Well it’s cooling down (finally!) and feeling a little more like winter, exams are over and it’s time to take a nice long break. It’s been a busy year and semester. Take some time to reflect on your own accomplishments and we will do the same.
We had a year filled with transition. Our previous Dining Services Sustainability Coordinator, Elena Dulys, moved on to Grad School in Michigan. Our new Sustainability Coordinator, Rial Tombes, started in September and was able to see the tail end of the season at the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm. Nonetheless, the Garden crew had an excellent season, and their work is very much appreciated!
The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm: This season, the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm expanded to just over 3 acres. With 2 committed farm crew members, 8 dedicated staff from various units within Dining Services, 100+ volunteers, and more than 10 organizations involved, we had an incredibly fruitful and exciting season. This season brought in almost 21,000 lbs of local produce into our Dining Centers from just 10 miles down the road! Volunteer opportunities will be available once again in the spring – keep an eye out on this site!
Also, this fall, Dining Services purchased equipment to be able to blanch and fast freeze vegetables from the garden. This means we will be able to serve local vegetables from the garden even during the winter!
In 2012, Dining Services alone composted more than 500 tons of food waste. This means that 500 tons were not thrown in the landfill and instead will be turned into compost! This past year, several dining units were added to our composting program including, West End Market and Turner Place. With our new Waste Station set up in Turner Place, educational efforts have increased to teach students how to sort their waste.
Dining Services Green Team Program: Thanks to all the students that made the Dining Services Green Team a success! With new posters and some fancy buttons, we are able to “train” our fellow hokies on sorting their waste. The Dining Services Green Team will be gearing up once again in 2013.
Dining Services is looking forward to next year and hopefully you are too! What would you like to see happen in the coming semester and year to make Dining at VT more sustainable? Leave a message in the comment section of this post!