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Learn about sustainable practices at UWEC

At UWEC we strive to be a sustainable university. For this reason we engage in the following actions to keep our campus eco-friendly.


Composting has the potential to significantly alter the amount a waste we throw into our local landfills. Blugold Catering is proud to use compostable plates, cups and dinnerware whenever possible.

Local Food

Blugold Catering tries to source locally grown food whenever possible and financially feasible. Due to the shorter growing season in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the majority of locally grown food is available in the late summer through early fall. We use Bix Produce from the Twin Cities for a majority of our local produce.

Environmental Consciousness

Our new Ecolab Apex dishwashing system, combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimizes the impact of waste products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results.

Recycling and Composting Examples

Recyclable Materials

Aluminum cans
Condiment cups + lids
Glass bottles
Metal caps + lids
Plastic beverage cold cups
Plastic bottles (soda, juice, milk, water + lids)
Plastic clamshells (salad bar, dessert + Simply to Go containers)
Plastic cups (yogurt, Simply to Go fruit + vegetable cups)
Plastic lids (bottles, beverages, Simply to Go cups)
Sushi DO rice bowls (black bowls + clear lids)
Sushi DO sushi containers

Compost Materials

ALL food
Blu Flame Grill food boats
D’Italia cheese bread bags
Green Mountain coffee cups + sleeves
Mongolian Grill + Sushi DO chopsticks
Paper beverage cold cups
Paper packets (salt, pepper, etc.)
Plates (Blu Flame Grill, D’Italia, Mongolian Grill, The Cabin + Taqueria)
Sleeves (straws + chopsticks)
Soup bowls + lids
To-go paper clamshells (Blu Flame Grill, D’Italia, Mongolian Grill + Taqueria)
Freshens Cups
Freshens Straws

Landfill Materials

Caribou Coffee + Einstein Bros. Bagels coffee cups
Chip bags
Condiment packets (syrup containers, hot sauce, etc.)
Lids with no recycle symbol
Miscellaneous items (receipts, waxed cardboard bowls, wipes, etc.)
Waxed cartons (milk, juice, etc.)
Waxed paper (Erbert and Gerbert’s Bistro + Einstein Bros. Bagels food wrappers)
Wrappers (candy, Clif bars, cookies, fruit rolls, sandwich bags, Saran wrap, Ziploc-style bags, etc.)

Social Responsibility

As a guest, it is easy to make smart environmental choices when you dine at a Sodexo café. We know today's college students want to do the right thing for the planet and we also understand you lead busy lives, so your Sodexo chefs and managers do a lot of the work for you behind the scenes!

From purchasing local seasonal produce whenever possible to reducing inorganic and organic waste, your campus team is dedicated to providing you with an exceptional dining experience that is good for you and good for the planet.

This commitment was formalized with Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Plan. The Better Tomorrow Plan includes 18 commitments for a brighter future by focusing on four key priorities: health, planet, community and our people. Learn more about the Better Tomorrow Commitments.
While your Sodexo team works hard behind the scenes, they also count on student engagement and enthusiasm to spread the word about what you're doing together on your campus. We encourage you to work with your local Sodexo management team to continue to innovate and improve sustainability efforts in your community.
If you have additional comments or questions, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Local Foods

Menus feature locally grown food whenever possible and financially feasible. Nearly 20 percent of the $4.3 million Blugold Dining spends in a year on food is used to purchase food products produced and distributed within 150 miles of Eau Claire. An innovative partnership with a western Wisconsin business is the newest way that Blugold Dining is contributing to the local economy while also supporting the university’s commitment to sustainability. Blugold Dining consistently serves meat products that have been raised and processed locally through agreement with Cadott-based Crescent Meats, a family owned and operated full-service meat processing plant located fewer than 30 miles from Eau Claire. Ninety percent of dairy offered through Blugold Dining — including sour cream, many cheeses and the nearly 600 gallons per week of milk consumed by the campus community — comes from local vendors. 

Social Responsibility

Blugold Dining sponsors the annual Hands Across America food drive. In November 2018 a total of 2,342 pounds of food and $1,241 in cash was collected and donated to the Feed My People Food Bank. Another campus tradition, Soup and Bread Night has raised more than $17,000 since 1995. Soups, breads and beverages replace the usual evening meal in the contract service cafeteria, and the meal is served by volunteers. The event’s savings in food and labor costs are donated to Feed My People, which distributes food to more than 85 agencies serving senior citizens, the working poor, the homeless, the mentally ill and others in need throughout the Chippewa Valley.

Sustainable Agriculture

Both Green Mountain Coffee and Caribou Coffee served in Davies Center are Rainforest Alliance certified coffees, which ensure that farmers and growers are paid fairly for their products. The Snack Shack also features certified organic products.

Trayless Initiative

After a Trayless Tuesdays program during 2008–09, Blugold Dining went completely trayless in 2009. Going trayless has reduced food waste by more than 50 percent, and has saved on natural resources needed to wash the more than 6,000 trays a day that had been customarily used.

Sustainable Health

Blugold Dining encourages healthy living by incorporating nutritious, health-conscious options in all dining areas.

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