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College Campus Food Waste Reduction Tips

Whether eating in the dining hall or in a residence, there are easy things we can all do to reduce how much food we waste.

This Spring, Stop Food Waste is partnering with California State University East Bay to pilot an on-campus food waste reduction campaign.

Preventing wasted food is the #1 personal action that we can take to reduce climate impacts according to Project Drawdown. On average, individuals in the US could save about $375 per year on food that is ultimately not eaten. Here are some tips to reduce food waste:

In the dining hall:

  1. Ask for a sample if you are unsure
  2. Start with a little bit and go back for more if you’re still hungry.
  3. Eat what you take.
  4. Compost what’s left.


When eating out:

  1. When possible, take leftovers with you (even better, carry your own container to save them for later and reduce packaging).
  2. Label leftovers with a name and date.
  3. Split a meal with a friend if you’re not too hungry or you know portion sizes are large.

In your residence or at home:

  1. Store fresh food correctly, using our Fruit & Veggie Storage Guide.
  2. Seal any open packages to preserve freshness (and save money).
  3. Try planning your week’s meals ahead to make use of what you already have in your fridge.
  4. Label leftovers with name and date (especially in shared fridge).
  5. Use clear containers when possible so you can see what you have.
  6. Use our Eat This First sign to remind you of food that needs to be eaten right away.
  7. Create a “Shared” area of the fridge or counter so others can help you eat up food you won’t be able to finish.

Other waste reduction tips:

  • Carry a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, and utensils whenever possible.
  • Bring a reusable bag or container for snacks or leftovers.
  • Reuse what you have, eg. plastic cutlery, yogurt tubs, etc.
  • Carry a cloth napkin so you don’t have to use paper.

Additional Planning Tips

Frozen Herbs
a whole cheese pizza double sliced in cardboard pizza box
Storing and Reheating Pizza
Prep Now, Eat Later
Veggie Stock
Shopping Tips
Citrus Peels
Holiday Dinner Planning
Portion Size