Photo of Hands with Green Globe
  • Commitment
  • Partnerships
  • Impact
  • Efforts

sustainablility commitment statement

Dining Services recognizes the importance of reducing its impact on the environment and has implemented initiatives in support of environmental improvement and sustainable development. UK Dining has a simple set of operational standards in the form of a Sustainability commitment, which takes care to minimize impact whilst ensuring the guest experience is not compromised. Our efforts are evolving and it’s our intention to increase our efforts each year so that we do our part to ensure a sustainable future. The commitment has been developed in conjunction with feedback from student groups, faculty, and staff. and has been easy to implement as it makes sense both fiscally and ecologically.

The Key standards include:

  • Forming sustainable partnerships with local producers including produce, dairy, and meat.
  • Establishing waste minimization measures – including going trayless, recycling plastics, aluminum, and card board, reducing disposables where possible, and utilizing recycled napkins and paper towels.
  • Actively seeking energy conservation – including conversion to energy efficient equipment and compact fluorescent lighting.

To summarize, the aim of theSustainability Commitment is to ensure continued efforts, through performance reviews and building on success to deliver a high level of ecological awareness and performance.

fresh water stations

UK Dining has partnered with the Office of Sustainability to provide more than 80 filtered water fountain stations in 40 locations across campus. Save the environment by refilling plastic bottles and reuseable drink containers with pure drinking water at any of these locations:


# of stations

Student Center


Johnson Center


Whitehall Classroom Building


Chemistry Physics


Keeneland Hall




Main Building




Gluck Equine




Seaton Center


WT Young Library








Parking 6


Cooper Forestry


Frazee hall


Raymond Engineering


Commons, 3rd Floor


ATO  (approved)


Lafferty Hall


Funkhouser 1st floor


Ingles Hall (approved)


Pence Hall Library








Sigma Chi


Plant Sciences


College of Law


Ag North W-101 Ag. North


Kastle Hall






Memorial Hall


Pence Hall


Commons 2nd Floor




Business and Economics


Animal Pathology


Peterson Service Building


Central 1


Central 2


For more information also visit

uk dining services helps out

UK Dining Services assists with your healthy goals and food choices by marking vegetarian foods, controlling portion sizes, and preparing grilled foods. We also use trans-fat oils for cooking and have low or no salt seasonings.

Links to local food and nutrition projects supported by the university:

Local, state, nation, and international food projects:

Current Relationships with Kentucky Proud® Farms and Merchants

Dining Services offers locally grown meats, produce, and fruits in all of our restaurants and convenience stores. Our commitment is to bring the freshest and healthiest foods to campus and we are proud to do so by working with agricultural businesses in Kentucky.

Kentucky Proud Logos

Reed Valley®

  • Apples, Pears, and Cider.

MarksBury Meats®

  • Beef and Pork.

Creation Gardens®

  • Corn, Watermelon, Tomatoes, Squash, and Peppers

Gordon Food Service®

  • Partnered with GrowFarms, a Kentucky co-operative, last year to grow produce for state parks, St. Joseph and UK Dining Services. GFS also sells Kentucky Proud ground beef.


  • Ground Beef.

Critchfield Meats®

  • Kentucky Proud® meats.

Southern Belle®

  • All dairy products.

Ale-8 One®

  • Bottled drinks.

Donut Days®

  • Daily doughnut delivery.

DV Waffles ®

  • Waffle irons, dispensers, and mix.

John Conti®

  • Coffee in all of our restaurants (excluding Starbucks®)

Bluefin Seafood®

  • Fish and Shellfish.


  • Kentucky Proud® meats.

Hampton's Meats®

  • Pork and Beef

Pike Valley Farms®

  • Chicken

Kenny's Cheese®

  • Specialty Cheeses

Sheltowee Farms®

  • Mushrooms and Honey


  • Ice Cream


  • Chocolate


  • Sausage


agricultural impact

Nearly a century ago 30% of the US population was engaged in farming and more than 50% lived in rural areas. Today fewer than 2% of Americans farm for a living and only 10 percent now live in rural areas.

The population of the United States, and the world, continues to grow and the demand for food makes prices higher. Learning the importance of how food gets to the store or market and how to determine the best quality of food is beneficial to everyone. Growing your own food is another method of saving money and making a difference in the quality of food you eat.

park your horse

Department of Agriculture and other farming organizations provide extensive guidelines on farming and food-related topics. For more information visit:

from the ground up…

Reducing the amount of chemicals used to grow foods is another part of growing healthier, better quality foods. Instead of spraying commercial insecticides, using other plants and beneficial insects can achieve the same results. For more information visit:

farmer's market

Schedules of local markets:

back to the future

Organic, Victory Gardens, and growing in a small space are all popular topics for people wanting to grow their own food. Understanding the method that will work best for you is vital to achieving success. Use the information below to help determine your best method.

Organic Gardening means that only animal or vegetable fertilizers are used, no synthetics, and pest control does not use industrial insecticides. For more information visit the following sites:

Victory Gardens were popular during World War II because they reduced the number of people purchasing from the public food supply. The gardens provided vegetables throughout the summer and fall and surplus items were canned or frozen for use during the winter and spring. Today's Victory Gardens are helping people to save thousands of dollars in food costs and providing healthier, better quality food for consumption. For more information visit:

Growing in a Small Space… you don't have to have a large space or even a yard to grow your own vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes, peppers, blueberries, and more can be grown indoors using containers. The key is using the right planting soil and watering the plants regularly. Another method of indoor gardening uses hydroponics to grow the plants.

Whatever method you choose you'll benefit from growing your own food.

clean ups

Recycled napkins made from 100% recycled paper are used in all dining restaurants. They can also be recycled again for a continuing cycle of earth friendliness.

All paper towels used in Dining Services locations are also 100% recyclable.

For more information about how recycled napkins help the environment visit Tork.

brain food

Did you know that 1 ton of recycled paper saves…

  • 17 trees
  • 463 gallons of oil
  • 6,953 gallons of water
  • 587 pounds of air pollution
  • 4,077 kilowatt hours of energy
  • 3.1 cubic yards of landfill space


99% of our locations do not offer plastic trays (Chick-fil-A® requires trays in its contract). Trayless operations save water, electricity, chemical use, plastic waste, food waste, and make an impact on our carbon footprint.


UK Dining Services is making progress in other environmentally friendly ways including:

  • Containers used for all carry out items are made from 100% renewable resources, mostly corn product, that decompose in two to three weeks and use no petroleum during the manufacturing process. The containers are made by NaturesPLAstic.
  • The forks, knives, and spoons at all dining locations are made from recycled products and can be recycled again.
  • Blazer Café uses china and silverware that can be reused instead of disposable paper and plastic plates, bowls and utensils.
  • Blazer Café's Jackson JFT-21 dishwasher automatically cuts off when not being used (saving water and electricity); recycles water reducing the amount needed without effecting performance; washes 17,000 dishes per hour using only 140 gallons of water (1.05 oz per dish); eliminated 1,100 plates, 750 bowls, forks, knifes and spoons daily from landfills; and uses cleaning chemicals that are environmentally friendly.
  • A partnership between Dining Services, UK 101, UK Libraries, and UK Residence Life provides all UK 101 students with a free mug and a free fill-up with their first purchase. A discount is offered at UK Dining locations whenever the mug is used and it is the only approved mug for use in the UK Libraries.
  • All paper, boxes, packaging materials, aluminum, and plastics are recycled when possible.
  • Actively switching lighting to compact fluorescent where possible.

The efforts of Dining Services are included in an overall campus sustainability project. UK Sustainability has more information.


Cooking produces quite a bit of waste and UK Dining Services uses its way in a way that is beneficial to the environment whenever possible. Our food waste management includes:

  • Cooking oils used in all of our facilities are as environmentally friendly as possible and are frequently filtered to maximize the life.
  • Used cooking oil is stored to allow pick-up by Griffin Industries that recycles it into biodiesel fuel and additive for pet foods.
  • Used coffee grounds, food waste, and other kitchen waste are used as composting material at UK's South Farm.
  • Utilizes a new brand of chemicals to clean with that are more environmental friendly, less harsh and no packaging waste.
  • Eliminating chemicals where possible.

dining services...

  • Supports Kentucky food producers as much as possible-produce, dairy and meat.
  • Serve monthly "green" dinners for Holmes Hall residents that consist mainly of locally grown products.
Refund Request | Staff Pages

The Department of Dining Services strives to be a responsible campus partner.
As a partner, we: provide a healthy, fresh and attractive dining service that is responsive to the changing desires of students, staff, faculty, and guests; encourage community development and campus involvement through communication, creative programming, and relevant facilities; operate in a fiscally viable manner while providing affordably priced food; educate the community in regards to nutrition, sustainability, and Kentucky Proud® products; create partnerships between dining services and academic programs; provide a flexible catering program that meets the needs of both student groups and campus groups; and provide services convenient to the campus community.