“It is not only about reducing our waste, but also developing habits and being thoughtful in our actions.”—Carly Borken, Director of Environmental Stewardship
Taft and food service provider Aramark work together to develop and implement sustainable food service practices, designed to minimize our environmental footprint while still providing an exceptional dining experience. Sustainability initiatives include:
- Local Purchasing and Sustainable Food
- Recycling, Composting and Waste Stream Management
- Energy & Water Conservation
- Hydration Stations
- Reusable Cups
- Trayless Dining
- Fryer Oil Recycling
Taft and Aramark source food from many local farmers, growers, and distributors. The list changes with the seasons, and depends on availability. Local partners may include:
- Arethusa Farm Dairy: Litchfield, CT for milk and ice cream
- March Farms, Bethlehem, CT for fresh fruits and vegetables all natural beef, pork
- Amis Bagels: Waterbury, CT
- Dotties Donuts: Woodbury, CT
We compost food prep waste, wet food leftovers, and paper products from the dining hall. Students, faculty, and staff get involved through “Scrape Your Plate Wednesdays.” Composting and recycling now represent the majority of the school’s total waste stream. Aramark also partners with environmentally conscious suppliers who are committed to reducing source packaging, and recycles cardboard, glass, newspapers, magazines, plastic, cans and junk mail from all dining locations across campus.
Tafties are encouraged to carry reusable water bottles. Our refilling stations across campus track and measure by-bottle output: In a six month period, more than 15,000 bottles were filled in our athletic center, alone. Thanks to calculations by Science department chair Jim Lehner and his students, we know that it would have taken four barrels of crude oil—that’s 168 gallons—to produce 15,000 plastic water bottles.
Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day—the equivalent of 146 billion cups per year. If you drink just one cup of coffee or tea in a disposable cup every day, you will create about 23 pounds of trash in a year. In 2016 we removed disposable cups from our servery. Students, faculty, and staff now only have reusable options, including “borrow a mug” plastic Starbucks cups for taking their beverages to go.
Belle McDougald '17 and Emily Weaver '17 produced an original film, offering simple ideas for reducing food waste.