Sustainability at Work - Dining Services

Sustainability Starts Where You Are

At Unity College, you don’t have to go into a classroom to see how we blend knowledge and practice. You only have to look as far as our dining operations to see the everyday nuts and bolts of sustainability in action.

We are fortunate to have incredibly motivated and committed students here who often ask, “Why don’t we . . . ?” We our proud to say that some of our best ideas come from the students we educate. Keep those questions and ideas coming!

Dining Services sustainable initiatives include the following:

  • We have been using bulk condiments for 10 years, eliminating the wasteful packaging of the portion pack condiments used by most college dining services.
  • Recycling pick-ups are conveniently located at the Wyman Dining Commons and the Student Center.
  • All of our napkins are made from recycled paper and dispensers release napkins one at a time to reduce waste.
  • Take-out containers at the Student Center are compostable.
  • With the help of the compost committee, all of our waste is separated for composting.
  • 39% of our products are purchased locally, eliminating embodied fuel/transportation costs on those items. 
  • All of our breakfast sandwiches are made with local, cage-free eggs.
  • All of our cooking oils are recycled by Maine Standard Biofuels, a Portland-based company that processes used vegetable oils from Maine communities returning it as fuel. With the goal of zero environmental impact, virtually all manufactured products are recycled in their closed loop system, and are also used to heat and power their processing facility.
  • Reusable cups are distributed to all incoming students. This action alone has eliminated the use of paper cups in the dining commons. And students receive discounted pricing upon using their own cups at the Student Center.
  • Cans and cardboard are all recycled.
  • Pails that products are packed in are reused for storage.
  • We purchase 80% of our products from two Maine-based vendors and are proud to state that our primary vendor is committed to environmental practices.
  • When purchasing new or replacement equipment, we consider environmental factors.
  • Unity College enthusiastically supports composting by diverting pre- and post-consumer food scraps from the waste. What we compost is sent to local farms.
  • As a sustainable practice, we no longer offer bottled water for sale at the Student Center, our retail operation.

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." –Native American proverb