The Clean Plates at State food waste program at MSU helps put environmental sustainability into perspective for campus dining hall guests. The program seeks to reduce the amount of food waste on campus through educational initiatives and a recurring food waste analysis conducted annually in all residential dining halls. Electronic scales weigh each customer's plate subtracting a tare allowance for every type of plate across campus.
In the fall of 2018, the average amount of food waste per patron in one semester was 20.54 pounds. Although this shows an increase from the average of 20.02 pounds per patron in fall 2017, there is a significant decreasing trend overall. Since spring 2012 when the program launched, food waste has decreased by 4.68 pounds per patron in one semester. In addition, the fall 2018 program had 11,964 patrons participate, which is 629 more people than the previous year. Twenty six percent of patrons had zero waste, which is a decrease of 1.4% when compared to the zero waste rate for fall 2017.
The 2019 program launches on Sept. 19 at Holden Dining Hall. If you’re interested in making a difference, volunteer two hours of your time to help educate students, faculty and staff on the importance of sustainability efforts and food waste prevention. Please visit https://signup.com/go/GRhfbaT to see a complete schedule and to sign up as a volunteer.
We also have a video available if you're interested in learning more about the program.