Nowhere on campus is George School more sustainability-minded than in the dining hall. Thanks to its forward-thinking director and the support of the food service staff, administration, and entire community, eating at George School has become as environmentally thoughtful as it is flavorful. Here are some examples:
Seasonal, locally sourced food. More than 50 percent of food is locally sourced from farms, co-ops, and our own organic garden, minimizing deliveries (and emissions) as well as transportation and its carbon footprint.
Organic, free range, and hormone free. Organic beans, tofu, and other items (as available), free-range eggs, and hormone-free milk lead the list of happier, healthier foodstuffs. The organic garden, tended with help from students, provides herbs and vegetables depending on the season. The school’s chicken club is raising chickens for eggs, and a beekeeping club is working to supply on-site honey.
Composting, recycling, and all-around waste reduction. Every day George School keeps five hundred pounds of waste out of the landfill by composting all food scraps and compostable napkins. The organic garden gets its own nutritious “meals” as a result. Discontinuing the use of trays reduced food waste, while plastic and styrofoam takeout ware was replaced by paper. Better yet—students are urged to eat in the dining hall.
Water and energy conservation. With the renovation of the dining hall, tablecloths—and the washing thereof—were eliminated, saving water, energy, chemical use, and staff time. In similar fashion and to similar effect, trays were discontinued when a Green Cup Challenge demonstrated that a month without trays saved 1,440 gallons of water.
Meatless Thursdays. Meat’s carbon footprint is enormous. Going vegetarian once a week saves energy and water and reminds students of our commitment to the environment.
Biofuel conversion. Kitchen oil gets turned into fuel for George School’s tractors and other diesel vehicles.
Through efforts like these, the George School dining hall has become an environmental classroom dishing up delicious, nutritious food for thought.