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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Going 'trayless'

ELCA colleges embrace green trend

Cafeteria trays—piled high with plates and beverages or used as makeshift winter sleds—may soon be a thing of the past on college campuses. “Trayless” dining halls are the latest trend in the “greening” of higher education. This fall nearly half of the ELCA ’s 28 colleges and universities have gone completely or partially trayless. Some are considering such a move or taking other green steps such as composting or using recyclable wares.

Courtesy of Wittenberg University<BR><BR>Calvin
Calvin Wessels (left) and Danny Nicholas do a balancing act with plates at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, one of many ELCA colleges and universities to go trayless.
Why trayless? Proponents say it takes a half gallon of water, plus energy and detergent, to wash one tray.

Sarah Welch, a former marketing specialist at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, said studies of trayless universities show “an average of 1 ounce [less food waste] per customer per meal.” At Wittenberg that means “nearly 1 ton (1,750 pounds) of food each month,” she added.

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September issue

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