Measures of Success

  • In fall quarter of the 2009-2010 school year, Residential Dining removed trays from all four dining commons.
  • Since removing trays from dining facilities, UCSB has seen a 54% reduction in food post consumer waste and a 37% average savings of total waste overall.
  • UCSB Implemented 100% Certified Fair Trade Coffee and 100% Certified Humane Cage Free Eggs in all Dining Commons.
  • Residential Dining Commons uses napkins that are made from 100% (post-consumer) recycled paper and are not bleached.


  • UCSB’s commitments include purchasing from vendors who have a proven track record of environmental responsibility, participating in the Santa Barbara Sustainable Seafood Program as a certified member, and switching to “green,” bio-based cleaning products that have a low environmental impact.
  • The CSC adopted a food subcommittee for the 2011-12 year to address communication and policy issues around promoting access to sustainable food on campus. The subcommittee now meets quarterly to discuss green business certifications, the opening of Root 217 (a natural foods eatery run by UCen Dining), the Residential Dining Strategic Plan, as well as discuss options for eliminating Styrofoam on campus and encouraging the adoption of compostable service ware at eateries on campus.
  • The Santa Barbara campus’ residential dining program has already surpassed  the 2020 Policy goal of 20% sustainable food purchases.

Ongoing Practices and Programs

  • The University of California, Santa Barbara’s Residential Dining Services composts 100% of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste in all dining commons. Approximately 41,000 pounds of food waste (pre and post) is composted per week.
  • Additionally, 100% of the waste oil (all frying oil used in cooking) is purchased by a biodiesel company, Biodiesel Industries, and converted into cleaner burning biodiesel fuel used in vehicles.
  • At the University of California, Santa Barbara, Residential Dining Services actively donates leftover and surplus food products to local food banks, the Rescue Mission, and the Santa Barbara Food Bank.
  • The University of California, Santa Barbara provides diners with reusable mugs at the University Center. Diners using reusable mugs receive a twenty-five cent discount. Customers can also bring in their own drinking vessel and receive a 10 cent discount. Additionally, Residential Dining Commons permit and welcome reusable mugs brought in by customers.


  • Associated Students initiated the green chef competition.

More Information