University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Duluth
UMD Sustainability

Local, sustainable, and healthy choices

UMD is engaged in learning, research, local food, and community engagement through the UMD Land Lab and Sustainable Agriculture Project. You can listen to an interview with Randy Hanson (leader of the Sustainable Agriculture Project, and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Duluth College of Liberal Arts) to get an overview of SAP and how it provides both local food and opportunities for students and the community to explore connections among agriculture, water and energy.  (recorded on WTIP radio, August 2015)

Visit the UMD Land Lab on their website or Facebook page.

UMD Dining: playing a big part in sustainability

UMD Dining Services has made strides in sustainable operations, purchasing, and offering healthy choices to campus. A few examples of operational, purchasing, menu, and waste reduction changes are below.

Reducing waste

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Champ finishes his low-waste meal by composting his plate, fork, and coffee cup! Zero waste!

UMD Dining ensures you can make low-waste choices every day at UMD, even in the “fast food” style Food Court. Meals in Superior Dining are virtually zero-waste, thanks to careful meal planning, bulk ordering, and composting of food waste.  In fact, leftover food that can be donated is given to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, both to help people and reduce waste (in 2013 alone, over 10,000 pounds of food was donated)

Aluminum, plastic and glass are recycled, and bakery produce brought in reusable containers.  Biodegradable and compostable plates, coffee cups, and utensils are provided in the Food Court and Northern Shores Coffee Shop.  Foam plate and cups have been removed.  Green-certified cleaning products are used for safety and the environment.

Great Lakes Grains

The Great Lakes Grains sandwich shop in the Food Court has been successful in many efforts to operate more sustainably. Recycled materials were utilized in the building of the structure, including the wood used as decoration on the wall, as well as recycled materials in counter tops. The wrappers that come around every sandwich are compostable, making it a zero waste dining option!


Saving energy and water

A state-of-the-art Hobart dishwashing machine was installed in 2006. This machine uses steam heat and has an efficient run time to reduces water & electricity.  Superior Dining is a trayless operation, saving water and energy, along with encouraging healthier portion sizes and lessening food waste.  Light fixtures have been replaced with LEDs and fluorescent bulbs to reduce electricity consumption. The closing “check-list” in Superior Dining for staff includes powering down televisions, lights, and more. You can read more about Dining Services current sustainability efforts here, or visit the UMD Dining Services home page.

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Want a tour?

It all starts with UMD Dining Services: how do you feed thousands of student meals every day with virtually no waste heading to the landfill?  Schedule a Campus Waste Reduction Tour to find out about the newly-renovated Superior Dining, learn about waste reduction and composting, and visit retail campus food operations that promote low-waste!  You will also learn how to sort waste properly at UMD and can even smell the loading dock for yourself!

Email for a tour today.

Picture1Hosting an event? Choose low-waste with UMD Catering!

UMD Catering offers events with 0% waste for groups over 25 people by utilizing washable dish ware, linen napkins, donating unused food and composting leftover/uneaten food.  Mention you want to go “zero waste” when making your Catering reservation today!

Hosting a low waste event on campus is easy!  Follow these easy steps.

Contact UMD Catering to get started planning your low-waste meal event today!


Want more info on UMD Dining sustainability initiatives?

UMD Sustainability
The UMD Sustainability website is administered by the University of Minnesota Duluth's Office of Sustainability.
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