Tag Archives: Sustainable Dining

To-Go Options

DS_to-go-charge-socialmediapostWhen you order “to-go” you have more options now.

Compostable To-Go Containers are available in Owens Food Court, Hokie Grill, Turner Place, and West End Market for your to-go meals.  All large, 9 inch compostable to-go containers cost $0.20 cash/ $0.10 flex to use.

Reusable To-Go Containers are available at Owens Food Court, Turner Place and West End Market.  For $3.50, buy-in to the Reusable To-Go Container program and use this program your entire college career and you save $0.20 cash/ $0.10 flex every time you use it.

Remember to ask for your meal in a Reusable To-Go container when you order and buy in or hand over your token to the cashier.  All Reusable To-Go containers should be returned to one of our three OZZI machines located in the units where we offer the program.

OZZI Locations_Fall2015_2

Volunteer for the Hokie Hi Picnic!

Volunteer with us this coming Sunday 8/23. Spend your Sunday afternoon in Lane Stadium welcoming incoming freshmen and promoting sustainability on campus!

There are two shifts available on Sunday, set up and clean up, respectively.  Volunteers will be able to eat at the event and are encourage to work both shifts, if able.  Please follow the link below to sign up!

http://bit.ly/1NB8CEB

 

 

What’s New with Dining Sustainability this semester?

As well as on Instagram and Twitter: @VtGreenDining

Sustainability in What you Eat:

  • Dining Services spent 12.9 % of its food and beverage budget on local food last academic year.  This is an increase from 10.8% in 2012-13.
  • Our Farm Manager, Alex Hessler, is teaching a course this Fall on Small Scale Sustainable Farm Management.  He already has 13 students enrolled.  Consider adding the class to your schedule (Hort 4984)!
  • The Hokie Hi Welcome Picnic will be serving local watermelon from the Dining Services Farm, all 1600 lbs of it!

Sustainability in What you Use:

Reusables:

  •  This year, Dining Services has a new Reusable Water Bottle for sale in most of our units.  The water bottle can used for water and customers can get a discount on soda when presented at the register in participating units (see full list here).
New Reusable Water bottles available for purchase this Fall.

New Reusable Water bottles available for purchase this Fall.

  • Pay $3 cash or $6 flex for use of a Reusable To-Go Container when ordering food.  When finished with the container,  return the container to the Ozzi machine located next to the kiosk in WEM, and receive a token.  This token can then be handed to the cashiers at WEM for the next time they would like to order in a Reusable To-Go container.

Compostables:

  • All Coke cups are now compostable.  Make sure you throw it in the right bin (the compost bin) when you leave! If you set it on the dish return, our staff will take care of it.
  • The Hokie Hi Picnic this year will be Zero Waste which means that all to-go ware will be either compostable or recyclable.  This event is designated to be a Virginia Green Event  and will reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill drastically.
  • Stay tuned for news on potentially transitioning away from foam to-go containers sometime this coming academic year!

DS58_FrontofhouseposterHokieHiPicnicPoster

Sustainability in Where it Goes:

  • Since 2009, VT Dining Services has diverted more than 2100 tons of waste from the landfill through our composting program.  Eventually, some of the finished compost goes back to the farm  to be used to enrich our soil and close the loop.

Think_Eat_Be_Sustainable

 

Summertime and the livin is easy.

Well, the craziness of the last few weeks of the semester and graduation have come and gone and it is officially SUMMER in Blacksburg!  Woohoo!

Even though all our students are gone, summer is probably one of the busiest times of the year for Sustainable Dining at VT.  The farm is kicking it into high gear and there are plenty of projects to get ready for August.  Soon enough, we’ll be moving the incoming freshmen into dorms, picking apples, and cheering onVT Football.

What are YOU doing this summer? Keep in touch!

Honeysuckle blooming at Kentland Farm #HokieGrown #HokieSummer

Honeysuckle blooming at Kentland Farm #HokieGrown #HokieSummer

Visit us @VTGreenDining on Twitter & Instagram!

Whether it is a picture of your farm or garden, a shameless food pic from your garden’s bounty or just some of your summer adventures, send it our way! @vtgreendining #hokiegrown

So what have we been up to so far this summer?

Take a look at what we’ve been working on in the last few weeks:  The building of our new Hoop House!  Hoop Houses are structures that are used to extend the season.  The house provides just enough cover that it keeps the ground and air warm enough to continue growing into the winter.  We’re starting out planting tomatoes and basil in the Hoop House this summer.  In the winter, we’ll use the Hoop House to grow salad greens for the Dining Units!

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Want to help out?

While we’re talking about the farm, there have been a few requests for volunteer hours at the farm.  We currently do not have any scheduled volunteer hours, however, you’re welcome to join our crew during the week.  The crew works Monday – Friday from 7 AM – 3:30.  Email sustainabledining@vt.edu or message us on facebook to let us know when you’d like to come down.  Please get in touch with us before coming down so that we can be ready for you!

The Sustainable Food Corps at VT also is working on a farm this summer and could use some help.  They meet on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM and Sundays at 10 AM at their farm behind Smithfield Plantation.

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the summer!

 

Earth Week 2014 is Here!

Celebrate Virginia Tech Earth Week!

4/21 -4/25

All of this week, check back with the blog as we post upcoming events for Earth Week.  A few highlights for Earth Week and Sustainable Dining include a workday at Kentland Farm on Wednesday 4/23 and the Reusable To-Go Container Lunch Mob on Thursday 4/24!

For Full Schedule:www.vtearthweek.com

Remember to share photos with @vtgreendining, @vtsustainable @theecvt,  and use #vtearthweek

Friday April 25: Social & Environmental Justice

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Panel, 341 Squires, 2-4PM

Dr. Mike Ellerbrock will be setting up a mock panel to demonstrate how NEJAC would work through a case study.

Relay for Life, 5PM

Come to our table to learn how fossil fuels can lead to cancer.

 

 

 

EW_14Banner Credit: The Environmental Coalition at Virginia Tech

 

Spring is on its way!

Can you feel it?  Spring is finally coming!!!  Let’s collectively cross our fingers and toes to make sure that it is indeed so.

Looking forward to days like this...

Looking forward to days like this…

 

Now that we’ve gotten a few glimpses of spring, workdays at the Dining Services Garden at Kentland are starting back up!  Beginning this weekend and continuing through May, we’ll have Sunday workdays from 2 – 4 PMVT Engage is coordinating a weekly work group.  If you’re interested in making the weekly commitment, please contact them at vtekentland@gmail.com (their group size is limited).  Otherwise, feel free to create your own carpool and bring a few friends down to the Farm!  As always, check out our Facebook Page for most up to date details.  Oh and while you’re out at the Farm, take pictures and share on FB, Twitter, and/or instagram!

Dress for the weather (layer!), bring a water bottle, sunscreen, hat, and sturdy shoes!

A few projects that you can look forward to helping with this Spring:

  • Asparagus Planting (and harvest!)
  • Potato Planting
  • Onion Planting
  • General Maintenance

Also Stay Tuned for Earth Week events coming up the week of 4/21 – 25!

 

Volunteers_3_23

 

Brain Boosting Foods to get you through Exam Week

This post was written by Kelli Diaz, a student in the Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Minor.

It’s that time of year again. Football season is over. The sun is setting sooner. Nights are getting chillier. The semester is finally at an end, and we all know what that means: Finals are here. For many of us, this time of year is usually a painful and stressful time, full of cramming, sleep sacrifices, and in some cases, even tears. Although it’s the most wonderful stressful time of the year, it is still extremely important to take care of your health. We are all aware that eating the right foods can keep us healthy and make us feel good, but did you know that some foods have “brain boosting” powers? Certain foods can help promote cognitive health, which refers to skills such as learning, memory, decision-making, and reasoning. But did you also know that Virginia Tech Dining Services offers a wide variety of fresh, nutritious, sustainable food that contains brain boosting powers?

Red meat, especially grass-finished beef, is high in the B-12 vitamin, which is vital for healthy brain function. It is an important factor for building and maintaining a healthy central nervous system. Aside from boosting memory and brainpower, the vitamin found in red meat can also raise mood levels. The Farms and Fields Project in Owens Food Court serves beef from Grayson Natural Farms.  The burgers served at the Farms and Fields Project are typically from Grayson Natural Farms.

cows

Broccoli is also another brain super food, full of vitamin K and choline. Choline is essential to brain development and can help assist in retrieving stored memory. Vitamin K is essential to strengthening and developing cognitive function. The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm typically grows a whole lot of broccoli for use in the Dining Halls.  however, during the winter, we buy organic broccoli to help you load up on your vitamin K and choline and show that exam who’s boss!

This season's broccoli patch.  Broccoli for days...

This season’s broccoli patch. Broccoli for days…

Coffee can also help boost your brainpower! We all know the caffeine found in coffee keeps us energized, especially when we’re running a little low on sleep, but did you know a cup of joe right before a test can keep you alert and help sharpen your focus? Deet’s Place proudly serves direct-trade coffee from a Selva Negra Coffee Estate in Nicaragua.  But be careful! Too much coffee can make you jittery and leave you feeling sluggish.

deets

For non coffee drinkers, Dining Services offers many Tea options to give you a small caffeine buzz.   Some of the teas served at Deet’s Place including the Ginger Tea, Peach Apricot Tea, and a few others are certified by the Ethical Tea Partnership.   The Ethical Tea Partnership works with producers to align their tea production with Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance Certifications while also catering to Tea producers specifically.

The end of the semester is one of the busiest times of the year, and it can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful even with the finish line so close in sight. But Sustainable Dining at Virginia Tech is here to help you make it through the home stretch!

Check out more Brain Boosting foods at the following links and best of luck on finals!!