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Food & Dining

Café Solar: Environmental and Social Sustainability

This page relates to our efforts in getting Sustainable Food & Dining available on campus.

If you are looking to make changes to your meal plan or learn about the dining locations around campus, please contact University Dining or refer to the Campus Dish website! Thank you.

We, here at UMass Lowell, work closely with our dining partners in ARAMARK to develop and implement sustainable solutions for the dietary needs of an expanding campus population. The act of eating is one of the strongest ways in which to cultivate a healthy connection to the land, bettering our own health in the process.

How We Do This

As submitted on our AASHE STARS Food Purchasing and Sustainable Dining reports, here are several of our sustainable dining initiatives:

Further Dining Options

In addition to all of this, UMass Lowell Dining Services also offer "Meatless Mondays," a "Farmer's Market" meal option, an extensive salad bar, and a Campus Dish webpage identifying daily menu options.

The menus also highlight which of those dishes are plant-based (vegetarian and/or vegan). These food options play a large role in energy, water, and land conservation, while at the same time greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to this, our dining halls do the following to make our impact as beneficial as possible!
  • Hydration Stations: University Dining offers several hydration stations throughout campus.
  • Reusable Mug Discounts: Several locations on campus offer discounts for customers who bring their own mug.
  • University Dining partners with the campus to recycle and compost from all dining locations across campus.
  • Trayless Dining: University Dining has been trayless since 2007.
    • Carrying plates by hand instead of on a tray leads people to take smaller portions, which minimizes food waste. Additionally, not having trays means washing less dishes and thus both conserves energy and water and reduces the amount of cleaning chemicals entering the waste stream.
  • Energy and Water Conservation: We train our employees each semester on common energy and water conservation practices in order to conserve precious natural resources.
  • Fryer Oil Recycling: One hundred percent of University Dining's used fryer oil is recycled and used for heating oil in homeless shelters.
  • Recycled Content Paper: We use 100% recycled content office and copy paper in all dining locations on campus.
  • Green Cleaning: All dining locations are committed to using daily green cleaning products in our operations to reduce the need for chemical based cleaning products and provide a healthy and safe learning environment.