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What You Can Do

Buying in season from local farmers means fresher produce and less energy used for transportation! A guide to seasonal eating in Southern California ("Buy Fresh, Buy Local Food Guide - Southern California," CAFF)

  • Eat Lower on the Food Chain These days many people are opting for a vegan or vegetarian diet.  There’s no question that eating a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact.  Meat is resource-intensive to produce: a half-pound hamburger requires 25,000 liters of water and emits as much carbon dioxide as driving an average car nearly 10 miles. Eating a vegan or vegetarian diet isn’t just better for the planet, it’s better for you and the well-being of farm animals.  If going veg seems overwhelming, try cutting out meat just once a day or once a week to start.
  • Eat Organic Dining Services offers a large variety of organic foods.  Organic foods are produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which is better for your health and the planet.  Opt for these over conventional offerings whenever possible.  For more information on organic certification, see the Certifications section, and for information on organic foods used by Dining Services, see the Organics section.
  • Buy Local and Seasonal Choosing foods that are in season and come from local farmers reduces the number of miles food travels and results in a fresher product. Buying local keeps money in our communities and supports farmers that are more likely to be conscious and careful in the way they produce their food. For more information on local offerings, see the Local Farms and Businesses section.
  • Support Fair Trade In today’s global food economy, farmers are often forced to take extremely low prices for their crops.  Buying Fair Trade ensures that farmers receive a fair wage and are treated respectably.  Dining Services offers several Fair Trade beverages, including coffee, hot and iced tea and chai. For more information on Fair Trade, please see the Certifications section.
  • Join the Clean Plate Club Americans waste more than 40% of the food produced for consumption.  Don’t be a part of that statistic: take only what you can eat to avoid unnecessary waste.  A 2009 audit found that food left on plates in Pomona’s dining halls accounts for 47 tons of waste annually or about 10% of the campus waste stream. 
  • Compost! There are compost bins by all of the dish returns.  Make sure to compost your napkins, fruit peels, tea bags and other non-meat and non-dairy food scraps.  These scraps are composted at Pomona’s own Organic Farm and eventually become soil instead of ending up in the landfill.
  • Avoid Disposables Try to reduce the amount of disposable items you use, because these items just end up in the landfill.  Make sure to always use your green clamshell container and cup, and consider getting a set of utensils to keep in your room so you don’t have to grab disposable ones.  In the same vein, try to use only the fewest napkins possible.
  • Communicate See a friend who is always wasting food? Have friends who are interested in vegetarianism? Love the Fair Trade Organic coffee? Let your friends and family know that you are eating sustainably and why. You’ll be surprised how powerful leading by example can be.
  • Do It Everywhere! Follow these suggestions everywhere you eat and buy food, not just the dining halls.  Make conscious choices when you eat out and let restaurants know you’re interested in sustainable food.  Be thoughtful about what you buy at the grocery store and try to support farmers markets and local business as much as possible.
  • Leave Feedback Let us know that this is something you care about and what you would like to see! Have an idea or suggestion? Let us know!  We want to make it easy to eat sustainably and we always love feedback.