Green food and dining
Green initiatives have been integrated into food and dining operations throughout Binghamton University.
Here are some highlights of the efforts spearheaded by Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo, our on campus food provider. You can read more on the Sodexo website.
- Cardboard, glass, aluminum, paper and plastic are recycled.
- We try to eliminate food waste and compost the food waste that is unavoidable.
- To promote community awareness, we hold regular Weigh the Waste events where we weigh all the uneaten food from guest's plates. Findings are consolidated, compared with previous events and reported back to the community.
- China dishes are used in our dining locations to reduce waste from disposable containers and our napkins are made of 100% recycled paper.
- Visitors to the MarketPlace can bring their own reusable cup or purchase a Binghamton University Bearcat cup to reduce waste and save money.
- Dining halls use bulk dispensers for condiments, eliminating waste from individual packs.
- Our fryer oil is recycled into biodiesel that is used to power a variety of vehicles.
- 92% of the chemicals we use are "Green Seal" certified, concentrated or sustainable.
- When replacing equipment we choose Energy Star rated appliances.
- We try to ensure all vehicles are turned off while they are parked in our loading dock.
- We work closely with local produce distributors to maximize the fruits and vegetables purchased from local farms. We also purchase from local dairies, and participate in farm to school initiatives. When seasonable, we specify our vendors provide local first, then regional to supplement. The last study we completed showed we source 57% of our food from regional sources (within 250 miles) and 35% of our food beyond that but within New York state.
Other sustainability initiatives:
- It doesn't get more local than food grown right here! The Binghamton Acres farm was launched in spring 2013 and provided its first harvest in the fall. Located on Bunn Hill Road on land owned by the Binghamton University Foundation, the farm serves as an example of the potential for food accessibility for Binghamton students and community members. At present, vegetables grown on the farm are used solely in campus dining halls.
- Since the 1970s, the Binghamton Food Co-op, a nonprofit student-run organization, has been offering low-cost organic groceries including produce, ecologically friendly ingredients and personal care products.
- Our student-driven Compost Organic Garden Demonstration Project promotes composting and organic gardening through active demonstrations as well as serves as a field lab for an ecological agriculture course.