In 2019, the University of Lynchburg’s Burton Dining Hall became the first private college cafeteria in Virginia with a Level One Certified Green Restaurant® designation on campus. Here are some of the earth-friendly features in the cafeteria:
- The kitchen has Energy Star-rated cooking appliances that are energy efficient.
- The dining hall serves hundreds of students each week. That’s a lot of plates to clean! Luckily, our dish-washing machine has water-saving features that reduce our environmental impact.
- In 2018, the University of Lynchburg began a composting program to reduce food waste. Pre-consumer waste (vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc.) is collected by the local nonprofit Lynchburg Grows and is used for organic compost. Post-consumer waste (vegetable scraps, dairy, meat, leftover served food, etc.) is collected by Royal Oak Farms, an organic waste recycling company in Virginia.
- Environmentally-friendly cleaning fluids are used whenever possible.
- The Burton Dining Hall is styrofoam-free. In fall 2018, the dining hall replaced styrofoam plates and cups with paper products that can be composted or recycled.
- Excess food is donated to The Daily Bread, a local nonprofit that serves free lunch every day to those in need.
- The dining hall has eliminated trays, which reduced waste per meal by two-thirds, and added smaller plate sizes, which help customers reduce how much food they could potentially waste.
- The dining hall features plant-based (vegetarian and vegan) food options for every meal of the day. The menu also features a variety of locally sourced foods.
- Reusable to-go containers are available for students to purchase to take home a meal, which helps eliminate food waste. Students can bring their containers back to the dining hall to be cleaned and sanitized and are given a token to pick up a new one.