Food & Water
Food Sharing & Waste Reduction
Office of Student Affairs
University Center 248
Since 2017, the Privateer Pantry has provided supplemental food support to all currently enrolled UNO students. We offer a selection of shelf-stable food and personal care items as well as recipes.
Visit the Privateer Pantry website to learn more, make a donation, or submit a grocery order!
Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services believes that wellness goes beyond our dining halls. To support a well-balanced healthy lifestyle, we create programs that help our guests live life to its fullest. We work together to help provide a better, safer, more ecologically-friendly, and more sustainable world for all of our students, staff, and guests.
Food Waste Reduction
Food waste is a high contributor to methane emissions in the United States. The most effective way to manage your own food waste is to be smart about your consumption.
The average U.S. household throws away 25% of all food purchased.
Though most food may be biodegradable, we should still prevent food from heading to a landfill:
- According to the USDA, ~30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted every year—approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion dollars in 2010.
- The EPA estimates that in 2010, 218.9 pounds of food was wasted per person.
- Food waste that enters a landfill decomposes via a process called anaerobic decomposition (meaning that no oxygen is added) because all the trash piles up on top of the biodegradable food. Anaerobic decomposition releases methane, a greenhouse gas.
- Composting is done via a process called aerobic decomposition (adding oxygen to the food waste). This chemical reaction releases carbon dioxide instead of methane. Methane contributes 72% more harmful greenhouse gas emissions than carbon dioxide.
Don't buy it if you won't eat it!
Here are some tips for reducing your food waste:
- Plan your meals in advance, making very detailed lists and sticking to them.
- Look in your refrigerator and see what you already have before you go to the grocery store. What can you make with the ingredients you already have?
- Research how to properly store your produce so that it stays fresher longer.
- Buy frozen fruits and vegetables! There is no proven information that they are less healthy, and they can be stored for much longer than fresh alternatives.
- Freeze everything! Bread, meat, and leftovers are all wonderful to eat after being frozen. You can even make large batches of food and freeze them in individually portioned containers for quick, easy lunches.
- Do not store produce in the produce drawers! This may seem like a strange suggestion, but many people forget about produce once it’s put into drawers, increasing the probability that it will go forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind! Instead, store beverages and other items that take a while to expire in the produce drawers and put your produce where you can see it!
- Ask about portion sizes at restaurants. If you over-order, take it home with you for lunch tomorrow.
- If your produce seems “old,” look up recipes! Even older produce can be used in a soups, casseroles, smoothies, etc. Stale bread can be used to make croutons or bread pudding, beet tops and other veggies can be added to stock with some seasoning, etc.
- If you have a dog, give bits of produce that you normally wouldn’t eat (broccoli stems, strawberry tops, carrot tops, etc.) to your canine friend. Of course, always check to see if it’s safe for them to eat it before you give it to them!
If you cannot find any creative ways to salvage older food, avoid its landfill fate by composting it! Keep a reusable container in your freezer and add your food waste into it.
Freezing your compost reduces the chances of pests and bad smells. When the container is full, bring it to your closest composting drop-off station.
Acceptable food waste includes:
- Fruit scraps
- Vegetable scraps (peels, pits, seeds)
- Nut shells
- Seed shells
- Coffee grounds & filters
- Plain grains
- Plain pasta
- Plain bread
Meat, dairy, oil foods, and bones are not compostable.
Whenever you can, purchase your food at local farmer's markets!
A local market means lower transportation distances and lower ozone-depleting substance emissions. Local farmers also rarely pre-package their items, reducing the amount of plastic used—they encourage you to bring your own bags!
Plus, by buying from local markets, you can meet your neighbors and support your community.
Go Green NOLA maintains a list of local farmer's markets.
If you cannot get to a farmer's market for any reason, the community supported agriculture (CSA) Covey Rise Farms will deliver local produce to your front door.
Here are some ways you can reduce the amount of water you use:
- Set a timer to encourage yourself to take shorter showers. Aim for 5 minutes or less.
- Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
- Wash dishes in the dishwasher instead of by-hand.
- Do not pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher.
- Run full loads in your dishwasher.
- Adjust your washing machine to the correct load-size each time you wash your clothes.
- Fix any pipe leaks as soon as possible.
- Collect rainwater or water used to rinse produce to water your plants.
- Apply for a locally-painted rain collection barrel through Green Light New Orleans
- Switch your toilet to either WaterSense-certified or dual-flush toilets, which use significantly less water.
Catch Basins & Storm Drains
Please be aware of the locations of catch basins and storm drains on campus. It is vital that we prevent litter and other waste from contaminating Lake Pontchartrain.