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Luther College cafeteria adds sustainability to the menu

By Dale Johnson Posted: December 14, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Business student Taylor Istace (left) and education student Larissa Friesen use the new larger plates at the Luther College cafeteria.
Business student Taylor Istace (left) and education student Larissa Friesen use the new larger plates at the Luther College cafeteria. Photo: External Relations

The cafeteria at Luther College is saving money and saving the environment by making some changes in how food is served.

One step was to get rid of the trays, which meant they no longer had to be washed and stored.

With the trays gone, the cafeteria introduced larger plates.

These square plates provide room for salad and dessert on the same plate, which means fewer dishes need to be washed. That’s resulted in savings for labour, hot water and detergent.

”With dessert moved near the eating area, people do not take dessert until they are finished their meal. Much smaller portions are being taken, so there is less waste and healthier eating,” says Luther’s Manager of Residence and Conference Services, Rhonda Litzenberger.

As well, the cafeteria design was changed and guests were asked to scrape their own plates.

“With people cleaning off their own plates, they see how much waste there was. They are choosing to take smaller portions and use fewer napkins, creating less waste,” she explains.

And Litzenberger says because people now sort their plates and cutlery into bins after eating, there are efficiencies in the dishwashing area.

The idea was proposed in 2013, as part of the University of Regina’s commitment to sustainability; it was tested out on “tray-less Tuesdays.”

There was positive feedback, and a few suggestions to smooth out the processes.  The success of the trial program convinced Luther to do away with trays.