Eco-Friendly Dining at Serra Hall

By Erin Peterson

Thanks to Norm Kvam, Serra Hall’s general manager, lunch-to-go products have gone green. You may have noticed the various new products being used in Saga, like the plastic cups, coffee cups, and plates. What’s the big deal about these new products? They’re all made from natural, biodegradable materials that are manufactured without putting a strain on our natural resources.
Health conscious companies like Greenwave manufacture biodegradable products made from natural fibers such as sugarcane, grass, and reed plasma. What makes this company’s product “completely green” is that the raw materials they use are found in China, so they are not exploiting the natural environment or disturbing the ecological system. Saga is currently using Greenwave’s plates, which are made of 96% natural fibers, 2.3% water, and .7% biodegradable mixture, and despite what many believe, they are able to withstand both hot and cold food, and are microwavable.greenware-product.jpg
The clear, cold beverage cups circulating around campus eateries come from FK Greenware that uses biopolymer, a resin derived entirely from corn. This makes these cups, which appear to be made of a traditional plastic, 100% compostable.
Much the same, International Paper Ecotainer manufactures a hot beverage cup that uses a corn-based plastic as a moisture barrier rather than a petro-chemical barrier, making these cups completely biodegradable.
For take-out foods, Siena is using plastic containers from Wilkinson that are made from what they call NaturesPLAstic, which is naturally derived from corn and other plants. This then uses up to 50% fewer fossil resources than conventional plastics that composts back to the carbon cycle, creating a balance in our natural resources.
However, these plates and cups are not the only way that Siena eateries are going green, because even the cleaning materials beginning to be used are green. The Spartan Chemical Company, Inc. manufactures specialty chemical maintenance products and industrial degreasers which are both environment and user friendly, which Siena’s eateries are beginning to use.
For more information about these green products, you can contact Norm Kvam at kvam@siena.edu, or at x.2523.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Eco-Friendly Dining at Serra Hall

  1. Leslie Harty

    Unless these products are put into municipal compost facilities, they will not break down. They are certified ASTM 6400- compostable.They are not landfill degradable.Please note these composts must take biobased plastics- out of 100 or so compost facilities in the US, only about 25% accept biobased plastics.

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