Tulane Home Tulane Home

Inline CSS for Tulane News Articles

Weigh the Waste

May 02, 2023 12:15 PM
Jaime Dunkle jdunkle1@tulane.edu
Senior Samantha Mehlman, a student in Professor of Practice Nicole Katin’s Environmental Studies seminar, writes the weight of the first container weighed during the event. (Photo by Rusty Costanza)


The Tulane Environmental Studies program, the Office of Sustainability, and Dining Services collaborated with students for a Weigh the Waste event, which challenged students to consider how much food they eat as compared to how much is served and how much they select.

The organizations collaborated to stage a student survey and a scale exercise to determine how much food waste was created during lunch in the Dining Room of the Malkin Sacks Commons. Questions focused on portions provided, the taste and temperature of the food served, and the time available to dine. The data will be used to improve Tulane Dining Services programming. Students Samantha Mehlman and Rayna Carner led the event.

The Malkin Sacks Commons is the university’s most environmentally friendly venue, according to Jordan Stewart, assistant director of the Office of Sustainability, who added that the survey will be used to improve Tulane Dining Services programming and to reduce plate waste. Food service is provided on reusable plates, food preparation scraps are composted, and prepared foods that are not served are donated to local organizations with the Tulane Food Recovery Network. 

For more information about Weigh the Waste and other sustainability initiatives, subscribe to the Office of Sustainability’s newsletter or go to green.tulane.edu.