How a tray-less dining hall can benefit the environment by UC Science Today

How can a college dining hall make a difference when it comes to climate change? Get rid of the trays. That’s just what Jill Horst, director of residential dining services at the University of California, Santa Barbara did in an effort to reduce the amount of food waste that the university produced.

“It, just overall, was this big huge impact. The food waste per person, per tray, reduced by 50 percent. That’s a lot! That’s a significant impact to help with not only the food waste, but food cost.”

Psychology played a part in this in that people naturally want to load up a large tray with food.

“So by removing – the trays, people are managing how to carry their food to the table. And by doing that they’re not taking as much. They’re taking you know smaller portions to start, and then they could get back up, and go have more food, but it really was about why do we want to reduce food waste, which reduced costs, which helps the environment.”

To learn more about how the University of California is working to be carbon neutral by 2025, go to: