Ohio University Reusable Coffee Mugs

OHIO Zero Waste Initiative supports Culinary Services’ coffee refill program

March 1, 2017

The mission of the OHIO Zero Waste Initiative at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is to reduce the waste footprint at Ohio University thanks to support from the Sugar Bush Foundation, a supporting organization of the Ohio University Foundation. On campus, our team of staff and students at the Voinovich School partners with Campus Recycling, the Office of Sustainability and other university groups to raise waste awareness across the campus community. 

According to a 2015 campus-wide OHIO Zero Waste Survey conducted by the School, approximately 80 percent of respondents said that recycling and waste reduction are important factors in their everyday lives. More than half of respondents reported always using a reusable water bottle. Ohio University students clearly value environment-friendly practices. Culinary Services’ coffee refill program is one way to take action.

Ohio University’s Culinary Services is one of the largest self-operated, non-franchised college dining services in the nation and has a robust sustainability program. Culinary Services works hard to reduce food waste starting with strategic buying practices, buying locally where possible and composting food scraps from the Central Foods Facility operations. By making most of Ohio University’s food onsite, packaging and processing waste are minimized.

Helping students understand their impact across campus is key. Signs posted in dining facilities encourage students to only take what they will eat.  Smaller plates and bowls have also been introduced to reduce post-consumer food waste—that is, the food pieces you take, but do not consume.      

Campus cafes, such as Café Bibliotech, OU-HCOM SAF Café, South Side Expresso Bar, Steam Station Café and Front Room Coffeehouse, are also a part of Culinary Services’ sustainability efforts. Patrons of these cafes can reduce their waste by bringing their own reusable mug (or purchasing one from the café) to participate in the coffee cup refill program. 

Coffee and tea lovers, take note: all existing cafes and the two new cafes, The Ohio Café and Steeped & Stirred, located in the new Jefferson Marketplace, reduce the price of your coffee drink if you bring your own mug. When you use your own mug, the price of a drip coffee refill is only $1.25, and specialty coffee drinks can be purchased for the price of a small.

“Just like carrying your own water bottle, using a reusable coffee mug is a great way to lessen your waste impact,” said Elissa Welch, project manager for the OHIO Zero Waste Initiative. “We applaud and support the sustainability efforts that Culinary Services promotes across the campus community.”

Save money and the environment by bringing your own mug to campus cafes and reduce Ohio University’s waste footprint starting today. 

Contact: Elissa Welch, OHIO Zero Waste Initiative at the Voinovich School, welche@ohio.edu, 740-537-0112