Dining spots in the University of Colorado’s student center have taken Styrofoam off of their menus.
The Alferd Packer Grill and Baby Doe’s this month scrapped Styrofoam, a product that is notoriously difficult for the Earth to digest. Instead, the dining hubs will use compostable, biodegradable, or recycled containers for hot beverages, soups and to-go orders, said University Memorial Center Director Carlos Garcia.
The move will divert 371,000 Styrofoam containers from local landfills every year.
UMC employees worked with student-government leaders to come up with more eco-friendly alternatives to Styrofoam. The UMC is funded by the University of Colorado Student Union.
“We want to make sure that our practices follow the values of the student leaders,” Garcia said.
Food services in the UMC will be going through a renovation over the next year. The student center may add bins for students and employees to toss compostable containers, so that it can be turned into fertilizer.
Tri-executive Daniel Ramos said his peers value green practices, and the student government is committed to exploring sustainable practices for its buildings.
The UMC was the first building on CU’s Boulder campus, and the second in Colorado, to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s award in “Energy and Environmental Design” for existing buildings. The building earned the eco-friendly award in 2006.
New packaging adds to the buildings already green practices, including organic food, zero-waste catering and new dual-flush toilets that save water.