Reduce Food Waste and Beat UVA!

If you’ve been feeling both sustainable and competitive lately, we have a challenge for you!Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.35.12 AM

The VT Office of Energy and Sustainability is going up against its counterpart at the University of Virginia for a semester-long competition called the RiVAlry Cup. The kick-off to the Cup will be a food waste competition on Wednesday, February 24th in D2 from 11-2 (during lunch). Our goal is to generate as little food waste as possible – all you have to do is make sure you take only what you can eat and be ready to sort your waste before you return your dishes! Volunteers will be there to explain and help if you need it.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.35.27 AM

If you want an idea of how much food waste VT students might generate on a normal day, we did a baseline waste audit last week and found that, on average, one Hokie at D2 throws away 0.22 pounds of food waste (the equivalent of two chocolate bars). Of this, 0.08 pounds are unavoidable and 0.14 pounds can be avoided. With over 500 lunch-eaters at D2 every day, this quickly adds up!

What’s the difference between avoidable and unavoidable waste? Glad you asked! We are categorizing avoidable food waste as the extra stuff that goes unfinished on your plate – like uneaten rice or veggies, that slice of cake you couldn’t finish, unused napkins, etc. Unavoidable waste includes banana peels, bones, used napkins, and other items that can’t be consumed but occur naturally through the eating process. Liquids do not count.

Don’t be embarrassed if you have a lot of plates to return (we’ve all been there…), and don’t feel like you have to stuff yourself to clean your plate. We hope that, on Wednesday and every day, you take only what you know you can eat and minimize food waste whenever possible!

Have fun and let’s beat UVA!


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