Eat, Wash, Repeat, and Enjoy Meatless Mondays

Choose to Reuse campaign.Food is necessary to sustain us. Traditionally we eat, enjoy, and go on our merry way. Today, food sustainability has taken on an expanded meaning. What we eat, when, how we manage food and make environmentally sensitive decisions about how food is served and stored are important considerations.

SMC and Sodexo have collaborated to ensure a more sustainable, healthier, and equitable food system that will benefit our community and the environment. Together, we’re providing several initiatives and new offerings to achieve our sustainability goals. “Our aim is to foster environmental literacy, model a culture of sustainability, and create an equitable future for all of humankind in harmony with nature,” said Annie Drevno, sustainability director.

Last month, Drevno shared with the community the comprehensive Fifth Annual Sustainability Report that details achievements and goals for the future. “The new year will bring exciting new chapters for sustainability at Saint Mary's College, including: implementing a Climate Action Plan to address the unique challenges and opportunities Saint Mary's faces in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; developing a series of sustainability student leader workshops to provide our student leaders with the skills and organizing tools they need to successfully create a culture of sustainability on-campus; and creating more transportation alternatives to induce shifts from single auto occupancy travel to ride-share, public transit, or bicycle commuting,” added Drevno.

Two new initiatives of special note include:

Choose to Reuse
This new program provides students, staff, and faculty with an option to take their food from Oliver Hall in a microwavable and dishwasher-safe to go container. After using the container, diners can simply wipe out any large food residue and return it to the Oliver Hall cashier in exchange for a clean one. Sodexo estimates that over 2,000 paper plates are being used and disposed of daily in the dining hall. This program will phase out paper plates altogether on Feb. 11, 2019, and the Choose to Reuse containers will be the new normal. Sodexo is generously giving away 100 reusable clamshell containers (normally $3 Flex/$3.50 cash/credit card) to the first 100 students who take the Choose to Reuse pledge. If you would like a free container, follow these simple instructions to take the pledge. 

Green Mondays
Green Mondays is a social start-up group that aims to tackle climate change and global food insecurity by making low-carbon and sustainable living simple, viral, and actionable. And it’s easy to do. Simply eating a plant-based diet one day per week can have a big impact. Statistically, the production of meat alone contributes approximately 18 percent of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas globally. Having a meat-free and plant-based diet is effortless at SMC. Every Monday, Chef Gab (Sodexo) offers delicious vegetarian and vegan menu options. Diners can opt to reduce their carbon footprint, and help support the environment and sustainability goals without sacrificing taste. Green Mondays.

For more information on SMC sustainability initiatives, go to https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/sustainability/food.