Gator Dining Services, the university’s official dining services provider, has made strides towards ensuring a more sustainable dining operation on our campus. From the purchasing of local produce, to fostering more partnerships with local businesses, to evaluating ways to cut down on energy and water usage, campus dining is becoming greener everyday.
Check out some of our sustainablility efforts below.
Student Testimonial: “I have to say how proud I am at the initiatives that you took for Earth Day. Not only the trays being taken away, but also the education was just amazing. Everyone seemed to do just fine without trays and it can help save food waste and water. That makes me proud to go to the University of Florida.” – Alex Klein, UF Student
Implemented trayless dining at Fresh Food Company and Gator Corner Dining Center
By removing the trays from our dining halls, in one year we will prevent 60,000 lbs. of uneaten food from being thrown away and 470,000 gallons of water from being used.
Gator Dining offers .25 off coffee purchases and .99 fountain beverage refills when you bring your own reusable cup. We also sell a 32oz reusable cup for $2.99 which includes your first fountain beverage. You can also present this cup at locations where fountain beverages are sold and receive a refill for .99. These cups are sold at most Gator Dining locations including Pollo Tropical, Papa John’s, Croutons and Home Zone
While no one knows the exact amount of plastic bags consumed, worldwide estimates range in the trillions per year.
Compostable to-go containers, bowls, plates & cups available at all locations.
Reusable to-go container program at campus dining halls
Coffee grounds reuse program
Reusing over 60,000 lbs of coffee grounds per year
Waste diversion data collected daily throughout campus dining locations
Providing a host kitchen to the Campus Kitchens Project
Over 2,200 meals have been served to our local community.
Robust recycling program
Recycling approximately 154 tons of comingled materials (plastic, glass, aluminum) and 215 tons of cardboard and paper each year
Recycle cooking oil at all campus dining locations
Partnership with UF Office of Sustainability
Partnership between Classic Fare Catering and Bread of the Mighty Food Bank for food donations
Energy & Water
Energy Star® procurement policy in place for all new dining & office appliance purchases
Conservation training for all new employees
Energy and water conservation program in place campus-wide.
Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance & USDA Certified Organic coffees offered campus-wide
Styrofoam-free packaging in all campus dining locations
Source compostable and recyclable catering to-go boxes that are unbleached and printed with soy based inks.
Local/regional produce sourced for two dining halls
Look for the “Locally Grown” tags in our dining halls to identify these items.
Did you know most produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before being sold?
Organic grocery & snack options
Cage-free eggs used in our dining halls
Using eco-friendly cleaning supplies
Responsible sourcing of disposable items
Education & Engagement
Participant in RecycleMania – a nationwide college recycling competition
Monthly Sustainability events at on campus dining centers
Participate in Inter-Residence Hall Association’s Annual Eco-Challenge Competition
Screens at campus dining locations display weekly Meatless Monday options and list of available local produce
Hosted an annual Iron Chef-style competition at Fresh Food Company among our employees using all local and regional products (Earth Day, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
Proud sponsor of ‘Farm-to-Restaurant Month!’ August 2012 is ‘Farm-to-Restaurant Month’ in the City of Gainesville and Alachua County. There are a variety of events planned throughout the city so you can learn more about local food
Health & Nutrition
- Offering vegan and vegetarian options every day campus wide
- Using Trans Fat-Free oils in all proprietary and most national brand locations
- Living Wage implemented for all full-time employees
- Green Team developed to allow employees to play an active role in the advancement of our sustainability program. Learn more here
- Offering a Bicycle Benefits program to customers who bike to our locationsBicycle Benefits is a national program designed to reward individuals for their commitment to cleaner air, personal health, and the use of pedaling energy in order to create a more sustainable community Click Here to learn more . Individuals wishing to participate can purchase a $5 reflective Bicycle Benefits sticker from the P.O.D. Market in the Reitz Union- Ground Floor. Rewards associated with the program entitle participants to receive discounts both on and off campus. On campus discounts at Gator Dining locations include: $7 entry to Fresh Food Company and/or Gator Corner Dining Center for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a FREE 32oz. fountain beverage refill when you use your Gator Dining reusable cup. To redeem these special offers after purchasing your sticker, adhere the sticker to your bicycle helmet and show the cashier your helmet with the sticker upon point of purchase.
Alligator – Greening Dining Article The Independent Florida Alligator (January 2008)
Office of Sustainability E-Newsletter (January 2008)
Reusable Mug Article Gainesville Sun (February 2008)
College Services Magazine (PDF format) (April 2008)
Trayless Dining - USA Today (July 2008)
Trayless Dining - The Independent Florida Alligator (July 2008)
“Erase the Waste” Campaign - Gainesville Sun (October 2008)
“Erase the Waste” Campaign - Wastedfood.com (October 2008)
“Erase the Waste” Campaign -The Independent Florida Alligator (October 2008)
Trayless Dining - Gainesville Sun (October 2008)
Reusable To Go Program (January 2009)
Gator Dining Green Team (January 2010)
Campus Dining Locations adopt Meatless Monday -The Independent Florida Alligator (November 2010)
Foam packaging removed from campus dining program -The Independent Florida Alligator (December 2011)
Gators Go Foam Free - On-Campus Hospitality Magazine (March 2012)
BURGERevolution sustainable dining party - The Independent Florida Alligator (March 2012)
Students Plan Herbs for Use in Campus Dining Centers - The Independent Florida Alligator (September 2012)