PHILADELPHIA, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While Earth Day is celebrated once a year, at campuses throughout North America served by ARAMARK, Every Day is Earth Day, thanks to ongoing sustainable practices focused on reducing waste, conserving resources, purchasing responsibly and operating environmentally friendly spaces.
One initiative, trayless dining (removing trays from college dining halls), is having a measurable impact on reducing waste and conserving natural resources. According to a national survey conducted by ARAMARK Higher Education, trayless dining reduces waste by approximately two ounces per person, per meal. As of spring 2012, more than 300 colleges and universities served by ARAMARK throughout North America have removed trays from their dining halls, diverting more than 15 million pounds of food waste from landfills this year, while reducing trash hauling needs, decreasing water and chemical use, and reducing electricity consumption.
"Trayless dining is just one high impact example of how engaging an entire community can yield significant results for the environment," said Christopher Stemen, Associate Vice President of Sustainability, ARAMARK Higher Education. "Our goal is to involve the campus community in sustainable practices that they can incorporate into their daily lives. By making Every Day Earth Day, we can positively impact our campuses, local communities and planet all at the same time."
Throughout Earth Week, ARAMARK is hosting several campus events that highlight the importance of environmental stewardship, including:
- Weigh the Waste-What's in Your Garbage. Learn how to identify types, quantities, and origins of waste and understand opportunities for waste reduction, recycling and composting.
- Meatless Monday. By cutting out meat once per week at a single meal, you can help reduce your impact on the environment.
- Know Your Recyclables Speed Recycling Game. Play and understand how to properly dispose of waste and avoid contamination.
- Dim or Turn Off the Lights. Save energy and generate awareness about the importance of reducing energy consumption. Energy consumption currently accounts for approximately 39 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted, a major impact to the environmental footprint on campus.
- Get Caught Green Handed. A game that instantly rewards students, faculty, employees, staff and guests who are spotted participating in sustainable practices.
- Farm 2 Fork Meal. Local farmers will be on campus to talk about where food comes from during a special meal that features more local, seasonal, vegan and vegetarian offerings.
Beyond campus events, ARAMARK partners with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), a nationwide conservation force of college and high school students who protect and restore America's parks, forests, refuges, seashores and communities.
During the month of April, ARAMARK and SCA will host several volunteer events throughout the country where hundreds of our employees will complete conservation service projects at natural resource management areas nationwide, including urban parks and green spaces. Projects include habitat and riparian restoration, tree planting, trail building and maintenance, and more.
Additionally, in partnership with SCA, ARAMARK is offering career opportunities to young professionals through its Environmental Sustainability Internship Program. The program provides participants with hands-on environmental job experience as they help implement solutions for clients at schools, universities, businesses and other locations across the country.
ARAMARK Higher Education is committed to protecting and improving the environment. We strive to develop innovative environmental stewardship programs within the areas of Sustainable Food; Green Buildings; Blue Cleaning; Waste Stream Management; Responsible Procurement; Energy and Water Conservation; and Transportation.
To learn more about ARAMARK's company-wide efforts to reduce our environmental footprint and help our clients and the communities we serve to do the same, visit http://www.aramarkearthweek.com.
About ARAMARK Higher Education
ARAMARK Higher Education is dedicated to excellence in dining, facility, conference center, and stadium and arena services. ARAMARK enhances the living and learning experience and environment for more than 600 colleges and universities throughout North America. For more information and a list of our services, visit www.aramarkhighered.com.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, parks and destinations and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, one of the "World's Most Admired Companies," by FORTUNE magazine and one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.