Eating is a major part of our day-to-day lives, so it’s no wonder that our dining choices affect how sustainable (or not) our lifestyles are. You can reduce your impact by following the tips below:
- Shop for natural and local food. For organic groceries, shop at Edge of the Woods, one of CitySeed’s farmer’s markets, or the Elm City Market cooperative downtown. The East Rock neighborhood also has a number of local grocers.
- Get your groceries through Peapod or through a CSA share. These options are helpful if you want to steer clear of the financial and logistical burdens of car ownership.
- Meat production is much less sustainable than vegetable production — try to limit your intake of meat products, and think about trying out a “Meatless Monday” experiment in your life!
- Volunteer at the Yale Farm or get involved with the Yale Sustainable Food Project in other ways.
Yale Dining is an institutional leader in sustainable dining practices. By approaching sustainability holistically, Yale Dining seeks to provide students with healthy options while supporting the local economy. Many menu items meet at least one of the following criteria: local, eco-sensitive, fairly traded, or humanely raised.
- Go trayless. Food audits in the 12 colleges found that trayless diners wasted on average 40% less than their tray-carrying counterparts. Food waste translates into wasted energy, time, and water used for preparation. Remember: Take what you care to eat, eat what you take.
- Compost your leftovers in the dining hall. Composting diverts food waste from incinerators, and allows nutrients to be recycled through compost soil. Compost bins are located in college dining halls and Commons near the drop-off for trays.
- Bring your own mug or water container to the dining hall instead of using paper cups to carry out beverages. A ceramic mug has the same environmental impact as 40 paper cups, so even if you use paper cups just twice a month, it makes sense to make the switch.