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Skip the Tray

Approximately 34 million tons of food (over 20 pounds per person each month) goes uneaten each year in America. That represents 40% of US food or $165 billion worth of food.

Not only does this waste resources and promote the use of pesticides and fertilizers for food that will never be eaten, but as food decays in landfills it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Food in landfills is responsible for about 25% of methane emissions in the U.S.

Food waste is the second largest contributor to the total US municipal solid waste stream and accounted for almost 14 percent of the total.

Saving just 15 percent of wasted food could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lacks a secure supply of food.

Going trayless in the Heilman Dining Center is a great way to reduce food waste on campus. By taking only what you need, you can contribute to a decrease in food waste. Approximately 137 pounds of food are kept out of the landfill every trayless day. Skip the tray and help us reduce food waste on campus!

When you skip the tray, please remember to remove all your dishes from your table when you are done. Want to share your trayless dining experience? Post a picture of your meal with #TraylessUR. Thank you for helping us take steps towards more sustainable dining. 

Environmental Impacts from Agriculture and Food Transportation

Modern agricultural practices and food transportation contribute to environmental degradation in several ways. There are many ways your food choices can help decrease these problems.

Buy local. Food that is locally grown does not rely on large desiel trucks to transport food several thousand miles. In addition, buying local is a great way to support Virginia farmers and help the local economy.
Choose organic
. Pesticides and fertilizers from non-organic farms run into lakes, streams, and rivers contaminating the water and destroying natural habitats. Pesticides are dangerous to human health and can cause an array of medical problems. Genetic modification also interrupts natural processes of biodiversity and can have a negative impact on environmental stability.
Eat less meat
. The carbon footprint of meat from farm to table is significantly larger than that of fruits, vegetables, nuts, lentils, and milk. Livestock around the world produce about 80 million metric tons of methane each year (EPA).