Your Binghamton University Dining Services Team is dedicated to sustainability. We know we can all work together to make a positive impact right here at Binghamton University. In addition to the many initiatives we take on as a company, we have implemented the following programs specific to Binghamton University.
Campus Garden - Binghamton Acres
From field to fork without ever leaving campus. It doesn't get more local than food grown right here! We are proud to work with the campus community to grow and serve food from our campus garden. The first crop from Binghamton Acres was harvested in October 2013 and all items were served to students at the College-In-the-Woods community dining room during our harvest dinner.
On campus we recycle the following products: cardboard, glass, aluminum, paper, plastic.
Xprss Nap Dispensers save energy and waste. The napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and the dispenser will encourage customers to take (and waste) fewer napkins. Energy is saved because less power is used to recycle paper products than to create them from virgin material.
APEX combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results. The APEX management approach uses a tablet PC and wireless technology to communicate with the system’s controller to download, process and analyze data to establish each foodservice operation’s “rack-to-guest ratio.” By monitoring and improving this ratio, the system helps reduce the amount of water and energy used at each facility, and improve total operational efficiency.
Food waste in landfills creates methane, a greenhouse gas which is 21x more potent than CO2. (www.epa.gov) Our first priority is to reduce food waste. We compost food waste that is unavoidable which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can also be used to amend soil thereby increasing drought tolerance, improving soil structure and health and reducing need for water and fertilizers.
Reusable Cups and Dishware
The environment and your pocketbook win! Bring your own reusable cup or purchase your very own Binghamton University Bearcat cup at the MarketPlace. We offer china dishes in our dining locations. This reduces waste associated with using disposable containers. Dining in? Be sure to use china. We also use china at our catered functions on site.
We work closely with local produce distributors to maximize the fruits and vegetables purchased from local farms. We also purchase from local dairies, and participate in farm to school initiatives. When seasonable, we specify our vendors provide local 1st, then regional to supplement. The last study done showed Binghamton University Dining Services at 35% from New York and 57% regional (within 250 miles).
Individual packets of condiments are useful in some instances, but they result in extra waste. If you are dining on site or you can add the sauce to your item before you leave, please use the bulk dispensers to reduce our waste.
Recycling Fryer Oil into Biofuel
French fries to fuel. Indeed, our fryer oil is recycled into biodiesel that is used to power a variety of vehicles - from delivery fleets to farm equipment.
Printing on both sides of the paper
To save paper, we use paper with recycled content and we print on both sides whenever possible.
92% of the chemicals Binghamton University Dining Services uses are “Green Seal” certified, concentrated or sustainable.
The windows in our dining room allow us to enjoy a tremendous amount of natural light while dining. Natural light not only provides a more comfortable environment, it also reduces our energy usage by allowing us to turn off lights.
To save energy, we only turn our equipment on when it is needed and turn it off as soon as we are done using it for the day.
Energy Star Appliances
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. When replacing equipment we choose Energy Star rated appliances.
Energy Effecient Lighting
Where feasible we have replaced our incandescent bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs to reduce our energy consumption.
No Idling at Loading Docks
Working with our vendors, our catering staff and our campus facility services staff to make sure all vehicles are turned off while they are parked in our loading dock.
Sustainable Fish and Seafood
Binghamton University Dining Services is committed to serving sustainable seafood and fish. We do not purchase any at risk species and we are proud to be the first school in the SUNY system to have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. We are also incredibly proud to work with Red's Best to provide fresh fish every week.
All of our fluid milk is purchased from local dairies that do not use rBST. Additionally, we have partnered with Byrne Dairy, who is based in Central New York and works with more than 250 local family farms.
Going forward by giving back. We are proud to feature 100% Transfair, Fair Trade USA certified aspretto coffee and 100% USDA certified organic and ethically sourced Numi teas. Everything that touches the product is green, from the 10% post-consumer fiber cups to the renewable resource stirrers to the fair trade sugar wrapped in recyclable paper and printed with vegetable dye.
All it takes are a few simple steps to more sustainable catered events. We feature menus that are locally grown, seasonal, organic, vegetarian and/or well balanced. We use china serviceware whenever possible, but if necessary, we try to use compostable and/or recyclable disposableware. We strive to eliminate bottled beverages when possible by replacing them with pitchers of drinks and reusable glassware. Each season we unveil a catering menu that highlights the season's bounty. Not only does it increase variety, it also features food that is in season.