Gustavus Adolphus College will introduce new, reusable take-out containers, called GustieWare, in the dining service when the fall semester begins in early September.
GustieWare will feature a composite material bottom with a clear plastic snap-on lid and will serve as an alternative to the cardboard take-out boxes that have previously been used in the Market Place. Based on research by Dining Services staff, the GustieWare program is believed to be unique to Gustavus. After surveying many colleges and universities around the country, no other institution had found an environmentally responsible, reusable solution for take-out meals.
“The college’s annual consumption of cardboard take-out boxes has reached nearly 250,000, which to many of us is recognized as excessive,” said Steve Kjellgren, director of Dining Services at Gustavus. “Realizing that not all students, professors, and college staff have the ability to sit down in the Evelyn Young Dining Room for every meal and with a concern about cardboard waste and paper consumption, we have spent a great deal of time during the past 18 months trying to put together a program that would meet the needs of our campus community, meet sanitation codes from the Department of Health, and save some trees in the process.”
Several entities on campus including the Student Senate, the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation, the Sponberg Chair of Ethics, and Dining Services have offered financial support for the GustieWare program. An initial order of about 2,250 containers in three different sizes has been made and will arrive in time for the beginning of the 2008-09 academic year.
There will be no cost to the campus community to use the GustieWare containers and an honor system will be used with hopes that community members will return the containers to the dishroom in a timely fashion. Disposable cardboard containers will remain available for those who wish to use them at a cost of $.50 each.
“We understand that there may still be a need for disposable containers, but hope that whenever appropriate the GustieWare will be used for taking food items to-go from the Market Place,” Kjellgren said. “This is an opportunity to practice and showcase responsible environmental stewardship at Gustavus.”
GustieWare is manufactured by NordicWare in St. Louis Park, Minn. The items are microwave safe and will withstand hundreds of trips through the Dining Service’s 180 degree dishwasher.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas