UR Dining’s Team Green has introduced a reusable container take-out option to the dining halls. Consisting of five students, one manager, two coordinators and two marketers, the team is ecstatic about selling out so soon after the program’s recent unveiling.
Last year, the previous team put together a proposal that brought the Eco Clam Shell program to Eastman School of Music, where it was a success. Because the dining program is small at Eastman, the team decided to expand the program to the River Campus.
The program is still at Eastman and the dining services there have even removed all disposable soup bowls to better support the re-use of material. The team hopes to eventually introduce a soup component on the River Campus as well.
The program, which was unveiled this week on the River Campus, includes Clam Shell containers that are reusable and take-out friendly with a top and a bottom. A shell costs $5, which can be paid with declining dollars, URos, cash or credit. This initial fee lasts until graduation, so for a freshman, there are four years of Clam Shell use ahead. Specials will be offered each month for Clam Shell users, such as free muffins.
Other universities have implemented similar reusable container programs. Team Green member and senior Liesel Schwarz first heard about the idea at a conference and was inspired to pursue it at UR. “It’s a Tupperware reusable program where you get a Clam Shell, bring it back dirty and get a clean one,” Schwarz said.
The shells are available in Danforth, Douglass and the Commons but cannot be used at Panda Express and Blimpie due to franchise regulations. The team hopes to eventually expand to Hillside.
The kickoff celebration took place on Sept. 14 in Wilson Commons. Oscar the Clam Shell puppet made an appearance. Professors and students gathered to take part in the festivities, which included a raffle for a free iTunes gift card. The team will be tabling all week in an effort to increase awareness about the new idea.
Team Green members are open to answering questions online. Any and all feedback is also encouraged as the team wants to see how students like the program.
“After a month and a half, we’re going to meet with the directors of the dining halls to see how students responded to the Tupperware,” Schwarz said.