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Sustainable Food

There is a vast web of food systems brings you more food options than ever before, this system takes a steep toll on our planet through mass monoculture (growth of a single crop) requiring huge amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides, transportation of products by air and water across the world using fuel and releasing carbon dioxide, and consumer habits creating vast amounts of food waste. Globally, 30% of the food produced ends up in the garbage. Think Canadians aren’t part of the problem? 63% of the food we toss could be eaten.  

While these issues with our world’s food system may seem huge, there are many tangible things you and I can do in our day to day to make our relationship with food more sustainable and less wasteful at each stage of the process. Along with the tips below, check out 10 ideas on how to avoid contributing to this food waste problem.

When Purchasing Food

Groceries on Campus

Ramen and pizza are typical student meals with fresh vegetables often forgotten or not easily come by. Laurier offers two on-campus grocery stands:

  • Northdale Market Stand at Veritas features produce from our Northdale Campus. Check out our Instagram for updates.
  • Laurier's Farmers Market is run by the Laurier Foodbank in the concourse every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the fall and winter terms.

When Preparing Food

Fairtrade Campus

Fairtrade is a certification that allows you to identify products that empower marginalized producers to improve their own living conditions. With the proper resources, capacity, and access to key relationships, disadvantaged producers are able to earn their own means to a better life for themselves and their communities by joining fair trade networks. 

Fairtrade at Laurier

Currently, we have a baseline Fairtrade designation but are working towards receiving a silver designation during the 2023-2024 academic year. An example of what would need to be done to receive a silver designation is to increase the volume of fairtrade products on campus.

You can support producers by purchasing Fairtrade products at the following locations:

  • Fresh Food Company (Waterloo, Dining Hall)
  • Union Market (Waterloo, Terrace Food Court) (Tea only) 
  • BYTE75 Coffee and Social (Waterloo, Lazaridis Hall)
  • Wilf's Restaurant (Waterloo, Fred Nichols Campus Centre)
  • Veritas Cafe (Waterloo, GSA)
  • Frank's Coffee Haus (Waterloo, Peters Building)
  • 1911 Coffee Company (Waterloo, Terrace Food Court)
  • Golden Grounds (Brantford, RAC)
  • Catering (Waterloo and Brantford)
For more information and hours, visit Laurier Food Services.
  • Union Market (Waterloo, Terrace Food Court)
  • BYTE75 Coffee and Social (Waterloo, Lazaridis Hall)

For more information and hours, visit Laurier Food Services.

Food and Drink on Campus

As a student, we know you spend a lot of time on campus studying, going to class and participating in social and recreational activities and for all these, you need to stay properly fueled!

We want to make it easy for you to be sustainable while purchasing food and drink on campus and also save some money. Just do a little pre-planning before heading out for the day and you can help save the planet and your wallet!

How? In partnership with Food Services, we have two major discount programs on campus:

  1. Coffee Discount: Bring your reusable mug to any coffee or tea location on campus and receive a 40¢ discount all year-round. 

  2. Friendlier Reusable Containers: Laurier was the first Canadian universities to implement Friendlier's reusable container program. Friendlier's blue containers are available at several locations across the Waterloo campus, they are double sealed, durable, and good for over 100 uses. They also have their own diversion stream, you can find the highly visible blue Friendlier branded bins anywhere where the containers are dispursed. This green solution is also free for users if the proper steps are taken! The program uses a deposit system ranging from 50¢ - $1.00 which is included in the cost of your meal. Simply follow the 4 easy steps of the program to contribute to eliminating unnecessary waste on campus and get your full deposit back. 

    1. Download the Friendlier app on your phone (you can also visit Friendlier's webpage to sign up) before you visit one of the locations where the containers are provided: Wilf's, the Mini Market, Frank's Coffee Haus, Byte 75, El Torito, and Union Market.
    2. Scan the barcode on he bottom of the container with your phone once your meal is finished to get your deposit back.
    3. Return the dirty container to a blue Friendler bin and we will take it from there. 
    4. Redeem your refund on the Friendlier app, you can redeem each time a container is returned or let it accumulate. You also have the option of donating your depoit to a local charity.  

Northdale Community Garden

Did you know we have a large garden on campus?

The Northdale Community Garden is 58,125 square feet wild area located a block behind Lazaridis Hall at the Northdale campus. Here, we work in partnerships to connect our community to the wonders of gardening, eating local food, supporting wild pollinators and more.

The garden space also has a greenhouse, located in the centre west of the garden space, where plants are stored pre-planting and sustainability workshops take place during the summer months. We hope to see you there!