University departments review green initiatives

Singleton plans to further dining sustainability efforts by obtaining student feedback about current programs

As the fall semester draws to a close, sustainability planners for Dining Services and the Energy and Utilities Department are reflecting on major initiatives undertaken in the past year and are looking to expand upon these efforts in 2010.

Dining Services has broadened the reach of sustainability in its locations on Grounds, starting a new reusable to-go box program in September and hiring Kendall Singleton as sustainability coordinator in August. Singleton, who has taken on the reusable to-go box project, said about 275 students now make use of the containers, which can be obtained from most dining locations for a $7 deposit.

"It's gotten off to a solid start," she said. "I think the people who have been participating are enthusiastic about it."

A major hurdle in expanding the project's reach, she said, has been explaining the system to students and conveying to them its importance in reducing the University's environmental impact. Singleton said she will release a survey next semester to ask students for student opinions about why the boxes have yet to be widely embraced and how the initiative can take its next step toward gaining broader acceptance.

Administrators have also placed an emphasis on local foods this semester and will seek to expand the role of local suppliers next year. Wolf Creek Farm, which currently provides grass-fed beef to the Fine Arts Caf

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