TDR goes tray-less after eco study

When AU's Terrace Dining Room re-opened its doors to AU students this August it was still teeming with hungry students foraging for food, but since the beginning of this year, they will have to do it without trays.

JoDe Nowland, director of Auxiliary Services, spearheaded the removal of trays from TDR. The university is always looking for a way to cut down on its carbon footprint, Nowland said, and the removal of trays from the cafeteria will reduce food waste by 37 percent.

Over the summer, Auxiliary Services experimented with the concept of a tray-less cafeteria. It yielded high results, and so the campaign to make AU a green college by reducing wastes continues this semester, according to Nowland.

Reducing food waste is not the only result of eradicating trays from TDR. The amount of water and electricity used to clean trays is also reduced.

"People tend to fill up their trays and not eat the food," Nowland said. "The food winds up in landfills and nothing positive comes of it."

Georgetown University and George Washington University have already removed trays from their cafeteria, according to Nowland.

Eco-Sense, AU's environmental sustainability club, supported the removal of trays from TDR after a report was published by Dr. Kim, the environmental studies advisor, that showed a significant reduction in waste at the university.

Eco-Sense completely supports Bon Appetit's removal of trays from the cafeteria.

"There is no reasonable argument for putting the trays back into TDR," said Drew Veysey, president of Eco-Sense. "The reasons for being tray-less are numerous and logical."

Students have taken the missing trays in stride, according to Nowland.

"This is not a serious issue," Veysey said, "Having a tray does not improve a student's quality of life, but a higher cost of living does decrease quality of life."

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