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Carbon Foodprint maps out sustainable actions for dining centers

University sees significant reduction in carbon footprint
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Students sort recyclingReducing your carbon footprint is more than assessing your transportation choices, heating and cooling systems or your appliances – it also entails the food you eat and how you prepare it. Missouri State University’s dining services began using Carbon Foodprint software in January 2013 to evaluate their operations since their kitchens provide more than 4,000 meals a day. Tony Hein, resident district manager, said the university has already reduced its output from 10.4 to 6.62 pounds per customer, and he has plans for dining services to continue to make a significant impact in this area.

“We will continue to work with our customers to offer options that are carbon friendly that they will enjoy,” said Hein. “We will also source more local products because transportation is a big factor.”

He offered quick tips for the at-home chef to reduce a household’s carbon footprint:

  • Consider where the food was grown: a banana is not carbon friendly, whereas an apple grown locally in season is.
  • Try to use more protein alternatives like chicken or pork.
  • Begin composting: Missouri State composts approximately 350,000 pounds of food per year rather than putting food waste in the landfill.

The office of energy management also recently released energy conservation data from the holiday break in December stating a savings of $49,079 in electricity and natural gas usage compared to the same number of days earlier in the month of December.

“This is a reduction of 24 percent in electricity (573,186 kWh), which is equivalent to energizing over 47 homes per year,” said Pilar Karlen, energy manager, “and 18 percent in natural gas (17,911 therms), which is equivalent to heating nearly 27 homes per year.”

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Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.
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