Sustainability 'To Go' on BU campus

For immediate release: Feb. 3, 2010

BLOOMSBURG — Students at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania found a new addition to their list of campus essentials this week: reusable "to go" food containers for use at the Husky Lounge. Aramark Higher Education, BU's dining service provider, is introducing the Green Thread "to go" container program at many of the campuses it serves, diverting more than 2 million disposables from landfills during the 2009-2010 school year.

The reusable 'to go' containers, which are dishwasher-safe and go through the same cleaning process as the dinnerware used in campus dining halls, were first offered to BU students free of charge Monday, Feb. 1.

"Through our Green Thread environmental stewardship platform, we are continuing to look for ways to reduce our environmental impact," said Tara Lynn, marketing manager, Aramark. "The re-usable 'to go' container program is another initiative in our ongoing plan to strive toward zero waste and support the sustainability goals of Bloomsburg University."

Aramark successfully piloted the reusable "to go" containers at several campuses last year, including Baylor University, University of Florida, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Peace College and Salem College. Since implementing the reusable containers in fall 2008, Baylor University reduced disposable container usage by 40 percent.

BU students can receive a free eco-container at the Husky Lounge and use it in place of white plastic foam containers. Students may trade in the used container for a new, clean eco-container. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use this container as often as possible to reduce their carbon footprint, Lynn said.

"Student feedback from the pilot program was very positive," said Michael Leone, senior vice president, Aramark Higher Education. "Everyone on campus immediately understood the reduction in landfill waste, when compared with a traditional, disposable container. Our program also commits to recycling these re-usable products at the end of their useful life."

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.