Food and Drink

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Green your catered event

  • Request locally sourced foods – Parkhurst features produce from the Carr Hall Garden when in season and can purchase from other local farmers and suppliers as well upon your request.
  • Request china and silverware to minimize waste or ensure that any disposables are compostable or recyclable and are collected in the appropriate bins. Parkhurst will provide both compost and recycling collection at catered events upon your direction.
  • Request pitchers of drinks rather than individual bottles or cans in order to minimize waste.
  • Avoid ordering individually packaged meals/items.
  • Consider the environmental implications of your food choices. Consider ordering the “build your own salad” spread for lunch.  Since each person gets to choose what goes on their plate, you’ll reduce a lot of waste and accommodate particular diets at the same time.  You can do similar things with a sandwich, pasta or taco bar.
  • Resist the urge to order too much food and make sure you have some reusable containers on hand for leftovers so you and your officemates can eat for free the rest of the week.
  • Donate leftover food to the food rescue program or compost it. Do not throw it away.
  • When attending catered events, be sure to compost all compostable food ware items (napkins, utensils, cups, etc.) and recycle whenever possible.

Green your breakroom

  • Purchase fair trade, organic, shade grown coffee. Not only is it more responsible environmentally and socially, but it often tastes better, too.
  • Replace bleached paper coffee filters with a reusable filter. It’s a low cost way to minimize waste and save money over time.
  • Place a towel by the breakroom sink for you and your office-mates to share rather than always using paper towels. Or keep a towel in your office and carry it with you to use in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Keep a pitcher of filtered water handy or refill a bottle at the increasing number of Elkay filtered water refill stations around campus. Filtered tap water is a much better alternative to expensive, resource intensive, waste-producing and often less healthy and regulated bottled water. You and your office-mates could also invest in a filter for the faucet in your kitchen.

Green your meals

  • Commit to bringing a reusable container, cup, bottle and utensils for use instead of disposable packaging. Reusables accrue history as they travel with you around campus, into town, across the country or the globe! Significantly reducing your waste is also a huge perk. You can purchase extremely reasonably priced reusable items, including takeout boxes, Allegheny Gator Green custom stainless steel water bottles, insulated coffee mugs, and utensil sets, from the sustainability coordinator.
    • Pack your lunch in reusable containers rather than zip-top and sandwich baggies. If you purchase your lunch from Parkhurst, consider getting a green, partitioned reusable takeout container to minimize your waste.
    • Parkhust heavily incentivizes the use of your own cup or bottle in McKinley’s. Regardless of size, all refills from the coffee/tea station and soda fountains are only 99 cents. Keep a ceramic mug or two or a metal travel mug in your office for coffee, tea and everything else. Keep one or two on hand for visitors, too.
    • Keep a fork, spoon and knife at your desk or in your bag so you can use them whenever disposables are the only other option.
    • Keep a reusable water bottle in your office and avoid consuming water from disposable plastic bottles and water coolers. Fill up at the increasing number of Elkay filtered water refill stations around campus. If you’re interested in a refill station in your building, contact Kelly Boulton for details.
  • If you don’t have your reusable items with you be sure to compost correctly in  McKinley’s. All packaging provided by Parkhurst (plates, cups, utensils, napkins, clear plastic bags, straws) are compostable. The only items in McKinley’s that cannot be composted are commercial packaging like name brand chip/cookie/snack/candy bags and recyclable bottles and cans.
  • Walk or take the CATA if you have a downtown lunch date. CATA passes Brooks walk every hour.  Flag them down.
  • Purchase locally grown produce from the Carr Hall Garden or local farmers vending at the Market House. Campus-grown produce is available every Wednesday at noontime in the Campus Center lobby during the growing season (approximately May to October). Local produce, cheeses, meats, baked goods and other products can be purchased at the downtown Market House. Farmers also set up a market every Saturday morning during the growing season with a bounty of vegetables, fruits, cider, salsa, and other items. Step over to the Creative Crust adjacent to the Market House to grab loaves of bread, soup, pizza or sweet baked treats.