Mason Dining is committed to sustainability and providing healthy and fresh selections for the Mason community. Mason is a participant of the Healthier Campus Initiative, by the Partnership for a Healthier America. The initiative aims to curb obesity by delivering healthier options and promoting more opportunities for physical activity to improve health. Mason has committed to having a nutritionist available to all students, as well as more healthy options at each meal such as fruits and vegetables, additional calorie labeling, and more outdoor and indoor physical activity options. Other highlights of its sustainability efforts include:
- introducing large-scale composting in Southside Dining Hall
- providing campus-grown produce from the Presidents Park Hydroponic Greenhouse to its dining halls;
- offering vegetarian and vegan options at every meal;
- purchasing more local and sustainable foods;
- promoting recycling and waste minimization;
- implementing energy and water conservation measures;
- incorporating trayless dining; and
- using reusable serviceware
Check out Mason Dining to learn more about their sustainability initiatives.
Raising your self-awareness about off-campus dining, such as eating locally and checking food labels, is equally important. As a consumer, you can look at labels to determine where and how the food was produced. For example, certified organic, Fair Trade, or Marine Stewardship Council are specific labels in which the food has been examined to meet more stringent environmental standards. Additionally, buying locally produced foods helps support the local farmers and economy, while also ensuring foods have not traveled hundreds of miles to arrive at your local supermarket. Responsible food purchasing is one of many ways you can help make a positive impact for our planet.