging and the excessive waste that it produces, University Dining Services partnered with the GreenHouse Residential Learning Community, the UVM Eco-Reps, students from the Honors College and UVM’s Waste Management Team to develop and test the Eco-Ware reusable take-out container program. The program was launched in January 2011 in the University Marché and Brennan’s and has since expanded to new locations. (See table below). Additionally, the University Dining Services Sustainability Team introduced an Eco-Ware soup container in March 2012.

The program works as an exchange so students do not actually own a specific container, but constantly swap it out for a cow tag. The container is then washed for the student and the next time they want to use their Eco-Ware, they simply have to present their cow tag to the server or cashier (depending on location).

 Location

Join Eco-Ware

To-Go Box

16oz Soup

University Marché

Alice's Café

 

Waterman Café

 

Waterman Manor

Given Atrium

The Marketplace

Brennan's

 

Redstone Market

Northside Café

New World Tortilla

 

 


Resident Dining (known to most of our students as “Unlimited” Dining) generates minimal packaging waste, as diners use washable utensils and dishware. However dining in a Retail location (known to most of our students as “Points” locations) generates massive amounts of waste and is very popular among our customers. While much of this waste is diverted from landfills by utilizing recyclable and compostable packaging options, in coordination with education and signage provided by UVM’s Waste Management team and the student Eco-Reps, Eco-Ware aims to avoid the use of this packaging altogether by shifting use from single-use packaging to reusable packaging. Eco-Ware is a major step towards reducing the environmental impact of take-out dining here at UVM.

Why is take-out dining such an issue?

Consider this: If you eat just two take-out meals per day each week during the academic year then you will personally use at least 340 to-go plates and boxes. If this is also true for just half of the 10,000 customers we serve daily, then 1,700,000 pieces of single-use packaging have been used. Yep, that’s 1.7 million to-go containers in one year! This doesn’t even begin to consider disposable utensils, cups, bottles, salad dressing packets and all sorts of other take-out dining related packaging.

Eco-Ware makes the news, read our news stories below:

 

Learn more about the Eco-Ware program at: http://uds.uvm.edu/social_composting.html#ecoware