Reusable Containers at Got Dumplings' Food Truck

Reusable to go containers are now available at the Got Dumplings truck. Forego the Styrofoam and enjoy your dumplings sustainably!

Please note that you must already be signed up for the program in order to participate, so you can come to the counter with a key tag in hand.  (Need a refresher on how the program works?  Watch our short video here.)  Your nearest container drop site is West Range CafĂ© - dirty containers cannot be returned to the truck.

Student Sustainability employees show off their Got Dumplings meals in reusable containers!

If you don't have a meal plan but eat from the Got Dumplings truck and would like to sign up for the reusable to go container program, you are more than welcome to.  The program is geared towards students with meal plans, but the registration occurs outside the regular Meal Plan sign up.  Email me at kendall.singleton@virginia.edu if you'd like more information on how to avoid the disposables.


Green Dining Meeting Minutes, March 21

Check out the minutes below from last week's meeting and let me know if you'd like to help out with some of the programs/events to come!
1. World Water Day. Thanks to everyone that came out to the info fair last week and took the Tap Water Challenge, stocked up on water conservation kits from the City, and learned about this year's theme, Water & Food Security.  I also hope that many of you were able to try the sustainably sourced fish taco at either Runk, Newcomb, or O'Hill last Thursday.  Let me know what you thought if you tasted it!
2. RecycleMania updates.  To keep up with our score, check out the scoreboard page on the RecycleMania website.  We've got a couple of weeks left -- it's not too late to hold a paper purge or other bulk recycling effort.
3. Reusable To Go Containers now available at the Got Dumplings food truck.   That's right, you can forego the styrofoam in favor of sustainable containers to eat your favorite noodles and dumplings!  You must already be signed up for the reusable container program, so that you can hand over a key tag to one of the Got Dumplings employees in exchange for a clean container.  Dirty containers can't be returned to the food truck, so bring them by the West Range Cafe or another participating location (Runk, Newcomb, O'Hill, Shea, Pav, Wilsdorf, Castle, Crossroads, Fine Arts Cafe, The Garden Room) at your convenience.  Email me if you don't have a meal plan but would like to sign up for the program to utilize it at Got Dumplings!
4. Earth Week.  Stay tuned for more details about Earth Week events being planned, including a Fine Arts Cafe food expo, the annual Farm to Fork luncheon, the UVa Sustainability Eco Fair, and a local foods station featuring items from Blue Ridge Produce!  In the meantime, there are two events (see #5 and 6) that need your input or help:
5. Food Waste Audits.  Tentative dates/times for the audits are as follows: O'Hill - Thursday, April 12, during lunch; Runk - Wednesday, April 18, during dinner; Newcomb - Thursday, April 19, during lunch.  Let me know if you would like to measure food waste and contribute to Dining's ongoing food waste data collection.
6. Green Dining Awards.  Take a look at this initiative at Duke University and let me know what you think.  I'd like for us to come up with some superlatives for our own on-Grounds eateries (residential and retail alike) and celebrate the great things they're all accomplishing.  Let's have an interim meeting to discuss, in two Wednesdays, April 4th, at our usual Green Dining meeting time of 1pm.  We'll meet in the Dining Admin Office conference room.
7. Cooking Demo.  Tuesday, April 24, 5:30 - 7:30pm.  Dive into the world of Modernist Cuisine with UVa DiningExecutive Chef Bryan Kelly.  The event, sponsored by Dining as part of EMPSU, will include a presentation about the movement and demonstrations of such modern cooking techniques as sous-vide and liquid nitrogen, with a tasting at the end.  Event is free and registration is extremely limited -- register here.  The class will be held at the Lorna Sundberg International Center at 21 University Circle.
Email me if you'd like to help out with the food waste audits and/or the Green Dining superlatives, or if you have any questions or comments!


World Water Day Today!

Stop by the south end of the Lawn today between 10 am and 2pm to learn more about World Water Day.  This year's theme is Water and Food Security and a number of groups will be on hand to talk about local and global water conservation efforts.

Also, don't miss the celebration continuing into dinner tonight, with Runk, Newcomb and O'Hill all serving up a sustainable fish taco on the menu, featuring Pollock, a sustainability sourced fish.


Free Coffee tomorrow at Alderman

Stop by Alderman Cafe tomorrow, March 21, between 4 and 5pm for a cup of free drip coffee!

UVa Dining and UVa Sustainability are celebrating RecycleMania and promoting good waste management practices by offering free coffee to anyone that brings their own mug to Alderman tomorrow afternoon.  Come learn about RecycleMania, Green Dining, and UVa's sustainability efforts while enjoying a cup of joe.

As an extra special treat, Greenberry's will also be giving away 100 reusable mugs during tomorrow's event - first come, first served!


Vandana Shiva to speak at UVa, Tuesday, March 20

Welcome back from Spring Break!  It sure was quiet around Grounds (and on this blog) without all of the students around.

Mark your calendars for an exciting event coming up next Tuesday, March 20.  At 5:30pm in the Harrison/Special Collections Auditorium, Dr. Vandana Shiva will deliver a lecture entitled "Making Peace With The Earth" as part of the Brown College Visiting Environmental Writer and Scholars (ViEWS) Lecture Series.

A brief bio is available on the ViEWS website, and copied and pasted here:

The winner of the 1993 Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (also known as the Right Livelihood Award), Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental activist and one of the leading voices in the local food movement. Based in New Delhi, India, Dr. Shiva is the Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, a leader at the International Forum on Globalization and the author of over twenty books including Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development (2008), Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (2005) and Water Wars: Pollution, Profits, and Privatization (2001). She is also the founder of Navdanya, an organization that promotes the conservation of diverse seed pools threatened by the spread of genetically-modified (GM) biota.
The auditorium is expected to fill up fast, so get there early!  An adjacent overflow room will also be set up with a live video feed.


Green Dining Meeting Minutes, 2/29/12

Great Green Dining meeting this past Wednesday - awesome turnout and lots of energy in the room!  I'm posting the minutes again; here's what we discussed:
1. RecycleMania. UVa has slipped a little in the rankings since last week, but we've still got plenty of time to work our way back up!  If you have any questions about what's recycable, this "Ways To Recycle" page is a great resource on the UVa Facilities Management Energy & Utilities website: http://utilities.fm.virginia.edu/recycling/Pages/WaystoRecycle.aspx.

2. Hydration Stations.  The StudCo Student Life committee is exploring the possibilities of expanding the number of water bottle filling stations on Grounds (there are currently two: one at the Pav and one outside of Crossroads).  Let me know if you have any suggestions for Dining locations that could use one.  Non-Dining locations are great too, but outside of our jurisdiction and will therefore need Housing/Facilities Management support.
3. World Water Day.  Thursday, March 22nd.  This year's theme is Water and Food Security, so we brainstormed a few agriculture-related organizations that may be a good fit for the info fair (to take place on the south end of the Lawn, between roughly 10 and 2 that Thursday the 22nd), including VDACS (the VA Dept of Ag & Consumer Services) and the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
4. National Nutrition Month.  The theme this March is Get Your Plate in Shape, which is a riff on the new USDA MyPlate program, the government's replacement of the longstanding food pyramid.  Each dining hall is promoting the MyPlate program through international cuisine this month.
Thursday, March 15 - O'Hill will be featuring Healthy Indian Cuisine at dinner
Wednesday, March 21 - Runk will be featuring Healthy South American Cuisine at dinner
Wednesday, March 28 - Newcomb will be featuring Healthy Thai Cuisine at dinner
The ever-popular Nutrition Trivia Wheel will be at all of those events; play for a chance to win prizes!
5. Food Waste Audits.  Green Dining and various student groups have organized food waste audits spanning from Spring '06 to this past fall.  Dining's sustainability intern compiled the data from these audits to discover that over the years, there has been a steady downward trend in waste per student!  Trayless dining and composting are two UVa programs that have directly and tangentially come about as a result of the findings of some of the earlier food waste audits -- audits are a valuable tool for evaluating waste mitigation opportunities, and we will be conducting more this spring (stay tuned!).  For more information on UVa's composting program, check out this brief video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6638zmk5Jg.  Interest was expressed in a field trip to Panorama, the local farm that takes our food waste.  I'll look into it!
Have a wonderful spring break!