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Sustainability Blog

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 16:10

Next Monday, October 16th, is the 72nd annual celebration of World Food Day. On this day we commemorate the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an agency that focuses on eliminating hunger in developing countries by improving and modernizing production practices.
How often do you think about food waste? And how often do you waste food? About one third of the world’s food production is wasted. That is a whopping 1.3 billion tons! America alone wastes 40% of food and most of that waste is often still safe for consumption. The average consumer disposes of 300 pounds of food every year. These are the kind of facts that swarm websites that advocate for food conservation and security. Websites such as or the United Nation’s food page found under their ‘Global Issues” tab all try to spread the information to the consumers. After all, consumers are the ones responsible for developing wasteful habits in “throw away” societies in the US and Europe. However, as the UN illustrates, the majority of waste comes from production and retail especially in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. That is why the Food and Agriculture Organization targets production practices in agriculture, forestry and fisheries to help minimize this waste while optimizing yield sizes. It is still important to note that as consumers we can still do our part. By throwing away a slice of pizza (an actual mortal sin), you are also throwing away energy, gasoline and the gallons and gallons of water it took to produce the tomatoes and the wheat. Not to mention all the packaging and man-hours that went into the components that make up that buffalo chicken slice that is now in the trash.
Campus Dining and Shops will be taking part in celebrating World Food Day by hosting a food drive supporting the University Presbyterian Church’s food bank, doing our part in alleviating hunger on a local scale. We will be accepting non-perishable items from 10AM-3PM by Capen Café as well as providing cans to purchase with your UB card. For every 2 items donated, you’ll be eligible to enter in our raffle for a mountain bike. For every 3 items, you’ll be given 2 entries. Helping your community, celebrating a great cause and possibly winning a bike? I’d call that a good day if I were you.

Hope to see you there and best of luck to those of you entering the raffle! May the odds be ever in your favor!
#Zero Hunger

-Maylan Nguyen

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 16:47

Hello everybody! The 9th annual Pride of NY showcase was a success! For those of you that attended, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and thank you for coming. It was a beautiful day on Wednesday, so shout out to the weather. I’d also like to extend a HUGE thank you to all the vendors who participated. The vendors who were at the showcase include:
Boulevard Produce
Costanzo’s Bakery
James Desiderio Produce
Frito Lay
Galbani/ Sorrento
General Mills
McCullagh Coffee
Perry’s Ice Cream
Rosina Foods
Sensible Portions
The Basket Co.
Upstate Farms
All the food was delicious, and I went back for seconds (and thirds and fourths). On that note, tune in next week as we prepare for World Food Day 2017 and talk about food related issues! See you then!

-Maylan Nguyen

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 10:37

Hello everyone! Happy autumn! Apples are now in season and you can find New York state apples at any Campus Dining and Shops location. If you’ve ever eaten on campus (which I highly recommend you do), there is a good chance you’ve come across an ingredient made and grown right here in New York. Campus Dining and Shops prides themselves on supporting local farms, distributors and manufacturers. In doing so, CDS also boosts the local economy, providing jobs in the area.
Buying local ingredients also reduces the time between harvesting, selling and consumption. Unlike conventional produce, which is picked before they are ripe, local produce can be picked at its prime when it’s ready. This results in higher quality products because they are fresher, contain more nutrients, and taste better. This also minimizes packaging and carbon emissions from traveling. The chefs at CDS also do a great job with building mouthwatering menu items around produce that is in season, helping them buy as much local produce, like green peppers, squash and the aforementioned apples, throughout the whole year.
This upcoming Wednesday, September 27th, Campus Dining and Shops will be hosting the 9th annual Pride of New York Showcase. The event takes place from 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM and reinforces Campus Dining and Shops’ belief and practice of buying local. It will also give students an opportunity to meet with some of the food providers such as, General Mills, James Desidero Produce and Upstate Farms. If you’ve ever wondered where the tomatoes in your Edgy Veggies’ salad came from, or where the meatballs at C3 were made, then the Showcase is a great opportunity for CDS and these distributors to demonstrate to you transparency within their operations. It also develops a great relationship between consumers and producers. Or, you could just show up for the samples, because who doesn’t love samples?
The Pride of New York Showcase coincides with the UB Sustainable Living Fair, where different organizations showcase ways to reduce your environmental footprint. The event is free, but donations will be accepted for Hearts for the Homeless. I will attach the link to the list of items they are asking for below.
I highly encourage everyone to attend this great event and to always think about where your food comes from!

Hearts for the Homeless

Friday, September 15, 2017 - 16:14

Welcome to the sustainability blog! I hope everyone has been well since Eric’s last post. I’m Maylan Nguyen and I’d like to introduce myself as the new Student Sustainability Coordinator here at Campus Dining and Shops. I am a third year Environmental Geosciences student who loves to stay involved on campus. Last year, I was the Community Standards Coordinator for Greiner Hall Council and I am currently the treasurer of UB Campus Garden Club and UB Advocates for Girl’s Education (formerly known as Girl Effect). Over the summer, I interned for the Office of Sustainability and tended the Campus Garden. I also like to advertise that I’m an avid recycler and live by the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m very enthusiastic about sustainable living and try to practice it every day, on campus and off. I’m very glad to work for an organization that has the same values and implements those values on a wider scale.

Each post will cover one of the wide range of topics pertaining to sustainability. This includes everything from food waste to the importance of green space to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as information on sustainable events and programs happening right here on campus. By following this blog, I hope to not only provide you with ideas and tips on how to be a sustainable student, but to also educate and incite an environmental consciousness that stays with you for life.

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 23:23

With days remaining before finals week, just about everyone’s mind has surely drifted to thoughts of some warm, poolside evenings, or the feeling of freedom upon arriving at a vacation destination. We’re almost there! I am personally looking forward to spending a week in the Adirondacks and enjoying all the joys that nature can provide. While I’m out there, I’m going to do my best to follow some of the following tips to stay sustainable while enjoying the summer haze.
As I have mentioned in several of my past articles, being conscious of the environmental impact of our food is of the utmost importance. Participating in home gardening, and canning the fruits and veggies of your labor can cut back on your summer expenses, freeing up money for other activities that only the summer months can fulfill. I plan on bringing some of my homegrown goods with me to the mountains, and whenever possible, buying from local farmers markets or roadside stands instead of supermarket chains. Be conscious of food miles, and support the people around you! I promise, it will feel good and chatting with the locals may help you find interesting and less touristy places to explore!
Many of us are preparing our swimming pools as a method of combating the summer heat. I cannot wait to jump in after a long day at work, nothing is more refreshing. Considering that more than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but less that 1% is actually drinkable, let’s make sure we don’t waste any more than we need when managing our pools. Same goes for watering your garden! Build some raised beds for your veggies and flowers. Not only is it an attractive way to decorate your green space, it also helps preserve water by preventing run off, and when you fill the beds with your own soil, you can be sure you have the cleanest and most nutrient rich soil available.
Another summer favorite is to break out the grill, an American pastime. Propane burns much cleaner than charcoal...but if you insist on using charcoal for flavor, try natural lump charcoals. They burn hotter, and much cleaner than briquettes, which give off a bunch of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when lit! Then, when the food is laid out on the table and ready to serve, think twice about using styrofoam of plastic plates and silverware. It might take a little more time to clean up your regular dishware, but it is better than those pesky plastics sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years. If you are serving too many people, or you’re out in the mountains and don’t have access to the regular plates, forks and knives, purchase compostable ones! Future generations will thank you.
Most of all, get outside and enjoy the weather. Take your bike to the local market or to work a couple times a week. A stroll through the park, the forest or the beach can do you wonders after the stress of another spring semester. If you’ve spent more than a year in Buffalo, you know that the blistering cold will be back before you know it, so enjoy the warmth while you can and turn off the air-conditioning when it’s not completely necessary. I’m much more comfortable sleeping a chilled room, but no one needs to be wearing a sweater in their home during a Buffalo summer. Put those away until October when you have no choice!
Congratulations to all who are graduating this semester! And for the rest of us...another semester down my friends. Sadly, this will be my last post as Student Sustainability Coordinator. I’d like to thank Campus Dining and Shops for this opportunity to write to you all, to speak with you in the dining halls, and to learn from both of those experiences many valuable things about being sustainable and promoting it to our community at large. I will still be at UB for a few more semesters, and would like to stay involved with our sustainability efforts.. If you’d like to collaborate, please get in touch!
To a wonderful summer! Thank you UB!

-Eric Shaver
Student Sustainability Coordinator UB-CDS
Cultural Anthropology B.A. (In-Progress)
Vice President, UB Campus Garden Club

Relevant Links:

Upcoming Dining Events
Gelato Night

Crossroads Culinary Center

Tour Around the World - Indonesia

Main Street Market Dining Center

Governors Dining Center

Crossroads Culinary Center