WashU hosts plant-based dining challenge

The Ever Green Dining Challenge encouraged students to consider more sustainable menu items.
plant-based burger
The challenge ran from Oct. 3 to 7. / Photo: Shutterstock

Washington University in St. Louis hosted the Ever Green Dining Challenge, a plant-based contest to encourage students to try plant-based foods.

Each plant-based meal purchased by students counted as one entry into a final raffle. For purposes of the challenge, meals were considered plant based when they contained no animal protein, including meat and dairy.

Participating students were then eligible to win prizes, such as gift cards and WashU merchandise.

The challenge ran from Oct. 3 to 7 and came to fruition through a partnership between the school’s office of sustainability and dining services. 

“Eating plant-rich diets is one of the top solutions to addressing greenhouse gas emissions, which are the driving force for the climate crisis,” said Aamna Anwer, sustainability coordinator at WashU. “This seemed like a fun way to encourage students to try eating plant-based meals.”

The challenge was also created with the hopes of helping students explore the variety of plant-based options the school offers, she said.

The dining menu features many plant-forward options, including a Beyond burger, a black bean burger with guacamole and Ethiopian-style tofu with black lentil braise.

Anwer said the challenge has given students an opportunity to engage in sustainable action, something that she believes resonates with them.

“Particularly with this generation of students, a lot of them are feeling frustrated about the state of the world they are inheriting,” she said. “Showing them sustainable dining options can be a way of giving them something actionable that can benefit the future of the planet.”



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