VIDEO: SMU Cafeteria Goes Trayless

March 22, 2010  

By Hayley Nelson

Going green is the latest environmental trend, as politicians and celebrities nation wide promote reusing and recycling. Now SMU’s dining company, Aramark, is taking a stand in the “go green” era by not using trays in the cafeteria.

“Aramark and SMU are trying to partner to make sure we don’t have a huge carbon footprint left,” said Kyle Wilson, SMU campus food manager.

A study on SMU dining found people return 2 less ounces of food without a tray, and by servicing 15,000 people each week, they save over one million ounces each school year.

“With saving up that much I’m definitely willing to go without the tray,” SMU senior Maverick Smalley said.

It’s not only the food saved that prompted this change. It takes a half-gallon of hot water to wash each tray, which also decreased energy costs to heat the water.

“We are trying to be a campus that consumes less energy from fossil fuels and more and more from renewable sources,” SMU Director of the Center for the Environment, Bonnie Jacobs, said.

After advertising the reason for the change, most of the students are now onboard.

“We saw a little bit of a pushback from a couple individuals, but more than anything we saw people getting excited,” Wilson said.

“It’s obviously like a really progressive thing in our society, so why not have our university get involved,” SMU freshman Laura Smolik said.

Now that the trays are a thing of the past, going green is something every SMU diner can participate in.

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2 Responses to “VIDEO: SMU Cafeteria Goes Trayless”

  1. ProfDC on May 14th, 2010 12:27 pm

    I don’t think the math checks out here. 2 oz x 15,000 people x 4.3 weeks in a month yields approximately 129,000 ounces monthly, not “more than a million.”

    Innumeracy rules.

  2. Hayley Nelson on May 21st, 2010 6:44 pm


    Thank you for bringing that error to our attention. I went back to my notes, and Aramark saves over a million onces each school year, not each month. The story has been updated with the correct information.

    Best regards,