UConn’s Buckley dining hall receives green certification

The unit was honored by the Green Restaurant Association for its environmental efforts.

STORRS, Conn.—One of the eight residential dining units at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, Buckley Dining, has been awarded a Three Star Certified Green Restaurant from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA).

Part of the Dining Service’s Master Plan to support UConn’s Division of Student Affairs and the university’s challenge to become better environmental stewards, the certification means that the unit needs to have a full-scale recycling program, be free of Polystyrene foam and fulfill yearly education requirements.

“Every day, more than three hundred million Americans make countless choices that can impact our environment,” Dennis Pierce, executive director of dining services, said in the university’s press release. “By being an environmental steward, we can reduce those impacts and make a difference in the kind of world we live in today to pass on to future generations. It is our goal to use the Buckley process as a prototype and then move to certify the remainder of our facilities.”

A nonprofit organization providing certification for environmentally responsible foodservice outlets since 1990, the GRA rates existing restaurants and foodservice operations with points in seven environmental categories, including water efficiency, waste reduction, sustainable furnishings and building materials, and chemical and pollution reduction.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources