Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The University of Montevallo’s vision for its students begins with offering “academically capable students from all sociodemographic backgrounds an affordable, life-enriching ‘honors college’ experience stressing community service and global awareness...”
Here at Dining Services, we strive toward this vision as well. Sustainability is one of our top priorities and is probably the most important way we contribute to our community and the global environment. In 2010, the UM Sustainability Committee passed the University of Montevallo Food Service Proposal asking Dining Services to adopt 9 specific practices.
We are working to bring the university community as much locally grown food as possible because we know that the average American’s meal travels 1500 miles to reach their table. By purchasing food grown in Alabama and the surrounding Southeastern region, we are drastically reducing our carbon footprint. Not only is local food better for the environment, but it keeps more financial resources within our local economies instead of sending them across the country. Serving local foods also means we are providing fresher, better tasting and more nutritious foods to those we serve.
We also actively engage our kitchen staff in waste reduction methods such as composting unusable fruit and vegetable scraps, used coffee grounds, tea leaves, and egg shells. All of our compost is delivered at least once a week to the UM Organic Community Garden where it will help enrich the soil. Diverting compostable materials from landfills also reduces the production of methane gas which would otherwise occur as foods decompose.
As the Sustainability Coordinator for Dining Services it is my goal to increase awareness of sustainable issues at the University of Montevallo and the greater community and engage them in creating a more sustainable environment for us all.
University of Montevallo Dining Services