By protecting and improving our environment, the communities where we do business and the students we serve, Muhlenberg Dining makes every day a better day and every tomorrow a better tomorrow.

A Greener Tomorrow

Muhlenberg Dining is committed to teaching today's students how to have an impact on tomorrow. With its dedicated team, Muhlenberg Dining has developed several innovative, on-campus programs and partners with Muhlenberg to foster the College's vision to create ways to positively impact our environment.

Sustainability Internship

Each year, Muhlenberg Dining offers an internship experience for a student interested in a future career in sustainability and marketing food and beverage. The Sustainability Intern supports the Muhlenberg Dining team in the process of developing and implementing sustainable dining promotions, using their input at every stage of the process to inform and inspire creative ideas, and guide the implementation of the resulting promotion campaigns.

Greening CommitteeBerg Sustain

Muhlenberg Dining is proud to be an integral part of the President's Greening Committee. The Greening Committee aims to provide leadership to the Muhlenberg community in support of the College's strategic goals of sustainability and good environmental citizenship. It was created in 2003 by President Helm to examine, propose, and monitor sustainability efforts, reduce resource use and promote dialogue on and off campus. The Greening Committee is composed of faculty, staff, and student representatives.

Hydroponic Herb GardenHydro_Garden

  • Through funding from the Student Government Association, Muhlenberg Dining has partnered with Muhlenberg Professor Dr. Rich Niesenbaum's Sustainability Studies class to install a hydroponic herb garden in the Wood Dining Commons.
  • Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants using water and nutrient solutions without soil. It is sustainable for a number of reasons; it's water efficient, eliminates soil erosion problems, and there is no need for herbicides or soil fertilizers that traditional soil methods require.
  • The hydroponic herb garden will grow various herbs that will be utilized in the Dining Commons. All herbs will be dedicated for garnishes and ingredients for fresh-made salads. They will also be used to make our fresh herb-infused vinegars (these sun-brewed vinegars will be used to make our "Solar Vinaigrettes").
  • Also involved with the project is Ryan Ehst, owner/farmer of Butter Valley Harvest in Bally, PA, located just 15 miles from Muhlenberg College. BVH hydroponically grows herbs, greens and tomatoes.
  • Muhlenberg Dining has been involved with Butter Valley Harvest since 2010 and Ryan Ehst donated the planter trays for Muhlenberg's hydroponic herb garden.
  • Did you know that lettuce starts to lose its nutrients right when it's cut? On March 19, 2018, we harvested our Butter Valley Harvest Spring Mix lettuce growing from our Hydroponic Garden. This fresh salad was served during lunch!

'Berg To GoBTG Container

In Fall 2012, Muhlenberg Dining embarked on a mission to reduce the amount of waste being created by disposable To-Go containers in the Wood Dining Commons. After several trial periods, focus groups and collecting feedback, 'Berg To Go launched in Fall 2013.

We appreciate your participation and together, we can make a positive impact on our future!

In Spring 2018, we expanded the 'Berg to Go program to be offered in our retail locations, the General's Quarters and the Mule Express.

Think Before You Tray

When the Wood Dining Commons opened in Fall 2010, Muhlenberg Dining introduced an initiative to steadily decrease the usage of trays in an effort to reduce water usage. Rather than not offering trays, we ask guests to make the conscious decision as to whether or not a tray is necessary. Since its inception, Think Before You Tray has resulted in decreasing the amount of trays available in the Food Gallery from 800 to 300.

Weigh the WasteWTW_Logo

The Weigh the Waste (WTW) program is an educational opportunity to raise awareness of food waste over a specific course of time by weighing post-consumer food waste. Muhlenberg Dining staff is responsible for tracking and documenting uneaten food in the Wood Dining Commons during a specific time frame and shares the information with its guests in an effort to reduce waste and improve portion control. Results will be posted as soon as they are available. Our Weigh the Waste results are listed below.

Reusable Mugs & Mason Jars

We invite all members of the community to take advantage of our Reusable Mug Program! Bring your own mug to the Wood Dining Commons or enjoy $0.99 refills at Java Joe, The GQ and LSC Cafe!

In Spring 2018, we started to offer reusable mason jars at Java Joe and The GQ. Mason Jar owners get a discount on refills, and proceeds benefit EnAcT!

Mason Jars

Eco Products

Looking for Styrofoam on campus? You won't find it! In Spring 2012, Muhlenberg Dining committed to replacing any Styrofoam packaging with eco-friendly alternatives. All of our disposable service ware, including cups, plates and clam shells, are made of recycled paper.

Cups & Bowls are offered in all of our locations, including the Wood Dining Commons. They are lined with PLA plastic and are fully compostable and made from renewable materials.

Sugarcane Bowls & Plates are made from sugarcane and are a welcome, eco-friendly solution to traditional plastic or polystyrene. Strong, durable and liquid resistant, sugarcane fiber products are compostable and made from a fast growing, renewable material. These are used in our retail locations and at the Noshery in the Wood Dining Commons.

Plant Starch Cutlery is primarily made from renewable plant starch materials. These are available in our retail locations and at the Wood Dining Commons.

Paper Straws in The Wood Dining Commons and The General's Quarters

In Spring 2018, we got rid of our plastic straws in The Wood Dining Commons and the GQ. Plastic straws are petroleum-based, never fully break down, and they end up in our waterways. Paper straws are more sustainable as they break down, and they do not cause harm in our oceans. Converting to paper straws is part of an effort around the world to improve our planet. We were inspired by a small village in Northwest Scotland, where students joined forces to lobby to local businesses as part of the #NaeStrawAtAw (No Straw At All) campaign. Because of their efforts, the village committed to being a plastic straw-free village. To learn more about our efforts against plastic straws, click here!


Earth Day 2019

Muhlenberg College will be celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 19th from 11 am to 4 pm on Parent's Plaza. This event includes local food, music, performances, and an opportunity to connect with advocacy groups to learn how you can make a difference in the environment. Stay tuned for more info!

Muhlenberg SustainabilityBerg Sustain

To learn more about Muhlenberg's sustainability efforts, please click here!


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