Sustainability Initiative


In alignment with the UHDS Sustainability Initiative, the students and staff of University Housing & Dining Services have developed and are implementing a number of sustainable practices. Below are examples of the efforts from our various units that are in alignment with these values:

University Housing & Dining Services Awards

  • Department Recycler of the Year – Oregon State University, Fall 1998
  • Recycler of the Year - Team Division, State of Oregon, October 1997

Residents of University Housing & Dining Services

  • Residence hall students donated nearly 18,000 lbs during the Move-Out Donation Drive in Spring of 2011 helping the community and keeping material out of our landfill.

Residential Education

  • Produce the UHDS Student Policy with a PDF online instead of hardcopy
  • Support the campus Building Energy Challenge program where buildings compete to reduce their energy consumption
  • Support the campus participation in the national Recyclemania program where universities compete to reduce the number and percentage of recycable waste thrown into dumpsters.
  • Support RHA and Cafe Earth program
  • Online surveys
  • Online duty logs
  • Online student conduct system - minimal paper
  • Primarily online student info system
  • Duty rounds include checking for open windows and unnecessary lights
  • In 2009 began using a paperless system to deliver our notetaking accommodations.

Dining Services

  • Phasing out polystyrene for use of compostable plastics
  • Use local manufacturer (Ecotech) for consumables
  • Fuel OSU Catering trucks with 20% biodiesel
  • Utilize an all electric delivery van for OSU Catering
  • Develop vehicle scheduling to save fuel
  • Tap water initiative – encourages people to use tap vs. bottled water
  • Partner with Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI)/ Student Sustainability Center (SSC) for events
  • Waste cooking oil is reused for biodiesel
  • Increasing partnerships with local vendors
  • Partner with“Fresh from the Faucet”, a Be Well @ OSU campaign to make tap water the#1 beverage choice for environmental and personal health reasons.  Have self-service ice water stations at the majority of UHDS restaurants to encourage patrons to choose water and to refill water bottles.
  • Partner with campus and community wide sustainability efforts
  • Sustainability “RecycleMania” event partner
  • Harvest of the month local foods tabling: UHDS partners with the OSU Sustainability Initiative and the Corvallis Environmental Center's Edible Corvallis Initiative to provide local produce sampling/tabling events in UHDS dining centers.
  •  Sourcing more locally raised, pastured meats (i.e. Calabaloo’s only uses NW Natural Beef)
  • Putting more focus on plant based proteins (tofu, beans, legumes) as a two pronged approach to 1) increase the amount of vegetarian options as well as 2)as a sustainability strategy.  Data presented in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 78, No. 3, 664S-668S, September 2003) suggest that, on average, plant based proteins have an environmental advantage.
  • Leftover, usable food is donated to the Linn-Benton Food Share.
  • Member of the Food Alliance, an organization which promotes environmental and social responsibility for the food system.
  • Compost all pre-consumer vegetable waste and post consumer waste (at some locations)
  • Recycle cooking oil
  • Recycling of food container waste (i.e., soft plastic, wine corks, beer bottle caps, glass, appropriate hard plastics, cardboard, paper)
  • Reusable chafer fuel cans
  • Use as much recycled paper as possible

Fiscal & Information Technology

  • Invoices are being scanned into Nolij to reduce need for physical duplicates for accounting and archiving
  • Working with vendors to produce electronic invoices to decrease need for physical invoice
  • The power scheme set on computers is more efficient with the deployment Windows 7
  • The number of physical servers has been drastically reduced by using many more virtual servers, thereby reducing power significantly
  • All CRT monitors in the department have been replaced with more efficient LCD monitors reducing the power demands

Operations & Facilities

  • Use green construction & renovation standards
  • Use of high efficiency fluorescent lighting / ballasts
  • High / 100% recycled content carpet tiles
  • Encourage all staff to participate in the Campus Carbon Challenge
  • Partner with MACD and Facilities Services to promote sustainability in show room
  • Recycling scrap metal using revenue to purchase tools
  • Use of low flow shower heads in residence halls

Marketing, Assessment, Communications, & Diversity (MACD)

  • Produce bi-weekly Campus Living eNewsletter to 4000 residents instead of paper version
  • Send an online version via email instead of sending a hardcopy of the Life On Campus to every admitted student (approximately 9000 students). We have made hard copies for the on campus visits only. This reduces paper and ink use in addition of reducing the carbon footprint of mailing the pieces around the world. Print Life On Campus brochure on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) recycled content.
  • UHDS Tour Showroom features a sustainability model with organic, cotton bedding, a power strip and occupancy sensor, and floor covering (floor tiles used as carpet) made from recycled content.
  • Produce the UHDS Student Policy with a PDF online instead of hardcopy
  • Created online Multicultural Resource Guide instead of paper version
  • Where possible, use recycled/recyclable paper and non-toxic inks on publications
  • Use one-to-one marketing/printing to reduce waste in the Living Learning newsletter
  • For most assessment, utilize online surveys instead of pencil/paper surveys saving reams of paper and ink.
  • Utilize recycling bins for paper, cardboard, plastics, glass
  • Reduce use of incandescent light bulbs in offices
  • Turn off one bank of overhead lights in offices
  • Create electronic copies of meeting agendas
  • Use recycled and recycle toner cartridges