Earth in a water droplet on a leaf

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE your way to a more sustainable campus.

Do you remember that slogan growing up, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”? It just rolls of the tongue now, but those principles can be easily forgotten. These three R’s can have a significant impact on our environment, so I’ve compiled ways we can implement them on Queen’s campus as food consumers!

1. REDUCE, Reuse, Recycle

Take Less, Waste Less. Worldwide, a staggering 1/3 of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted (FAO, 2017). Our eyes can be bigger than our stomachs in the dining halls!

To reduce waste, try:

  1. Taking only one portion and go up for seconds if you’re still hungry.
  2. Ask for a half portion.
  3. Share with a friend if you want to mix and match! Every plate counts in the dining halls.

Vegan VegetarianTry a meatless day! Ever heard of “Meatless Monday’s”? Eating less meat is not only a great way to get more veggies on your plate, but it also benefits the planet. Look for the vegan and vegetarian symbol and find the list of vegan friendly options around campus here: https://dining.queensu.ca/vegan-options/

2. Reduce, REUSE, Recycle:

Did you know Queen’s doesn’t sell bottled water? Students, staff and faculty have access to 190 drinking fountains, 35 bottle-fill stations and a variety of Q water stations across campus, including our three dining halls, Mac Corry and Khao. Make a sustainable choice and fill up your reusable water bottle when you’re passing through these locations!

Remember to use your own reusable mug when purchasing tea or coffee on campus. This will not only keep your beverage hot for longer, but you can also divert paper cups from going to the landfill. Win win!

Hospitality Services started charging $0.05 for each plastic bag last year and put the money towards sustainability practices on campus. As a result, we were able to divert thousands of bags from landfill last year. How can you support? Why not carry a reusable bag in your backpack instead?

3. Reduce, Reuse, RECYCLE

Did you notice Hospitality Services switched to paper straws this year in our Queen’s brands? By doing so, we are diverting approximately 284,000 plastic straws from the landfill and ocean. Help us make a bigger impact and opt for no straw with your next drink!

All of Hospitality Services packaging in Queen’s retail brands are biodegradable, compostable or recyclable including: take-out sandwiches and salad packages, soup bowls, plastic and paper bags, clam-shell containers, paper straws, cardboard, cans, plastic and glass.

Watch for the multi-sort containers across campus to actively help with waste diversion on campus! Follow the pictures and text on these containers to ensure proper sorting or watch this video by Queen’s Sustainability to learn more!

Let’s all make strides to create a more sustainable campus! Every plate, reusable mug, water bottle, straw, bag and effort to recycle brings us one step closer to making a BIG impact. Our planet will thank us! For more information on how Queen’s Hospitality Services supports these sustainable initiatives, visit: https://dining.queensu.ca/sustainable-u/

For more blogs on all things nutrition at Queen’s University, check out https://dining.queensu.ca/category/nutrition-blog/.

Written by Jessica Bertrand